2024 SPSD Collaborative Soil Survey Research

Active
Yes
Status
Posted
Published Date
June 5th, 2024
Close Date
July 8th, 2024
Total Funding
$3,000,000.00
Award Ceiling
$500,000.00
Award Floor
$50,000.00
Expected No. Awards
20
Opportunity No.
USDA-NRCS-NHQ-SPSD-24-NOFO0001368

Agency

Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS)

Eligible Applicants

Others

Funding Category

Natural Resources

Funding Instrument

Cooperative Agreement

Opportunity Category

Discretionary

Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement

Yes

Summary

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is announcing the availability of funding for the 2024 SPSD Collaborative Soil Survey Research. This funding opportunity aims to support cooperative research in soil science and soil survey. The grant is open to institutions of higher education in the Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CESU) network. The purpose of this grant is to promote research that informs and improves soil survey. The proposals should include significant collaboration with soil survey personnel, such as those at the National Soil Survey Center, MLRA Soil Survey, or Regional offices. The deliverables of the proposal should be clearly explained and connected to soil survey. Extra consideration will be given to proposals that include Dynamic Soil Survey research support and close collaboration with National Soil Survey Center Research Soil Scientists. The research should have national or broad regional application to fill gaps in soil survey databases, provide new approaches to collecting or interpreting soil survey data, and address emerging issues in the national research priority areas. The estimated total program funding for this opportunity is $3,000,000, and approximately 20 awards are expected to be granted. The funding floor for each project is $50,000, while the funding ceiling is $500,000. The duration of the projects should be 2-3 years. The proposal topics should address emerging issues within three nationally relevant areas of soil survey research: Dynamic Soil Properties (DSPs) and Soil Change, Methods of Soil Hydrology, and Expansion of Datasets. All proposals must include a data management plan, and all data and deliverables must be made publicly available per USDA regulations. Applicants must submit their applications via Grants.gov by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on July 8, 2024. For technical issues with Grants.gov, contact Grants.gov Applicant Support at 1-800-518-4726 or support@grants.gov. The agency anticipates making selections by July 22, 2024, and expects to execute awards by September 30, 2024. For more information and to access the full Notice of Funding Opportunity, please visit the Grants.gov website.

Description

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Soil and Plant Science Division (NRCS SPSD), is announcing the potential availability of funding for agreements for the purposes of supporting cooperative research in soil science and soil survey. The purpose of the 2024 Soil Survey Cooperative Research Proposals is to promote research that informs and improves soil survey. Each proposal must include significant collaboration with soil survey personnel (such as those at the National Soil Survey Center, MLRA Soil Survey or Regional offices). The proposal’s deliverables and their connection to soil survey must be clearly explained. Extra consideration will be given to proposals that include Dynamic Soil Survey research support, with close collaboration with National Soil Survey Center Research Soil Scientists. The work should have national or broad regional application to fill gaps in soil survey databases, provide new approaches to collecting or interpreting soil survey data, and/or address emerging issues in the national research priority areas.The FY24 research priorities were developed through meetings of the National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS) Research Priorities Committee and in conjunction with NRCS and SPSD priorities. We expect to fund approximately up to $3,000,000 of cooperative research depending on funding availability. Eligibility is limited to institutions of higher education in the Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CESU) network CESU National Network. Proposals are requested for competitive consideration of awards for projects 2-3 years in duration. The estimated funding floor for this opportunity is $50,000 and the estimated funding ceiling is $500,000.Proposal topics should address emerging issues within at least one of three nationally relevant areas of soil survey research:Dynamic Soil Properties (DSPs) and Soil Change• Investigation of DSPs not currently accounted for in evaluations of soil change at decadal time scales.• Assessments of DSPs for forest soils.• Creation of digital soil mapping models for predicting DPSs through space and time.Methods of Soil Hydrology• Development of new field and laboratory methods that could be added to soil survey.• Expansion of existing methods for characterizing soil hydraulic properties (e.g., water retention, hydraulic conductivity), including those that can be gathered from existing soil survey data.• Enhancing communication of hydrologic toolsets and data to product users, especially non-soil scientists.Expansion of Datasets• Leveraging existing NRCS and non-NRCS datasets to expand the reach of soil survey (e.g., deeper depths, spatial gaps).• Developing an online mapping tool or repository of soil survey projects, which could include major outcomes and generated datasets.• Enhancing the compatibility of non-NRCS datasets (e.g., National Ecological Observatory Network, Molecular Observation Network, U.S. Geological Survey’s National Geothermal Data System) with soil survey data.All proposals must include a data management plan and all data and deliverables must be made publicly available per USDA regulations - https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/dr- 1020-006.pdf.More information on NCSS regions – including maps and contacts is available at https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/conservation-basics/natural-resource-concerns/soil/contacts.For new users of Grants.gov, see Section D. of the full Notice of Funding Opportunity for information about steps required before submitting an application via Grants.gov.Key DatesApplicants must submit their applications via Grants.gov by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on July 8, 2024. For technical issues with Grants.gov, contact Grants.gov Applicant Support at 1-800-518-4726 or support@grants.gov. Awarding agency staff cannot support applicants regarding Grants.gov accounts.For inquiries specific to the content of the NFO requirements, contact the federal awarding agency contact (section G of this NFO). Please limit questions to those regarding specific information contained in this NFO (such as dates, page numbers, clarification of discrepancies, etc.). Questions related to eligibility, or the merits of a specific proposal will not be addressed.The agency anticipates making selections by July 22, 2024, and expects to execute awards by September 30, 2024. These dates are estimates and are subject to change.Federal Funding Floor and Ceiling AmountsThe estimated funding floor for this opportunity is $50,000, and the estimated funding ceiling is $500,000. The funding floor means the minimum agreement funding amount for the Federal share per agreement awarded. The ceiling is the maximum agreement funding amount for the Federal share per agreement awarded. These numbers refer to the total agreement amount, not any specific budget period.Federal Financial Assistance TrainingThe funding available through this NFO is Federal financial assistance. Grants 101 Training is highly recommended for those seeking knowledge about Federal financial assistance. The training is free and available to the public via https://www.cfo.gov/resources/federal-financial-assistance-training/. It consists of five modules covering each of the following topics: 1) laws, regulations, and guidance; 2) financial assistance mechanisms; 3) uniform guidance administrative requirements; 4) cost principles; and 5) risk management and single audit. FPAC agencies also apply Federal financial assistance regulations to certain non-assistance awards (e.g., non-assistance cooperative agreements).

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