|USHBC Research Activities
The USHBC is a national
promotion and research organization supported by production assessments
from both domestic and imported highbush blueberries with oversight by
the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The scope of funded projects
include highbush blueberry research on the following:
||New product development
and product improvement
Blueberry Crop Production
USHBC solicits proposals from
researchers to quantify acreage and production of highbush
Guide to submission of blueberry research
Memorandum of agreement (html)
Blueberry Research RFP.
USHBC Background (pdf)
Guide to Submissions (pdf)
You are invited to submit a proposal on highbush blueberry research
for consideration by the United States Highbush Blueberry Council
(USHBC). Enclosed are guidelines for you, or others at your
facility, to submit proposals for our upcoming funding year.
The USHBC is a national promotion and research
organization supported by production assessments from both domestic
and imported highbush blueberries with oversight by the U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA). The scope of funded projects
include highbush blueberry research on the following:
Though health attributes of blueberries are of primary interest,
proposals in the food safety area will be considered. Proposals
must address pertinent issues relevant to all highbush
blueberry growers in all regions of the United States.
Projects that increase the marketability of blueberries or improve
the competitive position of growers are encouraged. Proposals that
leverage costs by cooperation with other funding sources are of
Proposals for all health related
research are encouraged. For this funding cycle, proposals related
to vision research are of particular interest. Successful applicants
may be requested to present their findings at the annual USHBC
meeting held each year in late February or early March.
The timeline for the application process
Due Date For Current Projects January 10
Proposals will be
screened by a scientific peer review committee, and then reviewed by
the USHBC Research Committee. The Committee meets during the last
week of February for final review and recommendation to the Council.
Successful applicants will then be required to submit the proposal
in the USDA format and sign a USDA Memorandum of Agreement prior to
funding. For reference, a draft copy of the Memorandum of Agreement
is included with the enclosed Guide to Submission of Research
Proposals or can be downloaded from the USHBC website at
The Council does not currently have
minimum or maximum funding levels for proposals. Typically, the
Council funds several projects each year. For proposals that address
urgent needs or exceptional opportunities, additional funding may be
available. Proposals will be considered for a single year of
funding; however in some cases, multiple-year projects will be
funded. Please note that blueberry fruit may be made available to
researchers in order to facilitate and/or standardize research
Technical questions concerning
research and this request for proposals should be directed to USHBC
Research Committee Member Amy Howell at
It is preferred that proposals be
submitted electronically to:
Subject: Research Proposals
CD’s, disks or
hard copies of the proposal may be mailed to:
2390 East Bidwell Street, Suite
Folsom, California 95630
INDUSTRY BACKGROUND and RESEARCH
Updated October 2004
HISTORY, FUNCTION and FUNDING
The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) is a
national research and promotion program for the highbush
(cultivated) blueberry industry. It was established by a vote of
the industry and is formally titled the “Blueberry Promotion,
Research and Information Order (7CFR 1218)”. A final rule by the
U.S. Department of Agriculture established the USHBC in August of
The USHBC is led by industry elected Council members
with USDA oversight. Under this program, all domestic highbush
blueberry growers producing 2,000 pounds or more of blueberries per
year are assessed. The U.S. Customs Service also collects this same
assessment on all highbush blueberries entering the United States.
Assessment funds are used by the USHBC to increase
blueberry demand through market promotion activity
(consumer/foodservice publicity campaigns, magazine advertising,
food manufacturer publicity, export market development) as well as
to support continued blueberry research, with particular interest in
blueberry health related research.
Highbush (cultivated) blueberries are grown in over
35 states and British Columbia
Domestic highbush blueberries are harvested from
April to October
There are approximately 2,000 highbush blueberry
growers located throughout the U.S.
An estimated 270 million pounds of highbush
blueberries were produced in the United States and Canada (British
Columbia) in 2004 (158 million pounds harvested as fresh blueberries
and 112 million pounds harvested as process/frozen blueberries).
Blueberry consumption in the U.S. is estimated at
17.1 ounces per person in 2003/2004
(6.2 ounces fresh and 10.9 ounces frozen)
USHBC functions through a 13 member Council with USDA oversight.
