Request for Proposals - Pre-Harvest Beef Safety Research 

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, is soliciting research proposals for pre-harvest beef safety research.


Research ideas should focus on the pre-harvest sector but can include final product sampling where appropriate. Projects should be exploratory studies focused on evaluating and expanding knowledge of pathogens and contributing factors of pathogen risk in the following areas: 

  • Virulence and gene transfer 
  • Pathogen load 
  • Detection methodology evolution 
  • Microbiome relationships    
Proposals for white papers, literature reviews, or meta-analyses may be included with funding limited to $10,000/proposal.

Budgets for research trials will be evaluated based on the scope and methodology of the submitted proposal.   

Important Dates

  • Proposal Submission Date: November 18, 2022 
  • Funding Notifications: February 2023 
  • Project Start Date: March 1, 2023 
  • Project Completion Date: June 30, 2024**

**The line item for student and support staff funding must be 12 months or less. 

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, and 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 Mandy Carr ([email protected]).  

PROPOSALS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY November 18, 2022, at 11:59 pm EST via the BeefGrants system. 

 National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, has moved to an online portal, BeefGrants, for managing the grant process and to facilitate the submission and review of grant materials. All portal users will need to set up an account. Please visit BeefGrants to register and submit a proposal. 

Proposal Outline

The following fields will be required in BeefGrants (word counts apply for some categories): 

  • Applicant Information 
    • Organization Information
    • Researcher Information 
    • Institution Grant Administration Contact Details 
  • Application Summary
    • Project Title
    • 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 
    • The line item for student and support staff funding must be 12 months or less.
  • Other Sources of Support/Co-funding (optional) 
  • Supporting Documents/CV (optional)

Publication Costs 

Publication of all research is expected regardless of the outcome, however financial support for manuscript publication is considered separate from research contracts.  Once your project is completed and the final report is submitted, please reach out to NCBA staff to receive more information on the new publishing guidance.

Additional Detail 

PIs should review completed Beef Safety projects to avoid submitting an idea that already has been covered. Completed project summaries are available here

 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 relevant.

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 evaluated for: clearly defined hypothesis and objectives, experimental design/methods, and convincing evidence that the proposed research will change the concepts, methods, or technologies that drive this field. Proposals will be reviewed by a panel of independent industry experts, and applicants will be notified of funding decisions in February 2023. 


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.