The Small Fruits Industry Consortium’s (SFIC) Liaison Committee members travel to DC annually to meet with the PNW Congressional delegates, USDA NIFA and USDA ARS. The committee provides updates on the Center's research program as well as discusses future research funding needs for the small fruits industry. USDA ARS provides the current funding for the Center’s scientists, the Small Fruits Initiative, and research grants/cooperative agreements.
Funds appropriated to ARS are generally part of a recurring base budget. The Center operates under the expectation that each year approximately the same amount of funds as the previous year will be received from USDA to support the Center. Research project funding is made on an annual basis, generally with a three year horizon for full development of projects.
The Center solicits and receives proposals from small fruit crop researchers of the Ag experiment stations of Oregon, Idaho and Washington; USDA-ARS and other research organizations and institutions. The Center seeks proposals in the following areas: Genetics, Production/Physiology, Pest Management, Wine Processing, and Berry/Grape Processing. Typically, the RFA is mailed in June, proposals are due at the end of August and are submitted to the Center’s administrative office.
The Center currently funds projects for up to $35,000 for one year. Projects may receive funding for a period of up to three years upon successful review of annual proposals. If a multi-year project is funded for one year, there is no guarantee that funds will be available for subsequent years. Considerations for funding renewal are based in part on an evaluation of the quality and quantity of research progress and availability of funds. In some years, highly-ranked proposals have received funding for more than one year, with multi-year funding released in the first year.
Request for Applications (RFA) for small fruit research follow this annual time line:
Research priorities set Annual Conference*
- RFA’s mailed out to small fruit researchers and department heads - June 1
- Deadline for researchers to submit applications - - August*
- Peer review process - October/November*
- Preliminary decisions/announcement made on applications GMC at Annual Conference*
- Final decisions/announcement made on applications - Mid December*
- Funding available on approved projects (for more information contact your Experiment Station Director) - Late Spring/Summer*
- Research progress or final reports/abstracts for Pre-proceedings due Mid-October*
- Research progress or final reports for Annual Proceedings due Mid-October*
- Research progress or final report/oral presentations for conference - November/December*
* Date to be announced annually