NIFA Update Feb. 21

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

NIFA Update Banner

Editor: Kelly Sprute                                                                                         Feb. 21, 2018

Making a Difference

Improving Protective Equipment  image


Improving Protective Equipment for Hazardous Occupations

Firefighters, police officers, military personnel, healthcare professionals, pesticide handlers, and many others perform their jobs in hazardous environments. Though these workers wear protective gear, it is often poorly ventilated, bulky, and difficult to get on and off, impeding performance and causing injuries. Improving protective gear is key to keeping workers, and the citizens who depend on them, safe.

Scientists at land-grant universities across the United States are working together to improve protective gear. Through collaboration, researchers are able to draw on each other’s expertise, make the most of limited resources like cutting-edge tools, gather and compare data from more populations, and make significant advances. Over the last five years, group members developed reliable ways to use body scan and motion capture technology to evaluate gear issues for firefighters, mountain rescue workers, and pesticide handlers. Colorado State University used these tools to identify apparel and footwear needs for physically disabled and overweight people. Other researchers developed state-of-the-art textiles and sensors for innovative protective gear. The group’s work has led to new international standards and size and fit guidelines for enhanced safety, comfort, and performance. Read the full Multistate Research Fund Impacts article.

Pictured top left going counter clockwise: Different levels of protection provided by an NC170 researcher at University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Second image, iStock firefighters. Third image, iStock hazmat suit. Fourth image, NC170_female military armor photo taken by Dave Kamm of NRSDEC. The use of this image is not an endorsement from the US Army or DOD.


minority college student

HSI Informational Webinar

NIFA will be holding a Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants Program (HSI) informational webinar Feb. 27 providing information regarding the program’s Fiscal Year 2018 Request for Applications. If you have any questions, contact Dr. Irma Lawrence, national program leader. Please join us!

  • Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 1:30 p.m. (EST)
  • WebEx Link
  • Meeting number: 960 103 786
  • Call-in Number: 1-888-844-9904
  • Conference Access Code: 3489410 


FCCLA officers visiting NIFA

NIFA’s Division of Family & Consumers Sciences recently hosted the national officers of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. They met with NIFA staff and leadership to discuss the national program and their own aspirations. 

News for You

Northeastern food market

New collection of papers explores Northeast United States Food System, Community Engagement, and Citizens’ Perceptions of “Regional Foods”

For seven years a multidisciplinary team of researchers has explored the extent to which a more robust regional food system in the Northeastern United States could improve food access in low-income communities and improve the long-term food security of the entire Northeast. Now, in an initial collection of three papers published in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, team members have summarized some of their findings. Read the recently published papers online at Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences

NASA education image

NASA Internships and Fellowships

NASA Internships and Fellowships provide students access to a portfolio of opportunities offered agency wide. The online application for NASA Internships and Fellowships enables students to easily access, register and complete the application, as well as search and apply for up to 15 opportunities. A completed application places the student in the applicant pool for consideration by all NASA mentors.The preferred audience is: high school, undergraduate, and graduate students. The application deadline is: March 1Visit the Nasa Internships and Fellowships for more information.  

RFA Grant and Award Announcements

NIFA Announces Support for Improved Farm Management

NIFA announced support to improve farm management knowledge and skills of agricultural producers. Funding is made through NIFA’s Farm Business Management and Benchmarking Competitive Grants Program (FBMB), which aims to establish and maintain a national, publicly available farm financial management database to support improved farm management.

FBMB supports improved farm management for producers of a variety of crops and livestock and the establishment, or expansion, of collaborative farm management and producer association partnerships. Read the full request for applications announcement.

NIFA Announces Support to Improve Community-based Programs for at risk Children, Youth, and Families

NIFA announced support to equip at-risk children, youth, and families with the skills they need to lead positive, productive, and contributing lives. Funding is made through NIFA’s Children, Youth, and Families at risk Sustainable Community Projects (CYFAR SCP) program.

CYFAR program marshals resources of the Land-grant and Cooperative Extension Systems (CES) so that, in collaboration with other organizations, they develop and deliver educational curricula. The purpose of the program is to improve the quality and quantity of comprehensive community-based programs for at-risk communities supported by the CES. Examples of at-risk communities include those with children and families coping with military deployments, violence, obesity, poverty and poor school achievement, and other critical issues. Read the full request for applications announcement.