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About CRIS

The Current Research Information System (CRIS) is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's public documentation system for ongoing agricultural, food and nutrition, and forestry activities. CRIS contains over 40,000 descriptions of current, publicly‐supported activities of the USDA agencies, the State Agricultural Experiment Stations, the State land‐grant colleges and universities, State schools of forestry, cooperating schools of veterinary medicine, Cooperative Extension Service, and USDA grant recipients.

The Current Research Information System (CRIS) provides data and reports on NIFA’s research, education and extension activities. By using the search interface on the CRIS website, users can obtain reports that describe NIFA-funded project objectives, methods, and outcomes.

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Who Uses This Tool

Primary CRIS users include NIFA grant recipients, land-grant universities and other partner institutions, cooperating state institutions, other federal agencies, and internal NIFA staff. Information contained in the CRIS database is accessible to the public through the CRIS website.

How to Use the Tool

Users can view and download reports and data by using either of two search interfaces on the CRIS website: Assisted Search and Professional Search. Instructions and help screens may be displayed to assist users in searching for projects of interest. Additional links on the CRIS home page direct users to manuals, prepared reports, and other resources.

The mission of CRIS is to document the activities of the USDA and the State system partners and to provide public access to research, education, and extension information. Previously CRIS was used as an online reporting system, containing forms for project directors. That online reporting system was replaced by REEport. Currently CRIS is used by the public and by project directors to access research, education and extension information. 

The basic reporting unit documented in CRIS is a project. A project documents a three to five year activity at a single location. The activity focuses on a clearly definable problem, a manageable phase of a larger problem, or a few closely related elements of a broad‐based program. Information for each project includes:

  • WHAT is being done
  • WHO is doing it
  • WHERE it is being conducted
  • WHEN it is being performed
  • ACCOMPLISHMENTS achieved annually
  • IMPACTS expected from the effort
  • PUBLICATIONS associated with the work

The information from the Work Unit Description provides a basic abstract to describe a project. The Accomplishments Report furnishes an annual update of outcomes, impacts, and publications associated with each project. Funding expenditures and support years are reported each fiscal year via the Funding and Staff Support report for each project, prepared and submitted annually by the Experiment Station administration.