The Council is made up of:
elected Regional Grower Member from each of 4 regions
elected Grower Member from each of the top 5 production states
(Michigan, New Jersey, Oregon, North Carolina and Georgia)
Council elected Importer
Council elected Exporter
Council elected Handler
Council elected Public Member
USHBC supports highbush blueberry research in the
Priority is given to research that most matches
consumer needs and desires and has the greatest opportunity to
Research that will add to the current portfolio of
blueberry benefits and assist in helping to verify health claims is
encouraged. Research must provide realistic, useful and practical
A conservative approach to research efforts is
Though at the present time health related research is
of considerable interest, particularly in the area of vision, food
safety research could also be pursued when determined to be vital to
maintain or build markets.
Research proposals must address pertinent issues
relevant to all highbush blueberry growers in all
regions of the United States.
Projects that increase the marketability of
blueberries, or improve the competitive position of growers, are
Proposals that leverage costs through cooperation
with other funding sources are of interest.
November 1 Requests for Proposals Issued by
USHBC Research Committee
January 10 Proposal Submission Date
January 15 Progress Report Due Date for
Currently Funded Projects
February 4 Initial Review by USHBC Research
Projects of Interest Sent to
February 18 Response from Screening Committee
February 25 Meeting of USHBC Research
Committee, Final Selection of Projects
April 1 Funding Notification
Submission of 2005 Research Proposals (download in
This format is
recommended for proposals submitted to the USHBC. Proposals that do
not adequately address these points may not be considered for
Include name of researcher(s), affiliation(s), address, email,
phone and fax numbers.
Beginning on a separate page, the rationale for conducting the
proposed research should be stated clearly. Relevant literature
should be cited.
Objectives should be stated in a logical sequence.
Sufficient details of procedures should be given to allow the
committee to evaluate the proposal. All proposals should
contain a description of the experimental design including the
number of replications and proposed method of data analysis.
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
a brief written progress update by September 15 and a full
written progress report by January 15 of each year.
The budget should contain a list of expenditures detailed as to
material, labor, supplies and maintenance, equipment, overhead
and other miscellaneous costs. The committee looks favorably
upon projects considered worthy by other institutions. Please
include in a separate line-item cost a one-time presentation to
the USHBC during the spring meeting at a location to be
determined. Overhead costs for USHBC projects are limited to
the USDA standard of 11%.
Each proposal must contain the signatures of the chairman of the
department, the dean of the college, or the head of the
division. If the proposal is accepted, the researcher
(Contractor) will be required to submit a Memorandum of
Agreement to the USHBC. This agreement details specific
requirements that must be met in order for the USHBC to approve
any project. An example of a draft of the required Memorandum
of Agreement is attached to these guidelines for Contractor
reference in preparing the final agreement. Recipients of
multiple year funding agree to provide the USHBC with annual
Personnel other than the principal investigator(s) should be
listed, along with their responsibilities relating to the
A brief vitae of the principal investigator(s) would be useful
to the committee. Please include previous published projects
that are most relevant to the current proposal.
Acceptance of funding commits the principal investigator(s) to
submitting a final report to the committee for distribution to the
members of the USHBC. This report should contain a brief
introduction, a description of experimental design, a summary of
results and any conclusions.
Research projects originally designated for one year may receive
additional funding contingent on available funds and sufficient
progress toward research goals as outlined in the original
proposal. A budget for the additional year of funding should be
included, as well as how an additional year will further add to the
An annual report should be submitted by January 15th. An
annual report must be submitted in order for a proposal to be
considered for continued funding.
The researcher(s) will be notified within 45 days of the USHBC
Spring Meeting as to the committee’s decision.
It is preferred
that all proposals be submitted electronically to:
CD’s, disks, or hard
copies may be mailed to:
USHBC Research Committee
2390 East Bidwell Street,
Folsom, California 95630
MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT (download
form in pdf)
This AGREEMENT is
entered into by and between the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC),
hereinafter referred to as the “Council”, and (insert name of
researcher or organization conducting the project), hereinafter
referred to as the “Contractor”.
the project entered into by means of this Agreement is of mutual
interest and benefit to the Council and to the Contractor
NOW, THEREFORE, the
parties hereto agree as follows:
STATEMENT OF WORK.
The Contractor agrees to use its best efforts to perform the project
described in Appendix A hereof. (Contractor is to attach as an
appendix page to this agreement a complete project proposal which
includes, but is not limited to, complete details concerning
principal investigators, co-investigators/collaborators; project
start and completion dates; objective of the project; justification;
project hypothesis, description and research design; schedule of
progress reports; budget and payment schedule). Contractor
will make brief progress reports of the project periodically to
Council and a final report will be rendered on completion of the
(List names of researchers involved in this study)
The Contractor will primarily rely on in-house staff to undertake
project assignments. However, the Contractor retains the right to
subcontract specific tasks to outside parties. Should the
Contractor elect to subcontract specific tasks, subcontractors will
be subject to the same contractual terms as the Contractor in regard
to reporting and record keeping, travel expenses, title of property,
confidential information, influencing legislation and/or influencing
governmental policy or action, and following Federal Civil Rights
policies. The Contractor will be fully responsible for the quality
of all work products.
