This funding record is inactive. Please see the program website or contact the program sponsor to determine if this program is currently accepting applications or will open again in the future.

Rural Health and Safety Education Competitive Grants Program (RHSE)


Additional Links

Notice of Funding Opportunity (


Application Deadline: Apr 29, 2021

Sponsoring Organization

National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)


Funds community-based outreach education and extension programs at land-grant colleges and universities that provide individuals and families in rural areas with information on health, wellness, and prevention. Includes programs providing training for health service providers and volunteers to carry out health promotion and outreach services. Supports community efforts to prevent or reduce opioid misuse as well as initiatives to prevent and mitigate transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including strategies that utilize telehealth, telemedicine, and distance learning.

Projects must meet the following requirements:

  • Use research-informed, outcome-based programs and approaches
  • Use Cooperative Extension as the mode of program outreach and delivery
  • Serve federally classified rural counties using the 2013 Rural-Urban Continuum Codes from the Economic Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Link to an existing individual and community health and wellness framework or model
  • Coordinate with the State offices of rural health or other appropriate programs
  • Develop and report on performance indicators that demonstrate measurable changes in knowledge and attitudes of project participants

Amount of Funding

Award ceiling: $350,000 per year
Project period: 24 months
Estimated number of awards: 10-11
Estimated total program funding: $4,000,000

$1,000,000 of the total funding is set aside for competitive external grants to implement telehealth, telemedicine, and distance learning approaches related to opioids or the prevention/mitigation of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in minority rural communities.

Who Can Apply

Applications may be submitted by:

  • 1862 and 1890 land grant colleges and universities, including Central State University, Tuskegee University, and West Virginia State University.
  • Any of the Tribal colleges and universities designated as 1994 Land-Grant Institutions under the Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994, as amended.

Priority consideration is given to projects implementing programs and approaches with documented evidence of impact on preventing and/or reducing opioid or substance misuse and abuse.

Geographic Coverage


What This Program Funds

Capacity Building • New Program • Operating Costs and Staffing

Application Process

Application instructions, requirements, and other information can be found in the funding announcement.

Applicant webinar recording


For programmatic or technical questions:
Brent Elrod

Sydney Turner

Rural Awards

Examples of past awards communities have received are described on the program website.

Rural communities who have received funding include:

  • Sitting Bull College in Fort Yates, North Dakota, received funding for the Building Capacity for Community Health Promotion Project. Funds were awarded to establish a collaborative network to improve tribal health, develop a community health workers (CHW) training program and create a health promotion program on campus, and more.
  • Cankdeska Cikana Community College in Fort Totten, North Dakota, received grant funds to increase access to healthcare and social services for elders and families; distribute information concerning health promotion, nutrition, funding resources, and more; enhance transportation services for the elderly; and provide additional care for elders and their relatives.
  • College of Menominee Nation in Keshena, Wisconsin, received grant money to offer health and safety training to a minimum of 100 different Menominee community members, with services focused on health literacy, elder abuse, and exercise.
  • Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet, Minnesota, received funding to increase awareness about activities meant to improve mental and behavioral health and inform the public about opioid abuse and effects. This project aimed to reduce youth substance abuse, improve tribal well-being and prosperity, decrease social isolation, and more.

Topics This Program Addresses

Community Planning and Coalition Building • COVID-19 Response • Health and Wellness • Health Education for Community and Patients • Opioids • Parents, Families, and Children • Prevention • Teleservices and Technology • Youth