2017 Request for Proposals


The Michigan Alliance for Animal Agriculture (M-AAA) announces a request for proposals for funding for research and extension programs to enhance Michigan Animal Agriculture. The M-AAA is a partnership between the Michigan animal agriculture industries, the Michigan State University (MSU) College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, MSU College of Veterinary Medicine, MSU AgBioResearch and MSU Extension focused on advancement of the Michigan animal agriculture economy.

We are pleased to announce a major expansion of the M-AAA grants program with ~ $1.6 million in available funding for the 2017 grant cycle. This expansion is made possible through contributions provided by the Michigan legislature and the Michigan Milk Producer’s Association in addition to base funding provided by MSU partners.

All proposals must address critical needs relevant to Michigan’s Animal Agriculture Industries and are requested in the following funding categories

  • Applied Research
  • Extension
  • Seed Grants

Elwood Kirkpatrick Dairy Research Fund

As part of the M-AAA grants program, the Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) is providing up to $100,000 in a one-time additional support for research and extension activities relevant to dairy industry priorities in the 2017 grant cycle. Meritorious dairy proposals selected for funding through M-AAA will be reviewed by the MMPA and selected to receive additional funding. The MMPA funds are primarily from MMPA’s Applied Research Fund with a portion of the funds coming from the Elwood Kirkpatrick Dairy Research Fund. A budget addendum describing use of additional funds will be requested after award decisions are made.


Principal Investigators must be employed by Michigan State University. There are no restrictions on employment status of other team members.

Previous Year Proposals

Researchers who submitted proposals in the previous funding cycle, but were not selected for funding are eligible to resubmit, but the revised proposal must include a brief response to reviewer concerns and description of corresponding changes to the proposal. Proposals that were funded in last year’s funding cycle are not eligible for renewal, but a progress report will be required if competing for 2017 funding.


  • June 27, 2016 - Call for proposals released
  • Sept. 15, 2016 - Proposals due
  • Oct. 28, 2016 - Progress reports due for 2016 M-AAA grant awardees
  • Nov. 30, 2016 - Notification of awards
  • Jan. 1, 2017 - Project funds available
  • Dec. 31, 2017 - Termination date for one-year projects
  • Dec. 31, 2018 - Termination date for two-year projects

All funds awarded are to be spent by termination date. Requests for a single extension of remaining funding for up to 3 months must provide significant justification for delay in progress on funded Applied Research or Extension projects. Extensions are not automatic, and will be evaluated on a case by case basis by the associate director of MSU AgBioResearch or a designate. Any funds remaining upon final project termination date will be returned. Seed Grants are not eligible for extension beyond initial termination date.

Industry Priorities

All proposals must clearly note how proposed activities will benefit Michigan Animal Agriculture, with particular emphasis on projects consistent with stated annual priorities of Michigan Animal Agriculture Commodity groups (Appendix 1). All proposals must deliver tangible results within defined time frame.

Funding Categories

All proposals must articulate the following to be considered for funding:

  • Applied research
    • Relevance to animal agriculture industry priorities
    • Technical merit and feasibility
    • Means by which proposed activities will enhance commodity specific or overall animal agriculture industry
    • Long-term benefits to MI animal agriculture
    • Plans for dissemination of information to relevant commodity groups
  • Extension
    • Relevance to animal agriculture industry priorities
    • Technical merit and feasibility
    • Current/future need for proposed activities
    • How proposed programming will enhance commodity specific or overall animal agriculture industries
  • Seed funding
    • Relevance of research area to animal agriculture
    • Technical merit and feasibility
    • How proposed activities will advance development of highly competitive extramural grant proposal
    • Timeline, target funding agency and program for future extramural proposal submission

Funding Scope and Guidelines

Applied research projects can be proposed for a one- or two-year duration with maximum budget of $75,000 per year or $150,000 total (two-year project). Extension ($30,000 maximum budget) and seed grant ($25,000 maximum budget) projects are limited to one-year duration.

Proposal Evaluation Criteria

A panel manager will be designated by the M-AAA to facilitate the review process. All proposals will be reviewed by a single panel of experts composed of MSU faculty and commodity group representatives. Every effort will be made to identify experts to review proposals who are not also seeking funding via the 2017 program. Inclusion as a project team member on submitted proposal will automatically exclude individual from review of proposals submitted for consideration in the same funding category. Upon completion of review process, proposals will be ranked within category based on above scoring criteria for final funding determination by the M-AAA.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Relevance to animal agriculture industry and annual priorities, potential long-term impact
  • Technical merit and feasibility; investigator qualifications
  • Mechanisms to deliver research information generated to relevant commodity groups
  • Leverage of external and other funding sources; extent of partnering with Michigan animal agriculture industries
  • Plans for future extramural funding and importance of seed funding to future success

2017 Proposal Guidelines

Formatting Guidelines

All proposals should be single spaced using Arial 11 font, 0.5 inch margins and double spacing between paragraphs and must adhere to guidelines for proposal length outlined below. Proposals that fail to adhere to guidelines will be immediately returned without review. All proposals should be submitted as a single pdf document containing components listed below. Note, letters of support are not necessary. Industry support of proposals will be represented by in-kind contributions and matching funds.

Proposal Components*

Note: Items 2-8 cannot exceed three pages in length.

  1. Cover sheet
  2. Problem statement and relevance to industry priorities
  3. Objectives
  4. Approach and feasibility
  5. Anticipated results and impact
  6. Industry partnering (include cost share) and scope
  7. Timeline
  8. Brief response to reviewer concerns and explanation of changes to proposal (revised proposals only)
  9. Budget (Use this form)
  10. Literature cited
  11. Team qualifications (one page vitae for each project member outlining qualifications to complete proposed research or extension activity)

*Researchers should submit their proposals electronically through the MSU e-transmittal system. A transmittal is required for each proposal.