Request for Aflatoxin Research Proposals

Aflatoxin Structural FormulaThe Peanut Research Foundation (PRF) is soliciting research proposals to address a key industry concern. Following completion of the successful Peanut Genome Initiative, The PRF initiated the Peanut Genome Initiative – Phase II.  This new initiative capitalizes on previous accomplishments and uses genomic and breeding tools to address real issues facing the U.S. peanut industry.  The industry identified four key research focus areas (including aflatoxin) and the PRF issued a general Request for Proposals (RFP) earlier this year.  We are now issuing a new RFP specifically for aflatoxin mitigation projects. 

Multi-year proposals will be accepted, but since the PGI – Phase II will end in 2023, we cannot accept proposals over three-years in duration.  Funding will be re-evaluated for each year of the proposal.  Proposals from appropriate research teams are encouraged but not required.  

Due to market resistance, we are not interested in funding research leading to GMO peanut cultivars.  Proposals utilizing gene-editing technology will be accepted, but researchers should understand that the U.S. peanut industry is reluctant to utilize cultivars identifiable as gene-edited due to resistance from the European Union and other markets for U.S. peanuts. 

In recent years, the PRF has funded research projects which encourage the development of germplasm, technologies or support programs that can be used by breeding programs to release cultivars with desirable traits (in this case aflatoxin resistance).  Specific goals have included, but were not limited to, the following:

  • Develop a reliable and repeatable method to evaluate pre-harvest aflatoxin resistance in peanut.
  • Develop a reliable and repeatable method to evaluate post-harvest aflatoxin resistance.
  • Define mechanisms of pre-harvest aflatoxin resistance and associate molecular markers with specific mechanisms.
  • Define mechanisms of post-harvest aflatoxin resistance and associate molecular markers with these specific mechanisms.
  • Develop peanut germplasm less susceptible to aflatoxin contamination. 

The PRF will consider proposals consistent with these goals, but will also consider proposals utilizing other non-genetic methods which offer hope of aflatoxin mitigation. 

FUNDING

Submission of a proposal does not guarantee funding. Funding is only available for a 12-month period, after notification of approval. We anticipate approximately $100,000 will be available that may be awarded to a single or multiple projects.  Requests to continue multi-year projects must be submitted annually. All researchers receiving Peanut Research Foundation funding are expected to attend and report progress during the American Peanut Council Winter Conference which is scheduled to be held in December, 2021 in Washington, DC.  Please budget accordingly for travel to this meeting in your proposal. 

ELIGIBILITY

Any scientist/researcher affiliated with a research institution or organization (public or private) that has the facilities to deliver results and that demonstrates the expertise to perform peanut research described above is eligible to apply.  We encourage multiple institution and component collaboration.  International researchers are eligible for funding only if they are collaborating with U.S. researchers. 

PROPOSAL REQUIREMENTS

Proposals may address multiple areas listed above but must not exceed 10 pages, including vitae: 

Proposal Title

  1. Principal investigator(s), Institution or Organization address
  2. Contact Person, full mailing address including phone, fax and email
  3. Collaborators

 Project Summary

Brief summary of the proposed research, anticipated products and potential benefits to the peanut industry.

Research Objectives 

Annual Budget

Indirect costs will be considered as an institutional investment in the project and will not be funded.  In most cases, major equipment items are considered to be an institutional investment and will not be funded.  However, equipment necessary for specific project goals may be considered by special request.    

  1. Summary (separate line items for salary & benefits, supplies, outside services, travel). If multi-year proposal, annual budget should be presented for each year.
  2. Brief Budget Explanation and Justification (for each budgetary line item).
  3. Other funding that supports the proposed research (Source & nature of support).

Technical Review

Review of previous research relevant to objectives, state of art, and pertinent technical items.

Research Methods & Approach

Provide sufficient information on plans and methods to be used in obtaining project objectives and a rationale for how it will contribute to the solution of the project objectives.

Implementation Statement

A statement that demonstrates a vision of how the results could be implemented or utilized by the peanut industry.

Schedule of Events

A time schedule of the major steps outlined in the proposal, and a proposed length of the project.  Multi-year projects will be considered, however, funding must be approved on a year-to-year basis and availability of future funding is not guaranteed. 

Investigator Qualifications

Include a brief vita for each investigator, including appropriate citations of publications within the past five years.

Proposals to The Peanut Research Foundation must be submitted online. The address is: http://peanutresearchfoundation.org. Proposals must be submitted by February 19, 2021 to be eligible for consideration. The review process will be completed in early March with notification soon thereafter. Be sure to print one copy of the project summary page only and email at the time of submission to: Steve Brown, The Peanut Research Foundation, 1500 King Street, Suite 301, Alexandria, VA  22314 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 229-387-1655).

Submit Proposal

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