2019 Request for Proposals


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

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

Michigan Milk Producer’s Association (MMPA) Applied Dairy Research Fund

As part of the M-AAA grant program, MMPA through their Applied Dairy Research Fund will provide additional funding of up to $50,000 as support for research and extension activities relevant to dairy industry priorities in the 2018 grant cycle. Meritorious dairy proposals selected for funding through M-AAA will be reviewed by the MMPA and selected to receive additional funding. The additional funding is being made available through MMPA’s Applied Research in combination with the Elwood Kirkpatrick Dairy Science Research fund. A brief description of additional research activity to be conducted under this project and a budget addendum describing use of additional funds will be requested after award decisions are made.

Workforce Development

The M-AAA would like to encourage submission of proposals for the 2019 grant cycle that address workforce development, a stated priority of several M-AAA stakeholders. Such workforce development oriented proposals should utilize this grant process to fund research, education/training and technical assistance efforts focused on removing barriers and leveraging opportunities identified by processors, agribusiness, and those in agriculture production as critical to business development and growth.


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.


  • June 2018 - Call for proposals released
  • Sept. 10, 2018 - Proposals due by 5 p.m.
  • Dec. 14, 2018 - Notification of awards
  • Feb. 1, 2019 - Project funds available
  • Jan. 31, 2020 - Termination date for one-year projects
  • Jan. 31, 2021 - Termination date for two-year projects

All funds awarded are to be spent by termination date. Requests for a single no-cost 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 to M-AAA. Seed grants are not eligible for extension beyond initial termination date.

Program Changes for 2019

There will be two live-interactive webinars focused on the M-AAA grants program that potential applicants are encouraged to watch. Webinars will focus on changes to the grants program and areas of emphasis in evaluation for 2019 and tips for preparation of a competitive proposal. The first webinar will be held on July 17, 2018 from 10:00-11:00 am and the second will be held August 28, 2018 from 10:00-11:00 am. Please use this URL to join the webinar. https://msu.zoom.us/j/530621446

Industry Priorities

All proposals must clearly note how proposed activities will benefit Michigan Animal Agriculture and Michigan's economy, with particular emphasis on projects consistent with stated annual priorities of Michigan Animal Agriculture Commodity groups. All proposals must deliver tangible results within defined time frame.Applicants are encouraged to contact M-AAA industry stakeholder representatives denoted below to discuss proposed activities, relationship to stated priorities and potential sources of support for proposal.

Funding Categories

In previous funding cycles, there has been a lack of attention (in numerous proposals) placed on clear description of industry relevance of research proposed. Proposals must clearly state the potential benefits (economic or societal) of proposed research to targeted commodity group(s) and or animal agriculture industries in general. There has also been insufficient attention given to plans for dissemination of project results to relevant commodity groups. Communication of results to scientific community via traditional journal articles alone is insufficient. Failure to communicate in proposal specific plans for dissemination of results to the larger industry audience in Michigan will result in disqualification of proposal from funding consideration.

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
    • Utilization of a team of campus and field-based personnel, as feasible
    • Technical merit and feasibility
    • Current/future need for proposed activities
    • How proposed programming will enhance commodity specific or overall animal agriculture industries

Partnerships between campus and field based Extension personnel are critical to maximization of impact of MAAA supported Extension activities. Demonstration of such partnering in development and execution of proposed activities is highly encouraged and will be given strong consideration in context of funding decisions.

  • 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).
  • Seed grant ($25,000 maximum budget) projects are limited to one-year duration.

Proposal Evaluation Criteria

All proposals will be reviewed by a group 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 2019 program. Inclusion as a project team member on submitted proposal will automatically exclude such 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

Reporting guidelines for funded projects will be clearly articulated at award notification and upon account establishment. Strict adherence to reporting guidelines throughout and after project termination is required to promote accessibility of project goals and impacts to stakeholders and promote long-term sustainability of program funding.

All funds awarded are to be spent by termination date. Requests for a single no-cost 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 to M-AAA. Seed Grants are not eligible for extension beyond initial termination date.

2019 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. Project summary provided in the proposal at time of submission must be written in lay terms familiar to individuals outside of the field and appropriate for industry use and promotion of M-AAA grants program. 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 (first page of whole proposal; proposal summary must be in lay terms appropriate for industry audience)
  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. Brief budget justification
  11. Literature cited
  12. Team qualifications (one page vitae for each project member outlining qualifications to complete proposed research or extension activity)

Submission Guidelines

*Researchers should submit their proposals electronically, through MSU’s Research Administration system. A proposal development document is required for each proposal and for submission into the M-AAA database.

2019 New Submission Process:
  1. Go to ebs.msu.edu using your MSU NetID and password.
  2. Click on Research Administration, then “Create Proposal”. Once submitted you will receive an app#. You will need this number for the next step.
  3. Go to http://web2.msue.msu.edu/AgBioResearchGrants/.
  4. Under Competitive Grants Program (login required) click on Michigan Alliance for Animal Agriculture.
  5. This will take you to ABR Competitive Grant System-Login, click on “MSU NetID Login” button and login with your MSU NetID and password. (This needs to be executed by the lead P.I.)
  6. On left green bar click on “Proposal Information Sheet View/Submit” Fill in the fields. All mandatory fields have a red asterisk. Click SUBMIT once completed. This will assign you an AA19-XXX number.
  7. Next click on “Proposal View/Approve”. Click on the assigned number AA19-XXX. Scroll down and you will see the section where you are able to upload your proposal and letters of support. These must be in PDF format. Click submit or the system will not accept your upload.
  8. You should receive a system generated response acknowledging your submission.
  9. Any questions or issues please call Carolyn Adams at 517-884-7895 or email adamsca@msu.edu.