FAEIS-EP116913  Capacity Grants - 1997 Program Summary

                          1890 INSTITUTION TEACHING AND RESEARCH 
                             CAPACITY BUILDING GRANTS PROGRAM
                                      ANNUAL SUMMARY

                                          FY 1997

                                 Higher Education Programs  
                         Science and Education Resources Development
                 Cooperative State Research, Education,and Extension Service
                               U.S. Department of Agriculture

                                         JULY 1997




The 1890 Institution Teaching and Research Capacity Building Grants Program was
launched in FY 1990 to achieve three major goals:  (1) to strengthen linkages among
the 1890 institutions, other colleges and universities, the U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA), and private industry; (2) to advance cultural diversity of the
food and agricultural scientific and professional work force by attracting and
educating more students from underrepresented groups; and (3) to enhance the
quality of teaching and research programs at the 1890 institutions to more readily
establish them as full partners in the U.S. food and agricultural sciences higher
education system.  It is designed to be a high impact program and is unique in that
it is the only Federal initiative targeted specifically towards strengthening the
quality of programs in the food and agricultural sciences at the historically black
land-grant institutions.

The 1890 land-grant institutions and Tuskegee University are uniquely qualified to
contribute to the cultural diversity of the food and agricultural scientific and
professional work force.  Founded to provide mainstream educational opportunities
in many disciplines to the black community while promoting respect for cultural
diversity, these colleges and universities today enroll and educate not only
African-American students, but Asian, Hispanic, and other American and
international students.   Similarly, their faculty represent a diverse array of
ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

Now in its eighth year, the Capacity Building Grants Program has achieved notable
success.   It is attributed priority status by the USDA/1890 Task Force appointed
by the Secretary of Agriculture.

The Capacity Building Grants Program is administered by the Higher Education
Programs office in the Science and Education Resources Development division of the
Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service.  This program is
competitive in nature and provides support to the 1890 Institutions and Tuskegee
University for teaching and research projects in targeted high-priority areas.  It
encourages matching support from non-Federal sources and also requires cooperation
with one or more USDA agency(ies) in developing a proposal and carrying out a
project, thereby strengthening departmental partnerships and linkages with these
important minority institutions.

The projects funded during the first seven years of the program are well underway
at all of the recipient institutions.  Research projects are focusing on such areas
as biotechnology, human nutrition, aquaculture, plant science, and animal science. 
Teaching projects are addressing innovative student recruitment, educational
delivery systems, and curricula enhancement strategies in such areas as
agribusiness management and marketing, regulatory sciences, plant and soil
sciences, and veterinary science.


In FY 1997, $9,200,000 were appropriated for the eighth year of the program.  Of
the $9,200,000 available, $4,439,510 were allocated to support 23 teaching projects
and $4,324,300 million were allocated to support 16 research projects.  Awards were
made to 16 of the 17 1890 land-grant institutions and Tuskegee University. 
Targeted need areas for teaching projects included curricula design and materials
development, faculty preparation and enhancement, instruction delivery systems,
student experiential learning, scientific  instrumentation for teaching, and
student recruitment and retention within the fields of agriculture, natural
resources, forestry, veterinary medicine, family and consumer sciences, and closely
allied disciplines.  Research areas included studies and experimentation in the
food and agricultural sciences, establishment of centralized research support
systems, and development of improved technology delivery systems for producers and
consumers in the food and agricultural sciences network.

One hundred and seventy-six (176) proposals were received in FY 1997 representing a
total funding request of approximately $43 million.  These included 108 research
proposals and 68 teaching proposals.  Grant applications were reviewed by a peer
review panel comprised of 50 experts representing university educators and research
scientists, Federal Government professionals and individuals from the private
sector who possessed outstanding expertise in the food and agricultural sciences as
well as comprehensive knowledge of the 1890 university system.  

To ensure the highest quality of management in carrying out the Capacity Building
Grants Program, a full-time National Program Leader within the Higher Education
Programs office is assigned to manage the program.  The incumbent serves as a
member of the Executive Team of the USDA/1890 Task Force.  Additionally, the
National Program Leader is in constant contact with  representatives appointed by
different USDA agencies to work with the 1890 Institutions and Tuskegee University
in developing proposals and in carrying out funded projects.   Grant applications
in FY 1997 revealed that the 1890 institutions have made significant progress in
strengthening proposal development and grantsmanship skills since the previous
year.   This is important as the Department of Agriculture endeavors to assist
these institutions in becoming more competitive with all other colleges and
universities for other sources of support.  Nine USDA agencies (see attached list)
will serve as cooperators on the 39 funded projects.  

Source:  Higher Education Programs / Cooperative State Research, Education and 
         Extension Service / Science and Education Resources Development / 
         U.S. Department of Agriculture