ERIC Number: ED478815
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-May
Reference Count: N/A
Agricultural Research: USDA's Outreach to Minority-Serving Institutions Could Improve Grant Competition. Report to Congressional Requesters.
Nazzaro, Robin M.
The largest grant program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the National Research Initiative (NRI). The General Accounting Office (GAO) was asked by Congress to examine the success of minority-serving institutions in competing for NRI research grants and to identify factors that could improve their success in competing for these grants. Also studied were actions USDA has taken to improve the quantity and quality of grant proposals these institutions submit. GAO interviewed senior administrators at 43 minority-serving institutions that had either applied for an NRI grant between fiscal years 1997 and 2001 or received more than $100,000 from USDA for research, 3 land grant universities, and cognizant USDA officials. GAO found that in 2001, minority-serving institutions competed more successfully for NRI funding than in previous years. Thirty percent of their proposals were awarded, as compared with 13% in fiscal year 2000 and 7% in fiscal year 1997. However, because minority-serving institutions submitted only 46 proposals, they received less than 2% of the NRI funding in fiscal year 2001. Administrators at many minority-serving institutions said they submitted few proposals because their institutions' resources were too limited to allow them to compete with major land grant universities. GAO found that USDA has several initiatives designed to help universities improve the quantity and quality of grant proposals, but these efforts have not substantially benefited many of the minority-serving institutions responding to the study. GAO makes several recommendations to improve USDA outreach. Six appendixes contain supplemental information and study data, along with comments from the USDA. (Contains 10 tables.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Administrators, Agriculture, Colleges, Competition, Financial Support, Grants, Higher Education, Minority Groups, Research
U.S. General Accounting Office, 441 G. Street NW, Room LM, Washington, DC 20548 (first copy free; each additional copy, $2). Tel: 202-512-6000; Fax: 202-512-2537; Web site: http://www.gao.gov.
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC.