USDA Capacity Animal Health and Disease Program

The scope of the research which may be conducted with AHDR 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 reproduction 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 which impair the normal state of the 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 reproduction 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.

Limits: research in nutrition, if no disease is produced or under study; research on reproductive biology per se is not included; research to improve performance is not included except as it relates to improved health.  The AHDR Program 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 thought these are extremely important and closerly related to pre-harvest problems.  

Deadline for submission of FY 19 proposals will be in spring 2018.  


  • The PI must be a faculty member or research scientist (P37 or higher) with a regular appointment at the ISU College of Veterinary of Medicine. However, faculty members in other colleges, graduate students, postdocs, or any other qualified researcher are permitted and encouraged to serve as co-investigators or collaborators.
  • Researchers may serve as investigators/collaborators on up to two proposals, but as principle investigator on only one.
  • Faculty serving as PI on continuing USDA Capacity Grant or CVM Seed Grant are not eligible to submit a new proposal (i.e one seed grant award per year per PI).
  • Preference will be given to junior (early career) faculty, established faculty changing directions, or projects that foster collaboration between clinical and basic sciences.

Funding Amounts

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


New Proposal Guidelines

Proposals must include the following:

A.  Cover Page (one page)

  1. Project title
  2. Names of investigators/collaborators
  3. Funds requested for the first year ($20,000 maximum)
  4. Duration of project (1 or 2 years)
  5. Signatures of all investigators and respective department chairs; include date signed

B.  Project Summary (one page) a 200- to 300-word summary of the project which includes a statement of the problem, hypothesis to be tested, research plan, and expected results.

C.  Body of Proposal (maximum of six pages, single-spaced) including:

  1. Statement of the problem/hypothesis and objectives/aims
  2. Relevant background information and preliminary data (where available)
  3. Significance and innovation
  4. Plan of work:  approach, methodologies, and timetable
  5. Plan for extramural grant submissions and potential for successfully competing for extramural funding.

D.  References (one page, single-spaced)

E.  Biographical Sketch (maximum of one page for each investigator, single-spaced) including name, title, education (undergraduate, professional, graduate, postdoctoral), research and professional experience, and up to 10 recent publications.

F.  Budget and Budget Justification (one page total; no indirect costs)


Continuation Proposal Guidelines

Proposals must contain the following information:

A. Cover Page (one page)

  1. Project title
  2. Names of investigators/collaborators
  3. Proposal Type: Continuation
  4. Funds requested for the next year ($20,000 maximum)
  5. Overall duration of the project (including starting year)
  6. Signatures of all investigators and respective department chairs; include date signed

B. Project Summary (one page) 200-300 summary of the project including a statement of the problem, hypothesis to be tested, accomplishments made during the first year, plan for the second year, and the overall impact.

C. Progress-to-date (maximum of two pages) including progress on each objective/aim, list of extramural grants submitted and status (funded, not funded, or pending; include review scores if applicable), presentations and publications.

D. Plan for the next year (maximum of two pages) including objectives, research approach, expected results and outcomes, and plans for extramural grant submission.

E. Budget and Budget Justification (one page total; no indirect costs)



Proposals will be reviewed by an ad hoc committee composed of members of the CVM Research Advisory Committee and other CVM faculty members.  Two reviewers will perform a comprehensive review of the proposal, rating it according to review criteria and providing a written evaluation.  Reviewers then present the proposal at a panel review session where all proposals are ranked.

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 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) Has satisfactory progress been made in the previous year? Have efforts been made for seeking extramural funding? If not, is the delay justified?



Principal investigators are expected to submit a grant application to extramural funding agencies in the first year.

All necessary compliances must be in place before project initiation.

A termination report is required when the project is complete; due on July 1.


Termination Report

Submit electronically to on or before July 1.

1. Cover Sheet (one page) including title, investigators/collaborators, departments, and date of project completion.

2. Research Summary (one page) including a description of the problem, the original objectives/aims and the results achieved toward each, conclusions drawn from the results, and the impact of the study.

3. Scientific Report (up to three pages) 

  • 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
  • Results and discussion
  • Tables and figures (can be inserted into the text where appropriate)
  • References

4. List of Presentations and Publications (one page)

5. Evidence for seeking extramural funding (number of grants submitted, outcomes of the submissions, review scores if available).