Work will commence from the date of contract signature and upon
written contract approval by the U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA) until the project completion. Work undertaken prior to
contract approval by USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is at
the own risk of the Contractor, as the Council is not financially
liable if AMS does not approve the contract. The project will be
conducted during the period of (insert specific dates for
initiation and completion of the project).
PROJECT COSTS AND
Council will pay Contractor the initial sum of $(insert dollar
amount) upon final agreement approval and signature for
costs to be incurred to initiate the project, and $(insert
dollar amount) upon successful completion of the project as
detailed in the Budget section of Appendix A. No expenses paid by
the Council to the Contractor shall be used in any manner for the
purpose of the influencing of legislation and/or the influencing of
governmental policy or action.
TAX EXEMPT STATUS.
The Contractor must inform vendors/subcontractors of the Council’s
tax-exempt status and all vendors and subcontractors are subject to
the same terms and conditions as the Contractor.
FEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS
The Contractor agrees that during the performance of this Agreement,
it shall not discriminate against any employee or applicant for
employment because of race, color, national origin, gender,
religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation,
marital or family status. The Contractor agrees that it will fully
comply with any and all applicable Federal, State, and local equal
employment opportunity statues, ordinances, and regulations,
including, but not limited to, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of
1964; the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967; and the Equal Pay Act of
1963. Nothing in this section shall require the Contractor to
comply with or become liable under any law, ordinance, regulation,
or rule that does not otherwise apply to the Contractor.
The Council will have sole ownership of all materials purchased for
this project. All non-proprietary information collected as part of
the project will be the property of the Council.
(Note: This does not apply for contracts with USDA
Agricultural Research Service and may not apply to contracts with
The Council reserves the right to copyright or trademark any or all
materials developed under this agreement. (Note: This does not
apply for contacts with USDA Agricultural Research Service and may
not apply to contacts with University researchers.)
The Principal Investigator may publish results from this project;
however, USDA AMS must review all publications/deliverables prior to
publication or use. Under no circumstances can a contract agency
release any materials, data, information or other deliverables to
anyone other than the Council without USDA AMS review and approval.
BOOKS AND RECORDS.
The Contractor must (a) maintain accurate records, books, and
documents involving transactions relating to the agreement and (b)
retain the records, books, and documents for three (3) years.
Records, books and documents may be subject to inspection and audit
by a representative of the Secretary of Agriculture.
(a) The Contractor agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Council
and the Secretary and their affiliates, members, officers,
directors, agents, and employees against all losses, damages,
liabilities, cost or expenses, including reasonable attorneys fees
(collectively, losses), resulting from all claims, proceedings,
investigations, or actions (collectively, claims) arising out of or
in connection with the contract and the services rendered by the
Contractor. This indemnification obligation shall survive the
expiration or termination of this contact. (b) The Council agrees to
indemnify and hold harmless the Contractor against all losses
resulting from claims arising out of or in connection with
Council-supplied products or materials, or representations
concerning the Council, or its services or products, to the extent
furnished or prepared by or at the Council’s request for use by the
Contractor, including, without limitations, infringement upon
intellectual property of other proprietary rights. This
indemnification obligation shall survive the expiration or
termination of this contract.
The Council and the USDA reserve the right, at their own discretion
and for any reason deemed by them to be sufficient, to cancel or
modify the project after the date of contract signature. In such
event, it is agreed that the Council is liable for all commitments
made prior to cancellation or modification and shall reimburse the
Contractor for all reasonable amounts due or owing in accordance
with this contract at the time of said termination.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF,
the parties have caused these presents to be executed.
HIGHBUSH BLUEBERRY COUNCIL
(Name Of Contracting Organization)
|Request for proposals
|| Will be posted November 2004
|Proposal submission and progress reports.
Blueberry Research Excerpts provides an annotated bibliography
related to Highbush blueberries such as: antioxidants and
blueberries, blueberries and aging, blueberries and phytoestrogens,
blueberries and storage, composition of blueberries, five-a-day the
blueberry way, blueberries and the urinary tract, blueberries and
Research Excerpts, July 2003
Research Excerpts, Spring 2004