Greenacres Foundation seeks systems-level research proposals that aim to fill knowledge gaps in the field of regenerative agriculture. Examples of specific outcomes include but are not limited to:
- Advancing the understanding of ecosystem processes occurring in regenerative systems
- Improving soil health using agro-ecological principles
- Improving resiliency of agricultural lands
- Advancing perennial/pasture-based food production systems
- Integrating livestock into cropping systems
- Understanding the impact of production practices on the nutrient density of food
Instructions for Submittal
Proposals should be written using 12 point font, submitted as a single PDF file, and should include a cover sheet and the proposal body. The cover sheet is limited to one page and must include (a) title, (b) names and contact information for all individuals involved in the project, (c) the specific Greenacres Foundation research priority addressed, and (d) an overall budget estimate. Note, indirect costs are not funded by Greenacres and should not be included in overall budget estimate. The body of the proposal should address each section in the RFP (described below). Please address each section independently, in the order listed on the RFP (i.e. first describe your “Research Purpose and Background” followed by a section for “Objectives” followed by your “Research Plan” and so forth). Please include citations (APA format) and a references section at the end of the proposal. Applicants should include a curriculum vitae as a separate file. Letters of collaboration (e.g., from collaborating land owners, farmers and/or ranchers, or a letter from cooperating agencies) may also be submitted. These letters should be compiled into a single PDF file. Additionally, include a copy of your institution’s IRS tax-exempt determination letter. Please see the rubric on our website to see how proposals will be assessed. Preferred browsers for proposal submission are Google Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.
1. RESEARCH PURPOSE & BACKGROUND
Clearly define the research question, and state why the proposed research is significant and impactful. Conduct a literature review to provide relevant background information and highlight knowledge gaps to be addressed by the research question. Do not simply repeat wording in the initial letter of intent.
Summarize the key accomplishments needed to produce one or more peer-reviewed publications, as well as any proposed extension resources, outreach events or other products intended for practitioners.
3. RESEARCH PLAN
Provide a complete and detailed plan on how the objectives will be achieved along with anticipated outcomes. Applicants are expected to describe a research approach that achieves the objectives in a realistic and timely manner. Proposals must include sufficient detail to demonstrate understanding and soundness of the research approach.
The research plan should also include a description of how the research team will ensure regular communication with GAF and describe any assistance that may be required from GAF and the timeframes in which this assistance is required.
The minimum deliverables necessary to complete the project include one peer-reviewed publication in a relevant scientific journal in addition to annual reports of completed tasks and data summaries as required. List all plans for disseminating findings including other anticipated deliverables such as multiple publications (with the intended number), products*, conference presentations, educational field days, etc. All publications are required to be open access.
*Examples of products typically most appropriate as stand-alone items include guidebooks, training materials, devices, instruction manuals, and brochures.
5. PROJECT SCHEDULE
Provide anticipated timelines for the project based on the proposed tasks. Incorporate time for potential impediments that will minimize the need for time extensions. A 36-month timeline is preferred unless a different schedule is specified in the proposal. Include sufficient time for report review and revision – a fully edited and ready-for-publication final report is expected 90 days prior to project completion.
Provide a graphical representation of all tasks, quarterly meetings, and deliverables on a monthly basis or as required. Include achievable targets and keep in mind that the draft of the final report and two-page summary of tasks completed are due to GAF no later than 90 days prior to the project completion date.
6. ITEMIZED BUDGET
Specify all potential fees* that may be charged to GAF. GAF may reject any fees not identified as part of the proposal. The applicant is responsible for making sure that only reimbursable costs are included. Include the detailed and fully itemized project costs by task. This should include pay rates and fringe for all personnel** involved on the project (including graduate student labor, fringe and tuition as required). Applicants should include any items that are affiliated with the project (site to site travel, publication costs, conference travel, etc.). Justification for all capital expenses (e.g. computers, lab equipment, etc.) should be included and will be approved solely at the discretion of GAF.
Grantee will be responsible for the payment of all sub-contractors associated with this project.
*Note that GAF does not pay institutional facilities & administrative (F&A) fees or indirect costs (IDC). All funds granted must be applied toward the proposed research project unless otherwise approved in writing by GAF.
**Personnel. Grantee will provide its own employees in the performance of the services and will be solely responsible for all aspects of the employment relationship, including, but not limited to, compensation of such employees and workers’ compensation, unemployment benefits, employment taxes and all other employee benefits for such employees. Grantee shall operate this project without discrimination as to gender, race, age, creed or national origin and will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
7. EQUIPMENT, LAND & FACILITIES
Include a brief description of the facilities and/or land available to undertake the research and a list of the equipment on hand considered integral to the project. Specify any facilities, land or equipment considered necessary for completing the research but not currently available or on hand. It is preferred that the equipment is borrowed, rented, or the work contracted to someone who has the equipment and the expertise to obtain valid results. Arrangements for borrowing, renting, or subcontracting work using necessary equipment must be identified. Letters of commitment should be included to indicate approval from landowners to utilize their land for the intended purposes of the proposed project. Include these letters as part of the letters of collaboration submission. Borrowed equipment and rental rates or subcontract costs should be included in the budget for borrowed or contracted work. In cases where it is deemed necessary to purchase equipment using project funds, applicants must be certain that the itemized cost information is included in the budget and that a justification is provided. Items of special equipment (any individual item costing $500 or more) purchased with GAF funding are GAF property and will be delivered to GAF when the project is complete unless otherwise previously agreed upon through the budget approval process.
GAF has extensive agricultural lands across our locations which may be available for research projects by request. Applicants interested in using a GAF site for their project are required to submit the GAF Land Use Form four weeks prior to the deadline for proposal submission, and the Land Use Form link was sent in the LOI acceptance letter. Requests will be approved on a case-by-case basis. All researchers working on GAF property are required to pass a fingerprint FBI background screening.
8. RESEARCH TEAM
Include a brief introduction of each member of the research team, explain their role on the project, and how their experience will benefit the research. It is understood that graduate and undergraduate students may not be identified at the time of proposal submission. However, the number of graduate and undergraduate students that will work on this project should be acknowledged in this section with a general description of what their role will be (e.g. what tasks they will perform).
Upon acceptance of proposals, projects will have an agreement drafted and each agreement will be specific to the milestones and deliverables of each project. This agreement must be fully executed by both the grantor (Greenacres Foundation) and the grantee prior to the grant being finalized. In addition, grant recipients are encouraged to present their findings to Greenacres staff and interested public in Cincinnati, Ohio. Travel to this presentation should be a line item in the proposed budget. Finally, the grant recipient will need to provide written consent for GAF to utilize official logos for GAF materials pertaining to funded projects.
For this section include the following:
“I acknowledge that I have read and understand the AGREEMENTS section of the RFP.”
For your convenience, please download and review a copy of the scoring rubric before you begin your proposal.
Please submit proposals in PDF format. The file name should adhere to the following pattern: (LastNameofPI_GAF_Grant_YEAR). Attach CV and letter(s) of collaboration as separate documents.
Please use the contact form if you have questions about this process.