Priority Areas announced for 2021 US-Ireland Research Funding Programme

Date published: 22 March 2021

Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Minister Edwin Poots MLA has announced the six eligible programme priority areas open to Northern Ireland research institutions under the 2021 US-Ireland Research and Development Partnership Call in Agriculture.


This tri-jurisdictional funding arrangement in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture. Food and the Marine (DAFM) in the Republic of Ireland and the US Department of Agriculture, is now entering its sixth year of co-funding research in areas of shared strategic importance.

Minister Poots said, “Science has a vital role in providing our farmers and agri-food industry with a competitive edge in highly demanding markets and this collaborative, transnational approach to R&D can deliver many benefits including the leverage of additional research capacity and expertise to meet the needs of our local agri-food sector.

"This opportunity for local scientists to work with partners in both the Republic of Ireland and the USA will play an essential part in assisting NI farmers face the challenges posed by increasingly competitive agri-food and forestry sectors. Sharing knowledge and resources through collaboration enhances both the quality of research and the value derived from DAERA funding.”

The US-Ireland R&D Partnership Call in Agriculture seeks to advance knowledge in both fundamental and applied sciences in the following six programme area priorities supported in the 2021 Research Call:

  • Pests and Beneficial Species in Agricultural Production Systems
  • Animal Nutrition, Growth, and Lactation
  • Welfare and Well-being of Agricultural Animals
  • Diseases of Agricultural Animals  
  • Animal Breeding and Functional Annotation of Genomes
  • Mitigating Antimicrobial Resistance Across the Food Chain

Northern Ireland research organisations are invited to submit research proposals in collaboration with partners in the RoI and USA.  The submission deadline to DAERA and DAFM is four weeks in advance of the stated USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) deadline for the respective Programme Area Priority in AFRI’s 2021 Foundation Competitive Grant Programme.

More information about the funding programme is available on the USDA website.

Notes to editors: 

  1. In 2015 the US-Ireland R&D Partnership was expanded to include Agriculture on a pilot basis. To date six tri-jurisdictional projects have been successful between 2016 and 2020.
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