The American Vineyard Foundation (AVF) is soliciting research proposals for FY 2016-2017

The American Vineyard Foundation (AVF) is soliciting research proposals for FY 2017-2018. 

The AVF is also working cooperatively with the following commodity groups and funding agencies to maximize the available research funds: the California Table Grape Commission (CTGC), the California Grape Rootstock Improvement Commission (CGRIC) and California Grape Rootstock Research Foundation (CGRRF), the CDFA Pierce’s Disease and Glassy-winged Sharpshooter Board and the Oregon Wine Board (OWB).  Representatives from all of the named groups have been working together to streamline the research proposal submission and review process.  Please note that all of the groups are using a uniform proposal format and are operating under a very similar timeline.

For AVF, you can access this RFP and accompanying attachments via the web at:

http://fps.ucdavis.edu/vit 

The deadline for 2016-17 project proposals and annual progress reports is January 31st, 2017.

Documents must be submitted online at:

http://fps.ucdavis.edu/vit

Funding announcements will be made in May 2017.

The AVF is fully committed to addressing the industry's top research priorities.  The AVF conducts an industry-wide survey to define the most current research priorities.  We encourage researchers to develop proposals that address these priorities.  The lists of the most recent Viticulture & Enology research priorities are posted on our "Survey Results" page.

Format for Proposals & Reports:

All of the funding agencies listed above require the same format for both proposals & reports.  This facilitates the use of the Unified Grant Management for Viticulture & Enology, (UGMVE) website for researchers, reviewers and stakeholders.  Please find the guidelines for these formats on the UGMVE website when you log-in at http://fps.ucdavis.edu/vit The current version for the FY 2017 cycle will be posted December 1, 2016.  Please follow these guidelines carefully – page limits for proposals and reports need to be closely followed.

Special Requirements:

  • Proposals must include a description of how the research would address industry priorities.
  • Proposals should include an explanation of how information developed during the study will be communicated to end users through outreach & education programs.
  • For continuing project proposals, progress reports must include a listing of education and outreach activities engaged in during the annual cycle of the project. (see section of education & outreach guidelines below)  
  • Proposals shall not exceed 8 pages in length. Reviewers will be instructed not to read beyond page 8 of each proposal.
  • PI should be aware that proposal information and progress reports are widely disseminated and should therefore avoid including any confidential or proprietary information not intended to be available to a broad audience of industry professionals who review AVF proposals. 

Education & Outreach Guidelines:

Regular education and outreach efforts are highly valued to keep the industry well informed with research progress and results.  These efforts may include, but are not limited to: articles in trade publications, presentations at venues such as: Unified Symposium, ASEV, the UCD Wine & Wine Grape Research Seminar, Wine Business Monthly Trade Shows, “Research On the Road Seminars,” webinars and other online communications and progress report summaries for AVF web-posting etc... The level of PI education and outreach activity will be taken into close consideration when AVF Review Committees are evaluating proposals for continuing projects/research in progress.

Review Process:

Each proposal received by the AVF will be evaluated by a mix of industry and scientific reviewers in one of the following disciplines:

  1. Breeding & Genetics
  2. Cultural Practices
  3. Disease Management
  4. Enology
  5. Outreach & Education
  6. Pest Management

The AVF will use these six review panels to examine and evaluate the proposals and annual reports.  Each of these committees will be comprised of a diverse set of industry and academic reviewers with technical expertise from various regions of the country and grape industry sectors (juice, wine, table grapes, etc.).

Research projects will be selected for awards based on a combination of scientific merit and relevance to industry priorities.  Evaluation criteria for research proposals include: the importance of the proposed work with respect to meeting AVF priorities; scientific merit; validity of project experimental design; adequacy of the personnel expertise and facilities recruited to ensure the successful completion of the objectives; and compliance with the proposal format instructions including length and completeness.  Outreach & Education projects will be reviewed for merit and industry priority need by a panel consisting of industry stakeholders using criteria which include: applicability, relevance and utility of the project to multiple users, the appropriateness of the budget to meet the objectives; adequacy of the personnel and facilities to ensure the successful completion of the objectives and compliance with the proposal format instructions.

