FAQ's & Research Proposal Guidelines for Applicants
Since its inception in 2006, Project Apis m. has infused over $6 million into bee research and programs in the USA and Canada, including more than 100 projects involving research institutions throughout North America. We have brought new technologies to honey bee health research, discovered new pathogens, developed Best Management Practices programs, and are supporting long-term stock improvement. We are recipients of grants from the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), and USDA-APHIS. Project Apis m. is the largest non-governmental, non-profit bee research funding organization in North America.
Thank you for your interest in submitting a research proposal to Project Apis m. We are funded largely by beekeepers and farmers, and dedicated to enhancing the health of honey bees, thereby improving crop production. Proposals are expected to clearly state how they fulfill our mission. Proposals and the review process are kept confidential. We offer the following frequently asked questions to help you submit a research proposal to Project Apis m. for project funding.
Proposals are reviewed by the executive director, scientific advisory board, ad-hoc reviewers, and a board of directors. Projects must clearly meet the criteria outlined in the Request for Proposals or address PAm’s mission. Please note proposals must be scientifically sound (i.e., short format USDA or NSF grants without all the extra forms). Funding decisions are primarily based on an overall evaluation, which includes the following review criteria:
Focus on solving problems facing the beekeeping industry in either the short or long term.
Relevance to bee health, nutrition, productivity, crop pollination
Likelihood of obtaining practical/usable results for the beekeeping industry
Project strengths and weaknesses
Inclusion of unique strategies, sustainable solutions, or establishment of knowledge that will lead to sustainable solutions in the long-term
Use of adequate experimental approaches, inclusion of logically linked experiments and project feasibility
Identification of risks and adequate solutions (e.g., potential pitfalls and solutions)
Likelihood of success (PIs credibility, record of success, experience with techniques, etc.)
Adequate indication that PI(s) will communicate their findings to commercial beekeepers.
Economical and adequate budget for proposed research
Please limit proposals to 5 pages of project description (e.g., introduction, relevance to beekeeping industry, background, aims/objectives, experimental plan, expected results, potential pitfalls and solutions, plan to disseminate information, summary), 10 pages total Including budget justification, PI information, etc., but excluding references) and allow at least 3 months for the review and decision process.
What type of research projects does Project Apis m. fund?
Project Apis m. seeks projects that will ultimately improve honey bee health. Our main areas of focus include: 1) pests and disease prevention and control, 2) honey bee nutrition, 3) impacts of pesticides on bees, and 4) long-term honey bee stock improvement. We are looking for projects that fill the gaps in honey bee research, and benefit honey bees and agriculture in the USA and Canada. The reviewers will ask questions that ensure the commercial beekeeping community will benefit from the research and its application. For example, PAm seeks research projects that will:
Enhance the economic viability of pollination businesses. Provide practical solutions for managed colonies. Yield results that can be efficiently transferred into field practice. Provide an excellent rate of return for beekeepers and farmers.
How much does PAm fund?
PAm funding is dependent on the project and the goals. We have funded from $5,000 – $200,000. Typically, proposals are in the range from $20,000 to $40,000. As you might imagine, the higher the funding request, the more scrutiny administered in the proposal review. We offer several initiative RFPs, in addition to accepting proposals outside those periods, and do our best to coordinate funding with other industry sources to partner and avoid duplication.
Who may apply for project funds?
Project Apis m. funds research institutions, USDA-ARS, universities, agricultural extension, etc. primarily in the USA and Canada. International applications can be considered, but will be held to the same expectation of benefitting agriculture and bees in the USA and Canada. Our scientific advisors are attentive to scientific methods, proper controls, and reproducible results. Proposals should be clear cut, have practical implications, and generally lend themselves to statistical interpretation. Below is an example of the criteria used to score a recent request for proposals.
What is the process for proposal submission?
Interested parties submit proposals. Proposals are reviewed by the executive director, scientific advisory board, ad-hoc reviewers, and a board of directors. Projects must clearly meet the criteria outlined in the Request for Proposals or address PAm’s mission. Please note proposals must be scientifically sound (i.e., short format USDA or NSF grants without all the extra forms). After scientific review, with emphasis especially on the materials and methods sections and practicality for beekeepers, proposals are reviewed by the Board of Directors with recommendations from the advisory panel, and the Board makes all funding decisions.
If you are unknown to the PAm Board and scientific advisors, please submit more background information on yourself. Please include your curriculum vitae, a list of relevant publications and other work you have accomplished, and include how your perspective and expertise could benefit the beekeeping industry. Letters of support from industry may also be helpful.
When do I submit proposals?
Proposals may be submitted in response to specific initiatives, following the published deadlines in the RFP. Proposals submitted outside these specific initiative windows will be reviewed by Science Advisors at least quarterly (Feb, May, August, November) and by the Board at its next regular meeting. Please allow at least 3 months for review process.
What is the format for the proposal?
Please limit proposals to 5 pages of project description (e.g., introduction, relevance to beekeeping industry, background, aims/objectives, experimental plan, expected results, potential pitfalls and solutions, plan to disseminate information, summary), 10 pages total including budget justification, PI information, etc., excluding references) and allow at least 3 months for the review and decision process. Required elements include:
Title and Principal Investigator – Clearly state the title and principal investigator (PI) of your proposal. Provide the PI’s title, address, email address and telephone number. List cooperating investigators with their names and email addresses. Cooperating investigators must be aware of this proposal. If cooperating investigators are contacted by PAm and are unaware that their names have been added to the proposal, the proposal will not be considered.
Date and Duration of Proposed Study
Problem and Significance- Please clearly state how your project fulfills PAm's mission.
Experimental Design, Materials and Methods – Describe the experimental approaches that will be utilized to address the specific aims. This description should be scientifically sound and include logically linked experiments. Please address the feasibility of the project and include potential pitfalls and solutions when necessary.
Intended Outcome – This statement most likely blends the objectives into a concise summary while providing the bottom-line justification for why PAm should fund this project.
Economic Feasibility for New Products
If proposal was submitted previously to PAm or other funding organizations (e.g., USDA, NSF, ABC, etc.) identify this, and include a maximum one-page summation of that review process, if the PIs so desire.
If proposal is for matching funds, then PAm funds will not be released unless the PIs obtain funding for the entire project and/or clearly state how PAm funds would be utilized independent of additional funding.
Budget Request – NOTE: PAm does not pay indirect costs (IDC’s) or overhead.
How is payment made for successful research projects?
PAm pays 50% upon funding and 50% upon receipt of the final report. PAm may also require interim reporting and project summary information written in layman’s terms for us to present the work to stakeholders.
Should I first send a Concept Proposal?
If you do not wish to write a formal proposal yet or you do not need the funding immediately, you may want to present a Concept Proposal to the Board describing what research you want to do. After feedback you may more successfully move forward with the formal proposal.
The Concept Proposal should include background for the study, identification of the principal investigators, their histories and qualifications to conduct the proposed study, the objectives of the study, which includes clearly stating how your project fulfills our mission, and an approximate budget.
Thank you for your interest in helping the honey bee!