Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

School girl holding apple courtesy of Adobe Stock

Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children - 2023 FAQs


Eligibility Questions

Is my organization eligible to apply as a primary applicant for the WIC National
Workforce Strategy Development (NWWSD)?

Please see item (ii) below from Part III. A. of the NWWSD request for applications. Organizations eligible to apply to the NWWSD program include: (a) State Agricultural Experiment Station; (b) colleges and universities (including junior colleges offering associate degrees or higher, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Tribal Colleges, 1994 Land-Grant Institutions, Hispanic-serving agricultural colleges and universities (see NIFA's Hispanic Serving Agricultural Colleges and Universities page); (c) university research foundations; (d) other research institutions and organizations; (e) non- profit organizations; (f) Federal agencies; (g) Governmental agencies; (h) national laboratories; (i) private organizations or corporations; (j) individuals who are U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents; and (k) any group consisting of two or more entities identified in (a) through (j).

Applicants are encouraged to seek and create partnerships with public or private, non-profit, or for-profit entities, including links with academic institutions (including minority-serving colleges and universities and tribal colleges) and/or other appropriate professionals; community-based organizations; Tribal Nations and local government entities; and/or partnering entities for the purposes of providing additional resources and strengthening historical failure in underserved communities.

Is a letter of intent (LOI) required to submit a full application?
No, there is not a requirement of Letter of Intent (LOI) to apply NWWSD.

What if my institution is outside US, could we still apply?
No, eligible institutions do not include foreign or international organizations.

Program Area Questions

What is the available funding listed in the FY2023 NWWSD RFA?
The amount available for the National WIC Workforce Strategy Development (NWWSD) in FY2023 is approximately $750,000 for a Cooperative Agreement. USDA is not committed to fund any particular application.

Can there be more than one award for the same applicant?
No, only one award will be granted for the same applicant. Duplicate or multiple submissions are not allowed. NIFA will disqualify both applications if an applicant submits duplicate or multiple submissions.

Application Questions

When is the estimated start date for funded applicant(s)?
The start date of the grant must be no later than September 1, 2023.

Will this award be a grant or a cooperative agreement?
This award will be administered as a Cooperative Agreement. The Cooperative Agreement will be between NIFA and the Grantee. NIFA and FNS will provide additional context, content, and contacts, as needed, along with agency liaisons (one from each agency) to address questions and help inform the process.

What is the difference between a grant and a cooperative agreement?
When NIFA will be substantially involved in carrying out the project or program for which funds are awarded, NIFA awards a cooperative agreement rather than a grant. Substantial involvement pertains to programmatic involvement. NIFA may apply specific terms and conditions to cooperative agreement consistent with the nature of its involvement under cooperative agreements.

Where can an applicant obtain information about previous WIC modernization investment framework listening sessions mentioned in the RFA?
The Grantee will be provided with information from the WIC modernization investment framework listening sessions as a base from which to conduct additional stakeholder forums.

Is there any subaward restriction?
Yes, no more than 33 percent may be sub-awarded. NIFA will allow applicants to indicate in their proposal if they intend to sub-award more than 33% of the total award, which will require NIFA pre-approval.

Please see Part IV. C. of the NWWSD request for applications for more information about funding restrictions. 

To request prior approval to exceed the sub-award restriction limit of 33%, please submit to on entity letterhead your intention to apply along with the request to deviate from the subcontract restriction. Please include the percentage of the cumulative budget you anticipate will be subcontracted along with strong justification. Dr. Jean will reply via email. Both the request letter and NIFA's response must be uploaded as a PDF attachment to your grant application in Field 12 Other Attachments.

Budget Questions

Is there matching required for the NWWSD?
No, the NWWSD has NO matching requirement. NIFA will not factor matching resources into the review process as an evaluation criterion.

Does the indirect cost rate need to be negotiated?

If an applicant wants full indirect cost and does not have a current negotiated rate, the applicant may request to negotiate with their cognizant agency, which may be NIFA. Negotiation requires the preparation of an Indirect Cost Proposal using specified templates that may take several months to complete. 

Applicants that do not have a current negotiated rate and do not wish to negotiate may alternatively elect the De Minimis rate that offers the option to charge 10 percent of modified total indirect costs. Using this method, costs must be charged consistently as either indirect or direct costs but may not be double or inconsistently charged for all Federal awards until a rate is negotiated. 

Is pre-award spending allowable?
Yes, NIFA authorizes award recipients to incur project costs up to 90 calendar days before the Federal award start date. Expenses more than 90 days pre-award require prior approval from NIFA.

Pre-award costs incurred may be reimbursed after the Federal award start date but are at the risk of the recipient. NIFA is not required to reimburse costs if for any reason (1) the award is not made; (2) the award is less than anticipated; or (3) the award is inadequate to cover such costs. If charged to the award, these costs must be charged to the initial budget period of the award, unless otherwise specified by NIFA.

Can subawards collect indirect costs?
If the subrecipient has an approved federally recognized indirect cost rate, that rate may be applied. If no approved rate exists, the pass-through entity must determine the appropriate rate in collaboration with the subrecipient. The pass-through entity must not require use of a de minimis indirect cost rate if the subrecipient has a Federally approved rate.

Are grants eligible for advance payment?
Grantees may be paid in advance, provided that they maintain both written procedures that minimize the time elapsing between the transfer of funds and disbursement, and financial systems that meet the standards for fund accountability. The timing and amount of advance payments must be as close as is administratively feasible to the actual disbursement for direct program or program costs and the proportionate share of any allowable indirect costs. If a grantee cannot meet the criteria for advance payments, NIFA may determine that reimbursement is the preferred method and will set reimbursement as a specific term of the award.

Is the maximum total award amount also known as the budget ceiling for the entire project period?
Yes, the amount available is approximately $750,000 for a single (1) award in Fiscal Year (FY) 2023, to be administered as a Cooperative Agreement. The project is to be completed within 6 months.

For additional questions, please see contact information in the RFA.
For additional information about WIC Workforce Development Initiative, please visit our Program Main Page.


Your feedback is important to us.

Take the Website Survey