United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Jan 23, 2021

§ 7613.
Relevance and merit of agricultural research, extension, and education funded by the Department
(a)
Review of National Institute of Food and Agriculture
(1)
Peer review of research grants

The Secretary shall establish procedures that provide for scientific peer review of each agricultural research grant administered, on a competitive basis, by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the Department.

(2)
Relevance and merit review of research, extension, and education grants
(A)
Establishment of procedures

The Secretary shall establish procedures that provide for relevance and merit review of each agricultural research, extension, or education grant administered, on a competitive basis, by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

(B)
Consultation with Advisory Board

The Secretary shall consult with the Advisory Board in establishing the merit review procedures on a continuous basis.

(3)
Consideration

Peer and merit review procedures established under paragraphs (1) and (2) shall not take the offer or availability of matching funds into consideration.

(b)
Advisory Board review
On an annual basis, the Advisory Board shall review—
(1)
the relevance to the priorities established under section 7612(a) of this title of the funding of all agricultural research, extension, or education activities conducted or funded by the Department; and
(2)
the adequacy of the funding.
(c)
Requests for proposals
(1)
Review results

As soon as practicable after the review is conducted under subsection (b) for a fiscal year, the Secretary shall consider the results of the review when formulating each request for proposals, and evaluating proposals, involving an agricultural research, extension, or education activity funded, on a competitive basis, by the Department.

(2)
Input

In formulating a request for proposals described in paragraph (1) for a fiscal year, the Secretary shall solicit and consider input from persons who conduct or use agricultural research, extension, or education regarding the prior year’s request for proposals.

(d)
Scientific peer review of agricultural research
(1)
Peer review procedures

The Secretary shall establish procedures that ensure scientific peer review of all research activities conducted by the Department.

(2)
Review panel required

As part of the procedures established under paragraph (1), a review panel shall verify, at least once every 5 years, that each research activity of the Department and research conducted under each research program of the Department has scientific merit and relevance.

(3)
Mission area
(A)
the scientific merit and relevance of the activity or research in light of the priorities established pursuant to section 7612 of this title; and
(B)
the national or multistate significance of the activity or research.
(4)
Composition of review panel
(A)
In general

A review panel shall be composed of individuals with scientific expertise, a majority of whom are not employees of the agency whose research is being reviewed.

(B)
Scientists from colleges and universities

To the maximum extent practicable, the Secretary shall use scientists from colleges and universities to serve on the review panels.

(5)
Submission of results

The results of the panel reviews shall be submitted to the Advisory Board.

(e)
Merit review
(1)
1862 and 1890 Institutions
Effective October 1, 1999, to be eligible to obtain agricultural research or extension funds from the Secretary for an activity, each 1862 Institution and 1890 Institution shall—
(A)
establish a process for merit review of the activity; and
(B)
review the activity in accordance with the process.
(2)
1994 Institutions
Effective October 1, 1999, to be eligible to obtain agricultural extension funds from the Secretary for an activity, each 1994 Institution shall—
(A)
establish a process for merit review of the activity; and
(B)
review the activity in accordance with the process.
(3)
Hispanic-serving agricultural colleges and universities
To be eligible to obtain agricultural extension funds from the Secretary for an activity, each Hispanic-serving agricultural college and university shall—
(A)
establish a process for merit review of the activity; and
(B)
review the activity in accordance with such process.
(Pub. L. 105–185, title I, § 103, June 23, 1998, 112 Stat. 527; Pub. L. 110–234, title VII, §§ 7129(c)(3), 7301, 7511(c)(30), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1227, 1242, 1270; Pub. L. 110–246, § 4(a), title VII, §§ 7129(c)(3), 7301, 7511(c)(30), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1988, 2003, 2031; Pub. L. 113–79, title VII, § 7301, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 887.)
cite as: 7 USC 7613