A FREP request for proposals (RFP) is released each year, and invites researchers and educators to propose nutrient management research and education projects. The proposals undergo a rigorous selection process by scientific and technical experts, and the approved proposals receive FREP grants. Here is how the grant process works:
FREP grants are funded by mill assessments on the sales of fertilizing materials. FREP asks for two-page concept proposals, which are reviewed by the Fertilizer Inspection Advisory Board’s (FIAB) Technical Advisory SubCommittee (TASC), a diverse group of experts in California agriculture. TASC determines which submissions will be invited to the second phase: full proposals.
FREP sometimes also releases a Special RFP for issues that require special attention. In this case, the process begins with submission of full proposals.
A full proposal is limited to 15 pages, plus supporting documents. Full proposals are evaluated by peer reviewers, who are independent subject matter experts. They provide commentary to TASC, and TASC recommends projects for funding.
For the next step, FIAB (a group that advises the Secretary on fertilizer matters) approves or disapproves of TASC-recommended projects. The Secretary reviews the recommendations by FIAB. Upon her approval, the grants for the selected projects are initiated.
In this year’s grant cycle, the RFP was released on December 1, 2016, and concept proposals are due by 5 pm on January 31, 2017.