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USDA Formula Funds Grants


More information to be posted soon.


The scope of the research that may be conducted with USDA Animal Health Research funds is quite broad. It includes research to promote the general welfare through improved health and productivity of domestic livestock, poultry, aquatic animals, and other income-producing animals which are essential to the nation's food supply and the welfare of producers and consumers of animal products; to improve the health of horses; to facilitate the effective treatment of, and where possible, prevent, diseases in both domesticated and wild species which, if not controlled, would be disastrous to the United States animal industries and endanger the nation's food supply; to minimize livestock and poultry losses due to transportation and handling; to protect human health through control of animal diseases transmissible to humans; to improve methods of controlling the birth of predators and other animals; and otherwise to promote the general welfare through expanded programs of research and extension to improve animal health.

Animal Health Research comprises basic and applied studies on infectious and noninfectious agents that impair the normal state of the living animal body and/or that affect the performance of vital functions. This includes research to improve the health of domestic livestock, poultry, aquatic animals and other income-producing animals and to facilitate the effective prevention of diseases in both domesticated and wild animals, which, if not controlled, would endanger the livestock and poultry industries.

Also included is research to minimize transportation and handling losses; monitor the suitability of animals and animal products for human use; protect public health through control of animal diseases transmissible to humans and improve methods of controlling the birth of predators.

Studies are classified as Animal Health Research if the studies relate directly to the health of a target livestock, poultry or aquatic animal species and includes laboratory studies, research on animal care as it relates to livestock health and well-being, investigations of metabolic diseases and reproductive diseases including endocrine dysfunctions such as anestrus. Application of molecular biology to animal health problems is included.


1- The PI must be a faculty member or research scientist (P17 or higher) with a regular appointment at the Veterinary College of Medicine. However, faculty members in other colleges, graduate students, post-docs, or any other qualified researcher are permitted and encouraged to serve as a Co-PI or collaborator.

2- Although an individual may be an investigator on up to three proposals to this program, an individual can serve as PI on only one. Thus, the same individual may be a PI on one and a co-investigator on two proposals or a co-investigator on three and a PI on none.

3- PIs that have current HLI projects or Formula Funds are not eligible.

Amount of Funding

Approximately $20,000 limit per year and can be continued for a second year based upon productivity and subject to availability of funds.


Research in nutrition, if no disease is produced or under study, is not included in Animal Health Research. Research on reproductive biology per se is not included. Research to improve performance is not included except as it relates to improved health. When these guidelines do not suffice, the test applied for inclusion as Animal Health Research is as follows: Is a lesion produced? This lesion may be morphological or biochemical in nature. The Animal Health and Disease Research Program (Section 1433) was enacted to address health and disease problems that exist pre-slaughter or pre-collection of animal products (pre-harvest). So-called "post-harvest" problems (post-slaughter or post-collection) of animal products are not included even though these are extremely important and closely related to pre-harvest problems.

CVM Funding Policy

The CVM funding policy is to use USDA Formula funds as seed money to gain preliminary data that would enhance our ability to compete for extramural grants. Grants are funded for a two to three year period based on the priority ranking of the proposal by the CVM Research Advisory Committee, programmatic needs, and the availability of funds. Funded projects must show satisfactory progress and evidence of submission of extramural grants for continuation during the approved time period. The USDA must approve all new projects before funding can begin.

Review Policy

A subcommittee of the Research Advisory Committee will review the proposals and funding recommendations will be made to the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education. The USDA requires stakeholder input on the use of Formula Funds. To comply with this requirement, members of the Iowa Livestock Health Advisory Council will also review the proposals.

Review Procedures

Each proposal will be reviewed by two reviewers, who will be requested to provide written evaluations of the assigned proposals according to the review criteria. The reviewers are requested to attend the panel meeting to discuss and rank each proposal. The panel meeting is currently necessary for determining the distribution of USDA Formula Funds. To improve the quality and efficiency of the review procedure, at the time of submission each PI is now required to suggest two potential "ad hoc" reviewers who are ISU faculty members or research scientists (P17 or higher) and have expertise in the subject area. At the discretion of the Research Advisory Committee, one or both of the suggested reviewers will be used for reviewing each proposal.

