(CLOSED) USDA - Women and Minorities in STEM Fields Program (WAMS) 2020

Sponsor Name: 
Description of the Award: 

The purpose of this program is to support research 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 (FAHN sciences). 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.

All WAMS projects are required to provide leadership skills opportunities. The development of leadership skills, knowledge, and qualities are necessary to prepare students for agricultural and related careers in the private sector, government, and academia. WAMS teaching applications must demonstrably incorporate a leadership development component to equip students with technical and leadership abilities upon graduation.

Specific activities may include:

  • Developing practical applications to increase understanding of leadership roles, including critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills; ethics and professionalism; and working in teams;
  • Connecting the academic classroom experience with daily leadership roles and organizational activities;
  • Providing opportunities for mentoring and shadowing; and
  • Organizing leadership academies, workshops, trainings, etc.

WAMS supports social and behavioral science disciplines. Projects that integrate social and behavioral sciences to provide experiential learning opportunities for students in applied research, and related community development programs. Incorporation of social and behavioral sciences is important for addressing many of the challenges facing agriculture and rural communities, such as increasing global demand for food production in the face of limited natural resources; improving health and reducing obesity; and increasing economic opportunities.

Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Feb 24, 2020
OVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

Interested applicants should send the following documents in sequence in one PDF file (File name: Last name_WAMS_2020 no later than 4:00 p.m. on the internal submission deadline:

  • Principal Investigator’s (PI's) names and departmental affiliation
  • Co-PI's names and departmental affiliation(s)

  • A list of possible participating organizations (if applicable)

  • Proposal Title

  • No more than a two page project summary to include the relevance of the project to the goals of WAMS.

Formatting Guidelines and Page Limit:

  • Font/size: Times New Roman (12 pt.)

  • Document margins: 1.0” (top, bottom, left and right)

  • Standard paper size (8 ½” x 11)

Questions concerning the limited submissions process may be submitted to limitedsubs@psu.edu.

To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
This limited submission is in downselect: 
Penn State may only submit a specific number of proposals to this funding opportunity. The number of NOIs received require that an internal competition take place, thus, a downselect process has commenced. No Penn State researchers may apply to this opportunity outside of this downselect process. To apply for this limited submission, please use this link:
OVPR Downselect Deadline: 
Thursday, January 30, 2020 - 4:00pm
Sherri Mason (Behrend)