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Rural Health and Safety Education Competitive Grants Program (RHSE)

Grants to USA IHEs for Rural Health Education Programs to
Reduce Opioid Abuse and Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

Deadline Date:

07/01/20 5:00 PM Eastern


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Grants to USA qualified IHEs for rural health education programs, including those that focus on the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Funding is intended to support programs and projects serving families and individuals that aim to reduce and prevent opioid misuse, other substance abuse, and the infection and transmission of SARS-COV-2.

NIFA is offering the Rural Health and Safety Education (RHSE) Competitive Grant Program to address the needs of rural Americans by providing individual and family health education programs. The program addresses the health and well-being of rural America through supporting the development and/or implementation of projects focused on:

  1.  Individual and family health education programs with specified contents; 
  2.  Rural health leadership development education programs 
  3.  Farm safety education programs 

In FY 2020 and FY 2021, NIFA is soliciting applications for RHSE in the area of Individual and Family Health Education. Proposals are expected to be health education projects that provide individuals and families living in rural areas with:

  • Information as to the value of good health at any age;
  • Information to increase individual or families’ motivation to take more responsibility for their own health, including in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Information about and access to health promotion activities;
  • Information to support the utilization of telehealth, telemedicine, and distance learning strategies for opioid education and training in minority rural communities.
  • Training for volunteers and health services providers concerning health promotion and health care services for individuals and families in cooperation with state, local and community partners.

Proposals may focus on the prevention and/or reduction of opioid misuse and abuse per Congressional guidance for this program. Proposals may also focus on helping prevent spread of SARS-CoV-2 and in mitigating infection and transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

In FY 2020 and FY 2021, the program will continue to support the implementation of evidence-based, outcome-based educational approaches and programs delivered through an Extension model which promote protective factors and reduce the impact of risk factors leading to the prevention of initiation of substance use, delayed early use, and the progression from use to problematic use or to a substance use disorder. Applicants are encouraged to address intersecting factors that have the potential to prevent or reduce opioid and substance initiation, misuse, and abuse.

All projects and approaches must be research-informed. Proposed projects implementing programs and approaches with documented evidence of impact on preventing and/or reducing opioid/substance misuse and abuse will be given priority consideration. Programs and approaches currently developing an evidence base will also be considered.

In FY 2020 and FY 2021, the RHSE program will support: 

  • Projects implementing new Extension programs or approaches in the area of individual and family health education focused on 1) the prevention and/or reduction of opioid/substance misuse and abuse, or 2) the prevention and.or mitigation of infection and transmission of SARS-CoV-2; 
  • Projects implementing new Extension programs or approaches that support the utilization of telehealth, telemedicine, and distance learning strategies for education and training in minority rural communities related to opioids or SARS-CoV-2; and 
  • Projects seeking to scale-up to State or multi-state levels already established programs or approaches with demonstrated evidence of impact in the area of individual and family health education focused on the prevention and/or reduction of opioid misuse and abuse. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 155310

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Anticipated Number of Awards: 12-15

Estimated Size of Grant:

Maximum Award Amount: $350,000

Term of Contract:

Grant Duration: 24 Months

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applications may be submitted by 1862 and 1890 Land Grant colleges and universities that are eligible to receive funds under the Act of July 2, 1862 (7 U.S.C. 301 et seq.), and the Act of August 30, 1890 (7 U.S.C. 321 et seq.), including Central State University, Tuskegee University, West Virginia State University. Applications also may be submitted by any of the Tribal colleges and universities designated as 1994 Land Grant Institutions under the Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994, as amended.

NIFA will recognize and prioritize COE applicants that carry out research, extension, and education activities that relate to the food and agricultural sciences. For more information on COEs, see

Award recipients may subcontract to organizations not eligible to apply provided such organizations are necessary for the conduct of the project.


- RHSE projects must be implemented in federally classified rural counties. Applicants must identify rural counties in which their programs will be implemented.
- Projects are required to coordinate with State offices of rural health
- Projects focusing on SARS-CoV-2 must demonstrate how they will coordinate efforts with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
For additional project types and requirements, see

NIFA will not consider or fund the following types of applications:

- Proposals without a plan for measuring participant outcomes;
- Proposals planned for less than 24 months;
- Proposals with a focus on topic areas specific to other NIFA grant programs, including AFRI Food Safety, AFRI Childhood Obesity Prevention, AgrAbility, Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network, or Youth Farm Safety;
- Proposals with a focus on research (other than evaluation related to project outputs, outcomes and impacts), formal education (K-12, university), or clinical interventions; or
- Proposals focused on the clinical treatment of individuals with substance use disorders

Pre-Application Information:

Application Deadlines:

- Fiscal Year 2020: July 1, 2020 5:00 P.M. Eastern
- Fiscal Year 2021: April 29, 2021 5:00 P.M. Eastern

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For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the page above.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

For More Information, contact:

Brent Elrod
National Program Leader
Division of Family & Consumer Sciences
5SW004 Beacon Complex
(816) 926-2535

Sydney Turner

For technical support, contact:

For support, contact:; 800-518-4726 (TollFree) or 606-545-5035

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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