Frequently Asked Questions
Are principal investigators able to submit more than one pre-proposal?
Yes. Principal investigators can submit multiple pre-proposals for active calls.
Are investigators from institutions outside the United States able to apply to the National Dairy CouncilTM(NDC) for funds?
Yes. NDC funds research both domestically and internationally.
Does NDC accept pre-proposals that are on topics outside the specific on-going calls?
No. Submitted pre-proposals must meet the topics described in the specific calls.
What is supplemental support and how do you qualify?

NDC recognizes that there may be instances when additional support is needed to enhance existing non-NDC funded projects. Therefore, principal investigators with an existing grant from a non-NDC source, either pending or active, may apply for supplemental support if:

  • The project is evaluating the effects of dairy foods or ingredients on health
  • The investigators would like to add additional arms/analyses to a study that was not specifically examining dairy on health

In recognition that investigators receive awards from other organizations throughout the year, Supplemental Support pre-proposals are accepted year-round. Pre-proposals can be submitted before funding from the non-NDC source has been officially approved. However, if NDC requests a full-proposal, documentation of the approved funding must be provided at the time of submission.

How many pre-proposals are received each year? How many full proposals are ultimately requested each year?
The amount of pre-proposals received varies from year-to-year. On average, NDC receives 100 product-based and 80 nutrition-related pre-proposals each year. Full proposals are requested from about 20% of the pre-proposal submissions.
How long does it typically take to review pre-proposal submissions? Can I contact NDC about the status of my pre-proposal?
NDC Research scientists will review all pre-proposals within approximately 3-4 weeks of the deadline for submission (see Evaluation Criteria for more details). Inquiries on the status of your pre-proposal should be directed to either (nutrition- and health-related submissions) or (product-related submissions).
Is there more than one call for pre-proposals each year?
Yes. NDC conducts a general solicitation in late June or early July of each year and typically has other, more specific calls for pre-proposals during the year. Additionally, Supplemental Support pre-proposals are accepted year-round.
If my proposal is funded, will I be able to present and publish the results?
Presentation at scientific meetings and publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal is strongly encouraged
If my proposal is funded, when would the project start?
While NDC initiates projects throughout the year, most projects funded from the general solicitation begin in January of the following year. It is important to note that the funding provided by NDC is in the form of contracted research agreements. Thus, a Memorandum of Agreement must be executed between the investigator’s institution and NDC before NDC can initiate funding of a research application.
Does NDC fund research on other types of milk (e.g., human or goat)?
No. Established in 1915, NDC comprises a staff of nutrition science researchers, registered dietitians and communications experts dedicated to educating the public on the health benefits of consuming milk and milk products throughout a person’s lifespan.
Are pre-proposal decisions final?
Yes. The decision made by NDC scientists on pre-proposal applications is final. Also, the decision notice received by principal investigators will not contain a detailed explanation regarding the decision.
Does NDC fund research that proposes to use a proprietary product or ingredient as the intervention?
NDC was established under the leadership of America's dairy farmers and works with and through industry, academic, government and commercial partners to drive pre-competitive research in nutrition, products and sustainability. Accordingly, NDC does not typically fund research projects that utilize proprietary products or ingredients in order to ensure that any inventions arising from NDC-funded projects will be utilized in a manner consistent with the interest of the dairy industry.
Who do I contact if I have more questions?
Inquiries on the submission process should be directed to either (nutrition- and health-related submissions) or (product-related submissions).
What are the budget and time limits associated with work funded by NDC?

For Nutrition Research, there are no set budget and time limits associated with funded projects. The funding requested and the duration of the study should be consistent with the research to be conducted.

For Product Research, proposals submitted in the General Solicitation are limited to duration of two years and the budget requested cannot exceed a total of up to $100,000 (including indirect costs). Product Research Supplemental Support projects do not have set budget and time limits. The funding requested and the duration of the study should be consistent with the research to be conducted.

Can funds for summer salaries and/or tuition for graduate students be included in the budget?
Principal investigators can request funds for summer salaries and for tuition remission for graduate students. Please be aware that the full application requires that all salary requests require appropriate justification (i.e. responsibilities and percentage of effort and time committed to the project).
What is NDCs’ policy on indirect costs?
Indirect costs of up to 10% of total direct costs will be considered for the management of the research project by the sponsoring institution and should be included in the total pre-proposal budget. NDC does not permit indirect costs for equipment, including computers.
Can capital purchases, such as computers or lab equipment, be included in the proposed budget?
In general, equipment (including computers) is not approved for funding by NDC. Purchase or modification of permanent equipment may be permitted provided if there is a special need in order to complete the project; however, prior written approval from NDC is required.
Do I have to include a budget in the pre-proposal?

The pre-proposal application should include an estimate of the total cost of the project as well as a breakdown of the budget per year. NDC funds projects in accordance to its fiscal calendar year (from January 1 – December 31); therefore, the proposed funding requests should be adjusted to fit the NDC fiscal year funding cycle.

A detailed description of the budget will be required in the full application (if requested).

Does NDC co-fund projects with other funding agencies?
There are instances where NDC has partnered with either an industry organization or another dairy organization to co-fund a research project. All co-funded projects were initiated in cooperation with and had approval from the principal investigator.
Are matching funds required for submission?
Matching funds are not required for submission, however, if the availability of matching funds exists, it should be noted in the pre-proposal.
What do I do if I accidently submitted a pre-proposal with errors or I forgot to include a portion of the pre-proposal when I submitted?
Once submitted, the pre-proposals cannot be viewed or edited by the principal investigator. The original submission would need to be deleted by NDC staff and a new pre-proposal submitted to NDC by the principal investigator. Accordingly, the principal investigator should contact NDC (either or immediately if a submitted pre-proposal requires editing/revising (e.g., due to omissions).
Can I resubmit a pre-proposal that was submitted last year?
Pre-proposals can be resubmitted as long as the submission meets the topics described in the current request for pre-proposals.
Will my pre-proposal be shared with individuals outside of NDC?
All information that is not otherwise available to the public will be held in confidence while submitted pre-proposals are under consideration by NDC. Additionally, the information contained in the pre-proposals will be made available only to appropriate NDC staff and external scientific advisory committees.
How long does NDC retain pre-proposals?
Pre-proposals submitted to NDC are retained for 3 years.

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