iPIPE Cooperative Agricultural Project (CAP) announces grant opportunity

Integrated Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education (iPiPE)
Cooperative Agricultural Project (CAP)
Request for Year 3 Crop-Pest Program Statement of Interest
Deadline: April 29, 2016 iPIPE logo

Background.  Food security is best served by a national infrastructure of private and public professionals who routinely monitor crop health and pest incidence then translate this knowledge to a shared platform enabling rapid dissemination of mitigation measures to limit crop loss. The iPiPE CAP, funded by a 2015 USDA AFRI 5-yr $7 million grant, provides such an infrastructure with cyberage tools, information products and expert commentary for detection and management of new, foreign, or emerging target pests and endemic pests that threaten U.S. crops. By categorizing pests, data, and users, it enables sharing pest observations while protecting privacy of individuals, companies, and government agencies. iPiPE Crop-Pest Programs (CPPs) incentivize growers and consultants to submit observations on target and endemic pests by providing tools and information for timely management decisions. Coordinated by extension professionals from across the nation, CPPs address a variety of crops and pests and provide undergraduate students with hands-on extension and diagnostic experiences. Risk-based research helps prioritize detection efforts for target pests and direct in-field scouting for endemic pests. Observations housed in a national pest observation depository enable future research using geographically extensive, multi-year databases. Details of the iPiPE CAP proposal and current iPiPE CPPs can be found at this website.. The outputs and outcomes from Year 1 created by the first cohort of CPPs is posted on this website and should be of special interest to applicants.

Request for new iPiPE Crop-Pest Programs (CPPs) for 2017.  The iPiPE CAP will fund seven new CPPs in 2017. We are seeking Extension professionals to coordinate CPP extension and education activities. The CAP will provide approximately $40,000/yr in 2017 and 2018 to each CPP Coordinator to conduct program activities focused on engaging stakeholders to submit pest observations and mentoring undergraduate student interns.  No cost extensions may be available for the subsequent year.  The CPP grant application process involves two steps: (i) submitting a 1-2 page Statement of Interest and (ii) adapting Plan of Work and Budget template documents provided by the iPiPE CAP PDs to fit the needs of the proposed CPP.  The first step does not require the involvement of your institution and thus is designed to be accomplished quickly. Only individuals selected to lead 2017 iPiPE CPPs will be asked to complete the second step.

 Responsibilities of iPiPE CPP Coordinators and their undergraduate student interns.  Crop-Pest Programs have three types of participants: Program Coordinators (Extension professionals overseeing activities and submitting observations); undergraduate student summer interns; and stakeholders who submit observations. Program Coordinators: (i) select and mentor two undergraduate summer interns each year; (ii) engage other stakeholders (including other Extension specialists) to use the iPiPE; (iii) update or create new pest management guidelines and commentaries as warranted. Program, and (iv) work with support staff from the IPM Institute to develop IPM Elements for their CPP. Coordinators must agree to attend the iPiPE Participant Mixer (iPMx) which is held on a Tuesday and Wednesday Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, 2017.  Undergraduate interns, with Program Coordinator mentoring, monitor daily pest observations submitted to the iPiPE and help develop and disseminate extension materials to stakeholders participating in Crop-Pest Programs. When not occupied by their iPiPE responsibilities, interns assist in local plant diagnostic laboratories (e.g. NPDN) to gain hands-on experience diagnosing plant diseases, weeds, and/or damage from insect pests. They also work to maintain electronic databases, contributing to the diagnostic laboratory’s mission. The funds supplied to CPP Coordinators by the iPiPE CAP are to pay undergraduate student intern summer wages, compensate Coordinators for their participation, and support the stakeholder engagement and student education activities described above.

Procedure for Submitting an iPiPE CPP Statement of Interest.  Extension professionals who are interested in Coordinating a CPP are required to submit their name, title, institution, email address, expected collaborators if any and description of the proposed CPP by 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on April 29, 2016 using the Southern IPM Center’s online submission system at http://projects.ipmcenters.org/Southern/public/ViewRFA.cfm?rfaid=87. Applicants are strongly encouraged to first read the “mission” and “rationale” sections of the iPiPE CAP proposal and the outputs and outcomes of CPPs from 2015 posted on the iPiPE Outreach website, explore the interactive IPM Element, and the new Extension Public website (may not have much/any content this early in the 2016 season). These websites can be reached via the iPiPE Portal (www.ipipe.org).

Description of the proposed CPP:
Target or key pest(s):
Crop and IPM situation:
Include information on the geographic scope of the project, importance of the crop (such as approximate acres, number of farms, crop value, etc.), and current IPM challenges especially as affected by target pest(s), etc.

Goals of the CPP project:
In broad terms, discuss how an iPiPE CPP program could contribute to solving the IPM challenges in this crop, and any broader implications (e.g. positive impact on rotational crops, potential economic, environmental or health benefits, etc.)

Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact 2015 CPP Coordinators.  The Statement of Interest should be a single-spaced pdf document in 12 point font, at least 1-inch margins on all sides and between one and two pages in length.

Timeline for 2017 CPP selection.  The 2017 CPPs will be selected by a panel composed of the iPiPE PDs and the four Regional IPM Center Directors during the second week of May 2016.  Successful applicants will be notified during the third week in May.  The grant application templates will be provided to the selected CPP Coordinators shortly thereafter to be modified and resubmitted to Co-PD VanKirk by May 27, 2016.  If seven applications are not judged worthy of funding by the panel in May 2016, a second request for new iPiPE Crop-Pest Programs (CPPs) will be issued during August 2016.

The Year 3 iPiPE funding cycle is expected to run on an annual basis from March 1 through Feb. 28th.

Prospective applicants should feel free to contact their regional IPM Center Director, iPiPE CAP Co-PD Scott Isard (sai10@psu.edu) or Co-PD Jim VanKirk (jim@sripmc.org) for answers to questions regarding iPiPE CPPs and the application process.

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