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Deadline: March 28, 2018

U.S. Department of Agriculture: Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fields Program

Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fields Program (WAMS) will support research, education/teaching, and extension projects that increase participation by women and underrepresented minorities from rural areas in STEM. The program will address educational needs, as determined by each institution, within broadly defined areas of food, agriculture, natural resources, and human sciences. The target audience is K-14 students (kindergarten through twelfth grade plus two years of post-secondary schooling, such as vocational technical institutions or community or junior colleges).

Successful proposals will 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.

A proposed project must address one or more of the 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 (see below).

1. Educational Needs Areas include:

  • 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)

2. Applied Projects: 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

Project types include:

  • Single-Function Education/Teaching Projects: These projects develop human capital relevant to overall program goals for U.S. agriculture. An education activity or teaching activity is formal classroom instruction, laboratory instruction, and practicum experience in the food, agriculture, natural resources, and human sciences and other related matters such as faculty development, curriculum development, instructional materials and equipment, and innovative teaching methodologies.
  • Single-Function Extension Projects: These support applied research conducted by individual investigators, co-investigators within the same discipline, or multidisciplinary teams. Applied research means research that includes expansion of the findings of fundamental research to uncover practical ways in which new knowledge can be advanced to benefit individuals and society.
  • Integrated Research, Education/Teaching and/or Extension Projects: An Integrated Project includes at least two of the three functions of the agricultural knowledge system (i.e., research, education/teaching, and extension) within a project. The functions addressed in the project should be focused around the problem or issue and should be interwoven throughout the life of the project to complement and reinforce one another. The functions should be interdependent and necessary for the success of the project.

Amount: A total of $400,000 is available to make awards of up to $100,000 each. The project period may range from 24 to 36 months.

Eligibility: State agricultural experiment stations; colleges and universities; university research foundations; other research institutions and organizations; Federal agencies; national laboratories; private organizations or corporations; and individuals.

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=300305

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