Research Process & Support

NGRA strives to set an industry-driven research agenda, seeking to drive collaboration on game-changing national research projects and priorities, focusing on projects that no one grape industry segment could effectively undertake on its own.

How We Work

NGRA pulls together the right people to develop and explore ideas, then implement and extend findings into practice. Each year, NGRA Research Theme Committees identify research priorities and distributed to relevant researchers, who are invited to develop research proposals to address them. Our Theme Committee review all proposals submitted, and make a recommendation whether to sponsor, sponsor and fund, or support the project, as outlined below. The NGRA Research Committee reviews all recommendations, and moves them forward to the NGRA Board for final approval.

As projects are ratified, NGRA aligns the research community and industry to ensure robust project objectives and desired outcomes are baked into project proposals. We help to seek project funding, whether through the Department of Agriculture’s intramural (ARS) or extramural funding (NIFA) entities, universities, cooperative extension programs or private industry partners. And we stay engaged to ensure objectives and outcomes are met.

Project Support Designations

NGRA-supported projects
These projects meet core NGRA theme areas, and span all or most grape industry sectors and are of national importance
. Typically, these projects emerge from the Research Theme Committees’ project ideation and prioritization process:

  • NGRA Research Theme Committees meet to identify priority research needs, and work to identify one or more researchable topics each year. A project champion or PI is identified to lead the effort.
  • A project team is developed, typically in cooperation with the PI and Theme Committee. NGRA members may also self-identify for participation in any given project.
  • NGRA works with the PI, coordinating meeting schedules, reading draft proposals to assure that all requirements are met, and helping to secure matching contributions if required.
  • NGRA helps to coordinate letters of support and commitment of resources, and participates in the project’s Advisory Committee.
  • NGRA helps to publicize updates on project progress and highlights achievements.
  • NGRA’s Extension & Outreach Committee aids in the extension of findings.

NGRA-sponsored projects
Infrequently, grant applications for high-priority projects are not successful and no alternative funding sources have been identified. In this case, with Board approval, NGRA may seek to coordinate funding for the project. These projects proceed following the process described above.

Projects that receive NGRA letters of support
These projects are typically developed independently by the researcher, addressing core NGRA theme areas for which NGRA supplies a letter of support (a valuable document for grant applications). If a letter of support is provided, NGRA also commits a staff or board member to serve on the project’s Advisory Committee. 

For a complete overview of the NGRA Research Process, click here.