Date Open: 
ORD Notice of Intent Deadline: 
Agency Deadline: 
Limit per Institution: 
Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fields Program (WAMS)  - 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, as determined by each institution, within broadly defined areas of food, agriculture, natural resources, and human sciences.
Applications recommended for funding must highlight and emphasize the development of a competent and qualified workforce in the food, agricultural, natural resources and human sciences (FAHNsciences). WAMS-funded projects should 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.

Projects with a primary target of 4-year undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral studies should consider NIFA’s workforce and development focused programs. More information is available here:


Limited Submission - 1 per institution

  • No candidates have been identified - Submit LOI to Office for Research Advancement via the Smartsheet below
  • USDA Deadline: 04/19/2023

Guidance for preparation of letters of intent to the Research Office:

Cover Sheet (1 page)

  • Solicitation Name and Descriptive Title
  • Project Summary: 2 or 4 sentences or bullet points that provide an overview of the objective of your proposed research, how you plan to do it, and the expected outcome.
  • Unique Aspects: 2 or 4 sentences or bullet points that highlight how your research/approach is different/better.
  • Key PI/co-PIs: 4 or 6 sentences or bullet points that highlight team expertise as it relates to the project.
  • Budget: Example: The total cost of the project is anticipated to be $ X, with $ Y being requested from WAMS. WAMS funds will be used for: $ A for personnel; $ B for operations, and $ C for broader impacts/subcontracts etc.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION (2 - 3 pages - this is based on WAMS review criteria - A technical review panel will evaluate applications that meet the administrative requirements. We select reviewers based upon their training and experience in relevant scientific, extension, or education fields, considering the following factors):

  • the level of relevant formal scientific, technical education, or extension experience of the individual, as well as the extent to which an individual is engaged in relevant research, education, or extension activities;
  • the need to include experts from various areas of specialization within relevant scientific, education, or extension fields;
  • the need to include other experts (e.g., producers, range or forest managers/operators, and consumers) who can assess the relevance of the applications to targeted audiences and program needs;
  • the need to include experts from a variety of organizational types (e.g., colleges, universities, industry, state and federal agencies, and private profit and non-profit organizations) and geographic locations;
  • the need to maintain a balanced composition with regard to minority and female representation and equitable age distribution; and
  • the need to include reviewers who can judge the effective use of each application to producers and the general public