While the Sun Grant program was initially restricted to land-grant universities, eligibility has now been expanded to better leverage expertise across the region. The lead institution may be state agricultural experiment stations; colleges and universities; university research foundations; other research institutions and organizations; Federal agencies; national laboratories; private organizations or corporations; individuals; or group consisting of 2 or more of the entities described in this paragraph from within the Northeast region.

The Northeast region is composed of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia. It is not required that all members of the project team be affiliated be located within the Northeast region, only the lead principal investigator and their organization.

Partnership among Northeast Region land grant institutions, public and private colleges and universities, small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, or other regional stakeholders is encouraged.

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