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WSSA-USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Fellow

The WSSA Board of Directors created the position of WSSA-NIFA Fellow in 2013. This liaison position is a partnership between WSSA and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Division of Plant Systems-Protection. Dr. Donn Shilling, University of Georgia was selected as the first USDA-NIFA Fellow in late 2014 and his work in this role began in 2015. He was then followed by Dr. James Kells of Michigan State University in 2019.

The purpose of the WSSA-NIFA Fellow is to serve as a weed science resource and subject matter expert within USDA-NIFA and to act as a liaison between WSSA members and USDA-NIFA employees. The WSSA-NIFA Fellow provides input on a wide range of topics such as current weed management practices, herbicide resistance management, weed biology and ecology, invasive plants, and the role of weed control in land management. The WSSA-NIFA Fellow learns about USDA-NIFA policies and procedures, becomes familiar with the USDA-NIFA staff and their roles in the agency, and develops a basic understanding of how USDA-NIFA funding priorities are established and grants awarded. The overall vision and goal for the WSSA-NIFA Fellow is to help enhance NIFA’s understanding of Weed Science and vice-versa that results in a positive impact for both Weed Science and Agriculture.

Description about the WSSA-NIFA Fellow

USDA-NIFA Funding for Weed Science Researchers

USDA-NIFA has developed a Weed Science Funding page to archive all relevant funding opportunities within USDA for Weed Science researchers. Scroll down to RELATED CONTENT section at the bottom of the page for relevant opportunities. The EXTERNAL RESOURCES section at the bottom lists previously funded projects. A list of FY 2017 USDA grant and partnership programs that can address invasive species research, technical assistance, prevention and control is available here. For any questions on USDA grants, contact Dr. Rob Hedberg (rhedberg@nifa.usda.gov).

Information on NIFA funding and how to succeed in grantsmanship:

This PDF file contains slides and notes from the special session, “Navigating the New Landscape of Federal Funding”, which was held at the 2017 WSSA meeting in Tucson, AZ. It contains information and insights that should be useful to anyone planning a proposal submission. Highlights include:

  • New NIFA panel organization – Many options are available for funding weed science research, some with relatively high funding rates.
  • Tips for preparing your proposal – Take home message: Study the RFA, write clearly, and call the Program Leaders with your questions!
  • Lessons from the 2016 panel – It seemed to work well for Weed Science. Read the Panel Manager’s thoughts on the process.

View the funding and grants page for details on active and recently closed calls from USDA and other federal funding agencies.

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