Request for Proposals - Beef Sustainability Research

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, is soliciting research proposals for Sustainability Research. Research ideas should be novel and of high industry value and proposals should focus on benchmarking beef sustainability and identifying areas of improvement.

Primary Considerations

  • Proposals for research on the implications of beef cattle production on water quality, as it relates to the environmental pillar of sustainability with funding limited to $150,000/proposal. Focuses on nutrient cycling and soil health will be prioritized.  
  • Proposals for surveys or research considering the economic impact of inter-generational transfer, as it relates to long-term profitability, with funding limited to $150,000/proposal. Projects or surveys including detailed aspects of business structure, financial conditions, legal considerations, etc. will be prioritized.    

Proposals for white papers, literature reviews, or meta-analyses may be considered with funding limited to $10,000/proposal.

Important Dates

  • Proposal submission date: December 14, 2022
  • Funding notifications: March 2023
  • Project start date: April 1, 2023
  • Project completion date: March 31, 2025

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 TJ Carlisle ([email protected]) and/or Charlotte Talbott ([email protected]

PROPOSALS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY December 14th, 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 for managing the grants process and facilitating 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) at BeefGrants.

Proposal Outline

The following fields will be required in BeefGrants:

  • Applicant Information 
    • Organization Information
    • Researcher Information 
    • Institution Grant Administration Contact Details 
  • Application Summary 
    • Project Title
    • 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 04/01/2023. Projects must conclude and final reports must be submitted by 3/31/2025.


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. 


PIs should review completed Beef Sustainability 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 of high industry impact. 


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. 


Proposals will be reviewed by a panel of independent industry experts and applicants will be notified of funding decisions by February 1, 2023. 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.


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.