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Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program

Program Descriptions

Program Number



Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program


Federal Agency




Section 1668, Public Law 101-624, as amended.






To carry out risk assessment and risk management research focused on environmental effects of agricultural biotechnology.


Types of Assistance

Project Grants.


Uses and Use Restrictions

Grant funds must be used for allowable costs necessary to conduct approved research objectives. Funds may not be used for purposes other than those approved in the grant award documents.


Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Any public or private research or educational institution or organization.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Any public or private research or educational institution or organization.




Application and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

All proposal solicitations are published on the Agency's Web site. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Application Procedure

Pre-proposals and/or formal proposals, as outlined in the solicitation, should be submitted to the Proposal Services Unit, Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES). Application procedures are contained in the Research Grant Application Kit. This program is subject to the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-110 and the administrative Provisions for the Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program, 7 CFR 3415.

Award Procedure

Proposals are reviewed by a peer panel of qualified scientists and other appropriate persons who are specialists in the field covered by the proposal.


Proposals are funded in order of merit to the extent permitted by available funds. Specific deadline dates are announced in the request for application or guidelines for each fiscal year.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From four to six months.





Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements


Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

From one to five years.


Post Assistance Requirements


Quarterly financial reports, annual progress reports, and final financial and final summary progress reports.


Audits will be conducted in accordance with guidelines established in the revised OMB Circular No. A-133, "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," and implemented in 7 CFR Part 3052, "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations."


Grantees are expected to maintain separate records for each grant to ensure that funds are used for the purpose for which the grant was made. Records are subject to inspections during the life of the grant and for three years thereafter.


Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $1,685,400; FY 08 est $1,685,400; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$50,220 to $223,269. Average: $147,583.


Program Accomplishments

It is anticipated that funded projects will advance the safe application of biotechnology to agriculture.


Regulations, Guidelines and Literature

7 CFR 3415, Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program Administrative Provisions, and regulations referenced therein (e.g., 7 CFR 3015, 3016, 3017, 3018, 3019 and 3407).


Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Deputy Administrator, Competitive Programs, Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250. Telephone: (202) 401-1761.

Web Site Address


Related Programs

10.001, Agricultural Research-Basic And Applied Research
10.200, Grants For Agricultural Research, Special Research Grants
10.202, Cooperative Forestry Research
10.203, Payments To Agricultural Experiment Stations Under The Hatch Act
10.206, Grants For Agricultural Research - Competitive Research Grants
10.207, Animal Health And Disease Research
10.250, Agricultural And Rural Economic Research
10.652, Forestry Research


Examples of Funded Projects

Factors Affecting Crop Gene Flow and Introgression into Natural Populations; Transgenic Fish; Testing Models to Assess Risk; Risk Assessment of a Recombinant Baculovirus Expressing a Protease; The Hazard of Pest Evolution: Accuracy and Precision of Genetic Risk Assessments; Assessing Risk of Bt Corn to Nontarget Soil Arthropods: Direct and Indirect Effects.


Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Within guidelines established for the program, criteria include: Overall scientific and technological quality of proposal; research competence of the principal investigator(s), research team and support personnel; adequacy of facilities, equipment, and related program support; justification of support requested in relation to objectives and procedures; feasibility of attaining objectives during life of proposed research; awareness of published literature and current research related to proposed research; relevance of importance of proposed research to solution of specific areas of inquiry; and estimate of expected benefits.


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