Supporting Research with Federal Capacity Funds

Cornell AES manages Federal Capacity Funds that serve three colleges at Cornell:

The $6 million project portfolio managed by Cornell AES provides vital support for a broad base of critically important research that addresses local, state and national priorities – from agricultural crop and pest management to community and economic vitality.

Each land-grant university across the United States, including Cornell, receives these funds as an annual allocation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The majority of funds managed by Cornell AES help improve people’s lives by directly supporting important research projects, in contrast to most other land-grant universities where Federal Capacity Funds pay for faculty salaries.

Research funds are allocated to selected projects after a thorough and competitive process that includes reviews from stakeholders, faculty, directors and, finally, NIFA. Funds are managed in partnership with Cornell AgriTech and Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Cornell AES research priorities

Advancing solutions for critical issues

(adapted from NIFA priorities)

Agriculture and food systems

Support and develop a sustainable New York agriculture industry that produces a safe, reliable, healthy food supply.

Climate change

Understand the patterns of climate change and its impacts, develop strategies and tools for mitigation and adaptation.

Environment, natural resources and sustainable energy

Understand the interdependencies of human and natural systems with particular attention paid to sustainable production and use of food, water and energy.

Nutrition and food

Ensure a safe, healthy and secure food supply for communities and enable nutritious food choices. Research projects must include a connection to agriculture. 

Youth and families

Enable youth to acquire life skills and STEM opportunities. Promote human development and social well-being, good parenting, economic health, and quality of home and work environments.

Community and economic vitality

Empower individuals and communities to make sound decisions for the future and support entrepreneurship and workforce development.