Research Foundation Request for Proposals

Grant funding

The North American Bramble Growers Research Foundation, Inc. (NABGRF) seeks grant proposals for caneberry research. Special consideration will be given to proposals related to the specific priorities established for funding as shown below. Please note that position on this list does not represent ranking within the priorities. Proposals will be accepted from universities and institutions in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The deadline for proposals for 2024 grants is January 31st, 2024.

Proposals will be reviewed by the Research Committee which will meet in late January 2024, prior to the 2024 NARBA Conference (February 27-28th, 2024). The Research Committee submits their recommendations to the NABGRF Board of Trustees, which makes the final funding decisions. Notice of awards will be sent out in March 2024. For more information, email

NARBA research foundation RFP berry field

2024 research priorities

Pest Management Strategies

  • Evaluation of new pesticides (insecticides, fungicides and herbicides, including biological pesticides) for blackberry and raspberry production
  • Non-chemical strategies for pest control
  • Management of spotted wing drosophila (SWD), lantern fly and other emerging pests
  • Soil borne disease and nematode management
  • Investigation of virus resistance and management

Production Efficiency and Profitability

  • Management of blackberries and raspberries in tunnels, greenhouses, controlled environments and shade structures (pruning, training and trellis systems)
  • Post-harvest handling for small farmers
  • Pruning and training systems to improve production
  • Using horticultural management techniques, equipment, or improved cultivars to support harvest mechanization in fresh market
  • Development of cultural practices to aid in extreme climate/weather events
  • Fertility management
  • Pruning practices for primocane-fruiting blackberries
  • Management systems that reduce labor inputs

Cultivar Development and Testing

  • Breeding for tolerance to environmental issue
  • Breeding for controlled environments or season extension
  • Breeding for reduced blackberry red drupelet reversion
  • Black raspberry development, including thornlessness and earlier/later ripening cultivars

Special Needs

  • Marketing
  • Product development for caneberry value added products
  • Health benefits research

Proposal guidelines

This format is recommended for proposals submitted to the North American Bramble Growers Research Foundation. Proposals that do not adequately address these points may not be considered for funding. Funding for individual projects is expected to range from $2,000-$5,000. In order to expedite the process, we ask that your request stay within this range.

  1. Title page: Include name of researcher(s), affiliation(s), address, email, phone, and fax numbers.
  2. Rationale: Beginning on a separate page, the rationale for conducting the proposed research should be stated clearly. Relevant literature should be cited to demonstrate how the proposed research will contribute to the knowledge base and create benefits for growers.
  3. Objectives: Objectives should be stated in logical sequence.
  4. Procedure: Sufficient details of procedures should be given to allow the committee to evaluate the proposal. For field studies, a location and description of the site, soil type and cropping history would be useful. All proposals should contain a description of the experimental design, including the number of replications and proposed method of data analysis.
  5. Timetable: A timetable should be included which details the project completion date and anticipated submission of the final report. If funding is for multiple years, the researcher should provide dates when progress will be given.
  6. Budget: The budget should contain a list of expenditures detailed as to plant material, labor, supplies and maintenance, equipment and other miscellaneous costs. The committee looks favorably upon projects which are considered worthy by other institutions.
  7. References cited.
  8. Cooperative agreement: Each proposal must contain the signatures of chairman of the department, the dean of the college, or the head of the division, or some other verification that the proposal has been reviewed by the institution. Proposals will be accepted from universities and institutions in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Recipients of multiple year funding (if such funding is available) agree to provide the NABG Research Foundation with annual progress reports.
  9. Personnel: Personnel other than the principal investigator(s) should be listed, along with their responsibilities relating to the project.
  10. Vitae: A brief vitae of the principal investigator(s) would be useful to the committee.

Please note: The North American Bramble Growers Research Foundation, a non-profit organization, does not pay overhead or “indirect” costs.

Final Reports: Acceptance of funding commits the principal investigator(s) to submitting a final report to the committee for distribution to the members of NARBA. This report should contain a brief introduction to the problem, a description of the experimental design, a summary of results and conclusions.

Continuation of Funding: Research projects originally designated for one or more years may receive additional funding. However, re-submission of the original proposal must be made each year. A budget for the additional year of funding should be included as well as how an additional year will further add to the results.

Annual Report: An annual report should be submitted by November 30 of the funding year. An annual report must be submitted in order for a proposal to be considered for continued funding. The report may be used in the NARBA newsletter, “The Bramble,” and will be posted to the NARBA website. Funded projects are also invited to send a poster for display at the NARBA annual conference. Projects that are continuing may submit interim reports and arrange to submit a final report at a later date.

To Submit Your Proposal and Annual Report: Please submit proposals and report documents as PDF files to the Research Foundation Chair, Courtney Weber – and/or to by their respective deadlines.

Notification of Funding: The researcher(s) will be notified no later than March 31st of the funding year.

Funded Projects

As of 2023, the Foundation has granted a total of $332,879 to 118 projects at universities in the U.S. and Canada and USDA research centers.