SHIC seeks research proposals to address pork industry challenges

Focus needs to be on monitoring, mitigating risks to swine health, responding to, surveillance of emerging disease.

January 26, 2024

3 Min Read

Research provides critical information and resources to help pork producers as they face emerging disease challenges in their swine herds. Research priorities and topics identified in the Swine Health Information Center 2024 Plan of Work help SHIC fulfill its mission to generate new intelligence for preventing, preparing and responding to emerging swine disease threats.

SHIC has now issued a formal request for proposals inviting submissions to specifically address 11 of the 36 research priorities and topics published in the 2024 Plan of Work, across three of the center’s five strategic emphases. Proposals are due March 1, and will undergo a competitive review process for value to the pork industry by a SHIC working group which will provide funding recommendations.

The specific research priorities included in this RFP focus on monitoring and mitigating risks to swine health, responding to emerging disease, and surveillance and discovery of emerging disease. The intent of the RFP is to encourage researchers to develop and submit proposals that specifically address these identified priorities, broaden awareness of funding opportunities to advance SHIC’s 2024 Plan of Work, and to expand the scientific network of researchers and institutions conducting critical research on emerging swine diseases. Funding timely research is an essential component of SHIC providing project outcomes that drive action for emerging disease prevention, preparedness, and mitigation.

Proposals should clearly state the targeted priority that will be addressed through the project. Collaborative projects that include the pork industry, allied industry, academic institutions, and/or public/private partnerships are highly encouraged. Projects that demonstrate the most urgent and timely completion, provide the greatest value to pork producers, and show efficient use of funds will be prioritized for funding. Projects are requested to be completed within a 12-month period with justification being required if the project duration extends beyond 12 months.

Funding available for the SHIC 2024 Plan of Work Research Program priorities included in this RFP is $1.1 million. Individual awards are anticipated to be between $50,000 and $150,000. Budgets exceeding this range require sufficient justification. Projects should strive to be unique, have a high impact, and have industry-wide benefit.

The deadline for proposal submission is 5 p.m. CST on March 1. The proposal template and instructions for completion and submission can be found here. For questions, please contact Megan Niederwerder via email or (785)452-8270 or Lisa Becton via email or (515)724-9491.

RFP Research Priorities as Included in SHIC’s 2024 Plan of Work

Monitor and mitigate risks to swine health

  • CBP and high-risk product importation and traveler entry at borders.

  • Cull sow and secondary market biosecurity and disease surveillance.

  • Engineering biosecurity controls through site construction design or strategic renovation.

  • Defining spillover risks of emerging diseases from wean-to-market pigs to sow herds.

Respond to emerging disease

  • Improving diagnostic tools, understanding of pathogenesis, and interpretation of test results for porcine circovirus types 2, 3 and 4.

  • Identification of early disease outbreak warning signals from industry data.

  • Diagnostic assay development for confirming efficacy of cleaning and disinfection protocols.

Surveillance and discovery of emerging disease

  • Population based sample types (oral fluids, processing fluids) for emerging disease testing.

  • Pan-diagnostic assay development for co-infections or identifying unknown emerging diseases.

  • Environmental sample types for emerging disease surveillance and efficacy of cleaning and disinfection protocols.

  • Investigate the clinical relevance and epidemiology of newly identified agents in VDL submissions associated with swine disease.

SHIC, launched in 2015 with Pork Checkoff funding, protects and enhances the health of the U.S. swine herd by minimizing the impact of emerging disease threats through preparedness, coordinated communications, global disease monitoring, analysis of swine health data and targeted research investments.

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