USDA NIFA Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fields Program (WAMS) Solicitation

Please see the full solicitation for complete information about the funding opportunity. Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO).

Program Summary 

The purpose of this program is to support research, education/teaching, and extension projects that increase participation by women and underrepresented minorities from rural areas in STEM. NIFA intends this program to address educational needs within broadly defined areas of food, agriculture, natural resources, and human (FANH) sciences. Applications recommended for funding must highlight and emphasize the development of a competent and qualified workforce in the FAHN sciences. WAMS-funded projects improve the economic health and viability of rural communities by developing research and extension initiatives that focus on new and emerging employment opportunities in STEM occupations. Projects that contribute to the economic viability of rural communities are also encouraged.

A proposed project must address one or more Educational Need Areas and/or be an Applied Project that addresses research, outreach and capacity building to benefit the communities served, especially that of their students.

WAMS projects should focus on the purpose of one or more of the FY 2020 Need Areas:

  • Curriculum Design, Materials Development, and Library Resources
  • Faculty Preparation and Enhancement of Teaching
  • Instruction Delivery Systems
  • Scientific Instrumentation for Teaching and Research
  • Student Experiential Learning
  • Student Recruitment, Retention, and Educational Equity (including the provision of student financial assistance)

In addition to the Education Need Areas, applicant may choose to develop studies that have relevancy and application within the communities that these institutions serve.

  • Applied Studies in the Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Human Sciences
  • Applied Research Support Systems
  • Technology-based Information Delivery Systems
  • Other Applied Research and Community Development Applications


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST January 20, 2020

Sponsor Application Deadline: February 24, 2020

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Project Summary (2-3 pages maximum): Please include the following: long-term goals of the proposed activities, summary of the body of knowledge and/or past activities that substantiates the need for the proposed project, ongoing or recently completed activities related to proposed project, preliminary data/information, project objectives, methods (stakeholder involvement, activities, evaluation, communication to stakeholders/public), project timetable.
  • PI CV / Biosketch
  • Budget Overview (1 page maximum): A basic budget outlining project costs is sufficient; detailed OCG budgets are not required. Please include the source of the required cost share.

To access the online application, visit:


No special eligibility requirements.

Limited Submission Guidelines

CU Boulder may only submit one application.

Award Information

Award Amount: $400,000 annually

Cost Share: For FY 2020, for the WAMS program, if a grant provides a particular benefit to a specific agricultural commodity, the grant recipient is required to match the USDA funds awarded on a dollar-for-dollar basis from non-Federal sources with cash and/or in-kind contributions. NIFA may waive the matching funds requirement for a grant if NIFA determines that: (1) the results of the project, while of particular benefit to a specific agricultural commodity, are likely to be applicable to agricultural commodities generally; or (2) the project involves a minor commodity, the project deals with scientifically important research, and the grant recipient is unable to satisfy the matching funds requirement.