Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and

The Women and Minorities (WAMS) in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Fields program was authorized to increase participation by women and underrepresented minorities from rural areas in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, with priority given to eligible
institutions that carry out continuing programs funded by the Secretary.

The goal of the WAMS program is to develop and implement robust partnerships to increase the representation, participation, and entrepreneurism of women in STEM careers, thereby contributing to national economic prosperity.

The purpose of the grant program is to support projects that: Provide STEM knowledge, skills and competency to Women and Minorities from Rural Areas with successful placement (a) in the workforce in STEM fields, or (b) as innovators and entrepreneurs adding value to the STEM fields in areas that have relevancy to the USDA Secretary s priorities.

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.



Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2009: Newly authorized program - funding provided for FY "10. Fiscal Year 2010: To be provided by Program at a future date. Fiscal Year 2011: No Current Data Available

Uses and Use Restrictions

Grant funds must be used for allowable costs necessary to conduct approved fundamental and applied research and extension grants to increase participation by women and underrepresented minorities from rural areas in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, with priority given to eligible institutions that carry out continuing programs funded by the Secretary.

Funds shall not be used for the construction of a new building or facility or the acquisition, expansion, remodeling, or alteration of an existing building or facility (including site grading and improvement, and architect fees).

Funds may not be used for any purposes other than those approved in the grant award documents.

Indirect Costs:
Not to exceed 22 percent of Federal Funds awarded.

Fully discretionary.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

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 any group consisting of 2 or more of these entities.

Beneficiary Eligibility

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 any group consisting of 2 or more of these entities.

Credentials/Documentation

A Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number must be obtained - A DUNS number is a unique number that identifies an organization. It has been adopted by the Federal government to help track how Federal grant money is distributed. If your organization does not have a DUNS number, call the special Dun and Bradstreet hotline at (1-866) 705-5711 to receive one free of charge. You will receive a DUNS number within several days of your request. Please note, individual proprietorships (i.e. farmers, ranchers) can request and receive a DUNS number, but must register with Grants.gov as an organization, not as an individual. Registration with Central Contractor Registry (CCR) is required - The CCR is the central government repository for organizations working with the Federal government. If your organization is not already registered, identify the primary contact who should register your organization. When your organization registers with CCR, it will be required to designate an e-Business Point of Contact (e-Business POC). The e-Business POC authorizes individuals to submit grant applications on behalf of the organization and creates a special password called a Marketing Partner ID Number (M-PIN) to verify individuals authorized to submit grant applications for the organization. Visit the CCR Web site at http://www.ccr.gov to begin this process. It may take several days to collect the information needed for your organization s registration. The CCR Assistance Center can be reached at (888) 227-2423. This information collection is approved under OMB Control No. 0524-0039, "NIFA Application Kit for Research and Extension Programs." Applicants must furnish the information required in the request for applications (RFAs). Successful applicants recommended for funding must furnish the information and assurances requested during the award documentation process. These include, but are not limited to the following:
Organizational Management Information - Specific management information relating to an applicant shall be submitted on a one time basis, with updates on an as needed basis, as part of the responsibility determination prior to the award of a grant identified under this RFA, if such information has not been provided previously under this or another NIFA program. NIFA will provide copies of forms recommended for use in fulfilling these requirements as part of the preaward process. Although an applicant may be eligible based on its status as one of these entities, there are factors which may exclude an applicant from receiving Federal financial and nonfinancial assistance and benefits under this program (e.g., debarment or suspension of an individual involved or a determination that an applicant is not responsible based on submitted organizational management information). This information collection is approved under OMB Circular Control No. 0524-0026, "Assurance of Compliance with the Department of Agriculture Regulations Assuring Civil Rights, Compliance and Organization Information.". OMB Circular No. A-87 applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. All RFAs are published on the Agency s website and Grants.gov. Applicants must complete the Grants.gov registration process. Please see the following Grants.gov link for more information: http://www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp.

Applications should be submitted as outlined in the RFA. Applications must follow the instructions provided per Grants.Gov and in the Agency guide to submitting applications via Grants.gov.

Award Procedures

Applications are subjected to a system of peer and merit review in accordance with section 103 of the Agricultural Research, Extension and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 1613) by a panel of qualified scientists and other appropriate persons who are specialists in the field covered by the proposal. Within the limit of funds available for such purpose, the NIFA Authorized Departmental Officer (ADO) shall make grants to those responsible, eligible applicants whose applications are judged most meritorious under the procedures set forth in the RFA.

Reviewers will be selected based upon training and experience in relevant scientific, extension, or education fields.

