Competitive Funding Opportunity Workshops (CFOW)

The workshops are designed to assist both new and veteran applicants with optimizing their chances of successfully competing in a peer-reviewed grant application process. Writing an effective grant application takes hard work, practice, and skill to communicate science ideas into a successfully funded, peer-reviewed grant award. The first step in developing a successful grant application is understanding the program goals, grant types, eligibility, etc. NIFA intends to provide at least two competitive funding opportunity workshops on a bi-annual basis; open to all potential applicants; and workshops that encourage networking, collaboration, and engagement among all attendees. The overarching goal of the CFOW Webinar is to share information about NIFA programs more broadly and to share helpful tips to all institutions including those underrepresented in NIFA grant programs.

Langston University student scientist working on genome-wide association analysis for the identification of alpine goats with high milk production.
Langston University student scientist working on genome-wide association analysis for the identification of alpine goats with high milk production. Photo provided by Langston University.


As a result of attending this webinar participants should be able to gain a better understanding of the breadth of competitive programs offered by NIFA. In addition, attendees will be able to:
  • Increase comprehension of the NIFA grant award types - Session I
  • Increase knowledge of the grants submission process - Session I
  • Increase understanding of NIFA’s peer-review grant process - Session II
  • Identify approaches shared by successful grantees for seeking NIFA grants - Session II


Dr. Dawanna James-Holly, USDA NIFA
Dr. Jodi Williams, USDA NIFA
Mrs. Pushpa Kathir, USDA NIFA
Dr. Max Teplitski, USDA NIFA
Mr. Shawn Bennett, USDA NIFA
Dr. Sandria Godwin, Tennessee State University
Dr. Veronica Oates, Tennessee State University
Dr. Richard Hartel, University of Wisconsin
Dr. Robert Zwaba, Tuskegee University
Dr. Krishnaswamy Jayachandran, Florida International University


To pre-register, please visit event page


NOTE: There will not be audio access via adobe connect

Participant Audio

Phone via AT&T Connect:  1-877-369-5243 or 1-617-668-3633
Access Code: 0211403#
Limited Access:
There are limited available virtual access slots for this webinar.  If it’s possible we encourage participants to attend in groups at their respective educational institutions.

SESSION DETAILS - Thursday, May 25

Session I  

From 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. EDT
  • Welcome & Introduction –  Webinar Goals and Learning Objectives
  • Overview of Competitive Funding Opportunities at USDA, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)  
  • AFRI & NON-AFRI Award Types- Standard (STD), Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAP) , and Conference (CON)
  • AFRI-Food and Agriculture Science Enhancement (FASE) Awards ie. Pre/Postdoc fellowship grants, New Investigator, Strengthening (STR) ie. SEED, SABBATICAL, EQUIPMENT, Strengthening Standard (STR STD), Strengthening Coordinated Agricultural Projects (STR CAP), and Strengthening Conference (STR CON )
  • AFRI -STR Grant Eligibility: EPSCoR, Minority Serving Institutions (MSI’s), Small & Mid-sized, and entities with limited Institutional Success
  • Peer Review Panel Process at USDA, National Institute of Food and Agriculture     
  • Questions & Answers
  • Closing 

Session II

From 1 to 2 p.m. EDT      
  • Welcome & Introduction – Webinar Goals and Learning Objectives
  • Successful Grant Submissions through
  • Best Practices of Successful Applicants of Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) & Non-AFRI Grant Programs
  • AFRI Food and Agriculture Science Enhancement (FASE) Program Tips to Success 
  • AFRI Standard (STD) Program Tips to Success                                                                               
  • Non-AFRI Program Tips to Success                            
  • National Needs Fellowship Program and Tips for New Investigators
  • Questions and Answers
  • Closing