Research on Pierce’s Disease:

With the creation of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Pierces’s Disease Control Board and the anticipated continuation of the University of California Pierce’s Disease Research Program, the AVF will not accept proposals dealing with research on Pierce’s Disease and Glassy-winged Sharpshooter for the 2017-2018 funding cycle.

AVF Research Priorities:

The AVF is committed to employing the recommendations of its review committees to fund research priority projects that attempt to solve viticulture and enological problems, improve grape and wine quality, focus on sustainable strategies and provide pathways for dissemination of research results to the wine community. 

The industry research priority themes are broad, interdisciplinary and oriented toward fostering the development of industry ‘deliverables’ from the research effort.  At the same time, AVF recognizes that many proposals will likely be much narrower in scope or focus due to logistical and funding constraints.

Please note that the AVF is increasing its emphasis on outreach and education to facilitate rapid adoption of new knowledge, practices and technology by grape and wine producers.  This will include, (1) consideration of objectives in research proposals that contain a budgeted information transfer component, (Principal Investigators may consider inclusion of extension educators as coPI’s or cooperators) and (2) a separate review category for projects that are specifically designed to address education and outreach needs.

AVF Proposal, Progress Report & Final Report Specifics:

Please adhere to the guidelines found at the Unified Grant website when submitting your proposal(s), annual report(s) and final report(s).  The AVF does not pay overhead.  An annual progress report is required for projects funded during the FY 2016-2017. The report must detail the experiments undertaken during 2016-2017 and the major findings or accomplishments emerging from the work. The progress report must be attached to the continuing project proposal submission.  As stated, the due date for annual report(s) and proposal(s) will be January 31, 2017.  Upon completion of the study, a final report must be submitted.

AVF Equipment Purchase Policy:

The American Vineyard Foundation has established a policy, subject to revision in future research proposal requests (RFP's), addressing the use of AVF funds for the purchase of analytical equipment valued at $5,000 or more based on the following criteria:

  1. The request for the purchase of equipment must be directly linked with research proposals or priorities supported by the AVF.
  2. The equipment must be available to multiple users and said equipment users must be identified and their use of the equipment explained in accompanying letters of support.
  3. Should the AVF approve one or more proposals requesting the purchase of equipment, the AVF will match funds contributed by a researcher or institution up to $25,000 pursuant to the documentation of available matching funds by the requesting entity.  Should the AVF approve an equipment purchase and the matching researcher or institutional funds are subsequently not available, the AVF's funding of said purchase shall be withdrawn.
  4. Should the researcher desire to purchase a specific piece of equipment required for a research project also submitted to the AVF for funding, the request for the purchase of said equipment shall be submitted as a separate and stand alone project.
  5. Equipment acquisition matching funds shall be approved by the AVF Board of Directors.

Submitting Proposals to Multiple Agencies:

Each of the funding agencies has its own RFP which states their particular funding priorities.  Researchers are strongly advised to obtain current RFP’s from each of these agencies or from the UGMVE website, and to apply to as many agencies as are appropriate for their project.  Funding agencies will work together to coordinate multiple agencies funding when appropriate.  Please also note that the AVF will not accept proposals from researchers who have any outstanding progress and/or final reports.

Proposal deadline for submission is January 31, 2017.

Proposals must be submitted online by January 31, 2017 at the Unified Grant Management for Viticulture and Enology website, http://fps.ucdavis.edu/vit (submission site opens December 1, 2016). Hard copy submission of proposals to the AVF is not required.

Please forward this information to those in your organization who may be interested.  Thank you again for your interest in working with the AVF and please contact me with any questions.


Download the complete 2017-2018 AVF RFP

Scott Deitrick
Administrative Manager
American Vineyard Foundation
P.O. Box 5779
Napa, CA 94581
(707) 252-6911
e-mail: scott@avf.org