FY 2021 Request for Proposals Product Quality Research

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, is soliciting research proposals in the area of Product Quality Research covering these applied and basic science topics listed in order of importance for FY 2021:   

Applied Science

  1. Boxed beef or finished cut freezing and thawing – identification of best practices to preserve quality and identification of practices that should be avoided 
  2. Pre-harvest management practices (beef x dairy cross, feeding, animal size, etc.) – avoiding causing potential issues with oversized carcasses and cuts, chilling, excessive fat, palatability and/or color 
  3. Carcass chilling, fabrication and cut size – achieving more consistency 
Basic Science:

  1. Technologies to measure or predict palatability and product size/uniformity – what novel technologies can be considered? 
  2. Quality of beef products versus plant-based alternatives – note that checkoff-funded work cannot disparage against other proteins 
  3. Carcass composition changes – how have industry factors impacted carcass fatness and size and how does that affect product quality today?
Research ideas should be novel, applicable to the industry and have high potential impact.

Submission Instructions:
Proposals must meet the submission deadline and follow the guidelines in this RFP to be considered. Accepted projects will be funded (or funded in part) by the Beef Checkoff.   

Research objectives should be clearly defined. Proposals should clearly state their relevance and potential benefit to the beef industry. Leveraged funding through collaborations with industry, foundations, government and other sources with matching funds is encouraged. In addition, collaboration with additional researchers or institutions is encouraged where appropriate.   

PIs may submit more than one proposal. A CV is not required. 

Questions related to this RFP should be directed to Paige Smith ([email protected]).   

PROPOSALS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY APRIL 30, 2021 at 11:59pm EST via the BeefGrants system.   

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, has moved to an online portal for managing the grants process and to facilitate the submission and review of grant materials. All portal users will need to log in or set up an account to submit their proposal(s) on our online grant platform BeefGrants.

  • Applicant Information 
    • Organization Information
    • Researcher Information 
    • Institution Grant Administration Contact Details 
  • Application Summary 
    • Project Title
    • Estimated total cost of research 
    • Proposed start and end date
  • Project Details
    • Project Background & Hypothesis (include a brief background for the idea and an explanation of how you determined the hypothesis that serves as the basis for the project idea ~650 words maximum)
    • Objectives 
    • Design of experiment/materials and methods. 
    • Total Time for Completion (in months) (auto-calculated from Application Summary fields)
    •  Describe the practical application of the research for use in the beef industry. 
  • Detailed Budget Table 
  • Other Sources of Support/Co-funding (optional) 
  • Supporting Documents/CV (optional)

*Project timeline can begin on or after 7/1/2021; projects must conclude, and final reports must be submitted by 8/31/2022.

Additional Detail
PIs should review completed Product Quality projects to avoid submitting an idea that already has been covered. Completed project summaries are available at http://www.beefresearch.org/productqualityresearch.aspx.   

We understand that PIs do not know the nature of ongoing research projects. However, a list of ongoing projects cannot be made available due to contracting sensitivities. Please understand this limitation and use your best judgment to submit proposals that are both novel and of high industry impact.

Project Deliverables
Project deliverables will include, at minimum, a final technical report with a full listing of research results and implications, and abbreviated executive and lay summaries highlighting key points from the full technical report. Final technical reports must follow a standard outline and be thorough and interpretive in nature. Deliverables also will include a final statement outlining all project expenditures from the institution’s business office. Funds cannot be spent beyond the project end date established in the project contract. Deliverables will be due on or before the project end date established in the contract.

Review Criteria
Proposals will be reviewed by a panel of independent industry experts and applicants will be notified of funding decisions by June 25, 2021. Proposals will be evaluated for: uniqueness, relevance, soundness, potential for success, budget appropriateness and potential benefit to the industry/return on investment.

We are aware that academic institutions have financial obligations for administering the research grants awarded to their faculty members. However, overhead costs, principal investigator salaries, tuition and equipment purchases will not be considered as part of the funds made available for this research.

Please share this RFP with interested colleagues.   

Visit www.beefresearch.org for additional information on the checkoff-funded Product Quality Research program.