NGWI Research Process

NGWI's Process for Creating Grape Research Projects   

NGWI operates in a somewhat different fashion than other industry research programs, and here we have outlined the way our programs function.

A fundamental principle of NGWI has been an "industry-driven research agenda," driving research by pulling the right people together to develop, implement and extend research. NGWI works to optimize the opportunities for collaboration on national research projects and priorities with a special focus on projects which no one grape industry segment would be able to undertake on its own. NGWI builds closer alignment between the research community and industry, working together to establish project objectives and desired outcomes as part of the proposal development process.

The NGWI process seeks to accomplish the following:

Coordination and creation of funding for projects which are game-changing, and generally national in scope.

  • Creation of a process of collaboration to agree about key needs, key assets/abilities and then allocation of existing resources to get the needed work done. This means collaboration of public, private and academic resources to develop an efficient and lasting infrastructure for management of critical research.
  • Inclusion of the Department of Agriculture's intra-mural (ARS), and extra-mural funding entities (NIFA), along with universities, cooperative extension and the grape industry agreeing through a formalized process on research priorities, identifying technical capacity and directing resources to them.

The Process
Each year, NGWI Research Theme Committees identify research priorities. Membership in the Research Theme Committees stresses both regional and grape commodity representation. Our work is captured through the deliberations of five NGWI Research Theme Committees:

  • Understanding & Improving Quality;
  • Consumer Insights, Nutrition & Community;
  • Production Efficiency;
  • Sustainable Practices; and
  • Extension & Outreach.

The details of NGWI's research priorities may be found here.

If you are interested in serving on one of NGWI's Research Theme Committees please contact us at

After research priorities are established, each year they are distributed to researchers who have expressed interest in conducting work with the grape and grape products industry. In addition, these research priorities are posted on the NGWI website. NGWI invites researchers to develop research proposals to address one or more of our research priorities. The appropriate NGWI Theme Committee will review the outlined proposal, and make a recommendation whether to sponsor, sponsor and fund, or support the project. The NGWI Research Committee reviews all recommendations, and moves them forward to the NGWI Board for final approval. Projects fall into three categories: NGWI sponsored, NGWI sponsored and funded, and NGWI supported.

NGWI sponsored projects:
This top designation is used for topics meeting core or strategic NGWI research needs or national research priorities, and is also based on the strength of application.

The NGWI Theme Committee Chair will approach a specific researcher (Principal Investigator or PI) regarding a researchable topic.

Project team: either developed by PI alone, or in cooperation with the Theme Committee chair, or NGWI management.

  • NGWI members self-identify for participation in any given project.
  • Eye toward the multi-institutional, trans-disciplinary projects.
  • NGWI management works with the principal investigator, coordinating meeting schedules, reading draft proposals to assure that all requirements are met, and works to secure matching contributions for the project.
  • NGWI coordinates letters of support and commitment of resources for the PI, and helps coordinate on-going input in the form of participation on the project's Advisory Committee. NGWI helps publicize updates on project progress and highlights achievements of individual researchers.
  • NGWI's Extension & Outreach Committee aids in the extension of findings.

NGWI sponsored and funded projects:
Process is the same as outlined above, but NGWI provides full funding for the project due to:

  • Project grant application not successful
  • No alternative funding sources available

NGWI supported projects:
This second tier designation is used for regional projects, projects with industry-specific outcomes with regional application, or projects which address relevant, but not core NGWI initiatives. Support may be in the form of a simple letter of support or serving on a project advisory committee.

  • Typically developed independently by the researcher
  • NGWI Board members may bring these to the attention of the organization


Research Process schematic may be viewed here.