2021 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


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

Proposal Resubmission

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 previous funding cycle are not eligible for renewal.


  • Jan. 11, 2021 - Call for proposals released
  • Feb. 1, 2021 - Proposal submission portal open
  • Feb. 15, 2021 - Proposals due by 5 p.m.
  • May 1, 2021 - Notification of awards
  • May 15, 2021 - Project funds available
  • May 15, 2022 - Termination date for one-year projects
  • May 15, 2023 - Termination date for two-year projects

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 and Allied groups that follow. 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 the scientific community via traditional journal articles alone is insufficient. Failure to communicate (in the 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 and be written in clear concise language that is understandable by agriculture and industry stakeholders:

  • 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 and Award 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

All proposals will be reviewed by a group of experts composed of MSU and commodity group representatives. Every effort will be made to identify experts to review proposals who are not also seeking funding via the 2021 program. Inclusion as a project team member on a submitted proposal will automatically exclude such individual from review of proposals submitted for consideration in the same funding category. Upon completion of the review process, proposals will be ranked within category based on the above scoring criteria for final funding determination by the M-AAA.

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 communication 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.

2021 Proposal Guidelines

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 budget form on website)
  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

NEW! Proposals are to be submitted using the new online portal for the M-AAA program. You may access the system at the M-AAA portal tab. For proposal uploads in the new system, please format using 11 pt. Arial font and 0.5-inch margins.

Additionally, a Proposal Development (PD) document must be routed through the MSU Research Administration/Kuali Coeus system.

For any questions or issues, please contact Courtney Peatross at 517-353-1326 or email winansco@msu.edu.