Evaluation Criteria will be delineated in the RFA.

Deadlines

Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.

Authorization

Section 7204 of the Food Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (FCEA) (Public Law 110-246) amends section 1672 of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990 (FACT) (7 U.S.C. 5925) to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to make competitive grants to support research and extension activities. The Secretary shall make these grants in consultation with the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education, and Economics Advisory Board.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 30 to 180 days.

Dates for specific deadlines are announced in the RFA each fiscal year.

Information is also available via our website and may be obtained via the Grants.gov website. Respective links are provided below:
http://www.nifa.usda.gov/
http://www.grants.gov.

Appeals

Not Applicable.

Renewals

Specific details are provided in the Request for Applications (RFA) each fiscal year.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula.
Matching Requirements: Percent: 100.%. Grant recipients are required to match the USDA funds awarded on dollar-for-dollar basis from non-Federal sources with cash and in-kind contributions.

NIFA may waive the matching funds requirement for a grant if NIFA determines that:

(a) the results of the project, while of particular benefit to a specific agricultural commodity, are likely to be applicable to agricultural commodities generally; or

(b) 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.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The term of competitive project grants under this program may not exceed 5 years. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: by letter of credit.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Grantees also are required to submit annual and summary progress reports via NIFA s Current Research Information System (CRIS).

This reporting requirement was approved under OMB Control No.

0524-0042, "NIFA Current Research Information System (CRIS)." CRIS is an electronic, web-based inventory system that facilitates both grantee submission of project outcomes and public access to information on Federally-funded projects.

NIFA uses the SF-425, Federal financial Report to monitor cash.

Grantees also are required to submit annual and summary progress reports via NIFA s Current Research Information System (CRIS).

This reporting requirement was approved under OMB Control No.

0524-0042, "NIFA Current Research Information System (CRIS)." CRIS is an electronic, web-based inventory system that facilitates both grantee submission of project outcomes and public access to information on Federally-funded projects.

A final "Federal Financial Report" (SF-425) is due within 90 days of the expiration date of the grant and should be submitted to the Awards Management Branch, Office of Extramural Programs at the address listed below, in accordance with instructions contained in 2 CFR 3430.55 (also refer to Section 3015.82 of the Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations).



Awards Management Branch, Office of Extramural Programs, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Department of Agriculture, STOP 2271, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-2271, Telephone: (202) 401-4986.

Grantees also are required to submit annual and summary progress reports via NIFA s Current Research Information System (CRIS).

This reporting requirement was approved under OMB Control No.

0524-0042, "NIFA Current Research Information System (CRIS)." CRIS is an electronic, web-based inventory system that facilitates both grantee submission of project outcomes and public access to information on Federally-funded projects.

Audits

This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-133. Audits will be conducted in accordance with guidelines established in the revised OMB Circular No. A-133 and implemented in 7 CFR 3052. This program is also subject to audit by the cognizant Federal audit agency and the USDA Office of Inspector General.

Records

In accordance with the Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and other Non-profit Organizations [2 CFR 215, Subpart C, Section 215.53, (OMB Circular A-110)] grantees shall maintain separate records for each grant to ensure that funds are used for authorized purposes. Grant-related records are subject to inspection during the life of the grant and must be retained at least three (3) years. Records must be retained beyond the three-year period if litigation is pending or audit findings have not been resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification

12-0502-0-1-352.

Obigations

(Cooperative Agreements (Discretionary Grants)) FY 09 $0; FY 10 est $364,000; FY 11 est $364,000 - The difference between the appropriation and obligation numbers reflects legislative authorized set-asides deducted as appropriate, and in some cases the availability of obligational authority from prior years.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

If minimum or maximum amounts of funding per competitive project grant are established, these will be announced in the annual program announcement or Request for Application (RFA).

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

7 CFR Part 3430, Competitive and Noncompetitive Non-formula Federal Assistance Programs - General Award Administrative Provisions and Program-Specific Administrative Provisions; 7 CFR Part 3015, USDA Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations; 7 CFR Part 3017, Government wide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) ; 7 CFR Part 3018, New Restrictions on Lobbying; 7 CFR Part 3019, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-profit Organizations; and 7 CFR Part 3021- USDA implementation of Governmentwide Requirements for Drug-free Workplace (Financial Assistance).

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

None.

Headquarters Office

USDA, NIFA, National Program Leader, Science and Education Resources Development, Higher Education Programs 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 2251, Washington , District of Columbia 20024-2251 Phone: (202) 401-2855 Fax: (202) 720-2030.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Within guidelines established for the program as described in the Request for Application (RFA).



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