Review Criteria

Significance. Does this study address an important problem that is relevant to the funding program?

Approach. Are the conceptual or clinical framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well reasoned, and and appropriate to the aims of the project? Does the project have a reasonable chance to succeed?

Innovation. Is the project original and innovative? For example: Does it challenge existing paradigms or clinical practice or address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to progress in the field? Does the project develop or use novel concepts, approaches methods, tools, or technologies?

Potential for External Funding. Does the project have the potential for external funding? Is the plan for seeking extramural funds clearly described?

Evidence of Progress (continuing projects only). as satisfactory progress been made in the previous year? Have efforts been made for seeking extramural funding? If not, is the delay justified?

New Proposals

Title Page  Example Title Page

Project Summary – 200 to 300 words, including summary of objective(s) and approach(s) on a separate page.

Body of Proposal – maximum of five pages, single-spaced

  1. Significance of research
  2. Review of literature
  3. Objectives and hypothesis (Testable Hypothesis)
  4. Plan of work -- approach, methodologies and timetable
  5. Previous work of investigator(s) related to this proposal
  6. Plan and timetable for extramural grant submissions -- list funding agency and time of grant submission.

It is expected that grants will be submitted during the first year, not after two to three years.


Biographical Sketch

Single Column Budget – Provide a budget justification on a separate page.

Guidelines for Continuation Proposals

Title Page

Project Summary

Brief Statement of the Problem

Progress Report

  1. Objectives for the year
  2. Summarize experiments performed, results and any special problems encountered, two to three single-spaced pages.
  3. Accomplishments
  4. Current and pending support: title, source, amount requested/awarded
  5. Related extramural grants submitted: title, amount requested, funding agency
  6. Publications and presentations

Research Plan for Upcoming Year

  1. Objectives including specific aims to be addressed
  2. Experimental approach -- two pages
  3. Significance -- one page
  4. Plan for extramural grant submission, name of agency, and date of submission

Single-Column Budget with a budget justification on a separate page

Termination Report

Please follow outline listed below:

What is the format for termination reports?

There are four separate parts to the termination research report. These are:

  1. Cover sheet
  2. Industry summary
  3. Scientific report
  4. List of presentations made and reports of publications.

This termination report should be styled, not bound. Please submit one hard copy and one electronic copy to the research office at cvmres@iastate.edu.

  1. Cover Sheet This single-page document provides the association with a means of filing and identifying the material. The arrangement of this page should be as follows: Title Investigator(s) Department Date of Completion of Project
  2. Industry Summary (One Page) This is a very important part of your termination report and describes the potential usefulness of the research to the industry. It should briefly explain the conclusions that are drawn from the results. It should include few, if any, scientific tables but an evaluation of potential in terms of economics, increased quality, better performance, etc. Dollar figures are always valuable. The following format should be used with a minimum of technical terminology. This summary is intended for general industry consumption. a. Briefly describe the problem that was studied b. Restate the objectives from the original proposal c. In the same order, state briefly the results achieved toward each objective of the project d. Discuss the impact of the research results for the industry.
  3. Scientific Report The scientific report should be carefully written so as to substantiate the results and be of value to those who may wish to study the details of the experiment. Limit of three page length of this report. The format is shown below. a. Materials and methods used in the study. Should be in sufficient detail to allow for repeatability. If new techniques or tests have been developed as part of the objectives of the project, the specific protocol for the technique or test should be included b. Results and discussion c. Tables and figures (can be inserted into the text where appropriate) d. References
  4. List of Presentations and Publications (Limit One Page) Please list the publications which were a result of this research either entirely or in part by this grant. Reprints would be appreciated when available.

Submit as an e-mail attachment to: cvmres@iastate.edu