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Types of Projects

CAPACITY PROJECTS 

An important source of funding for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is legislatively authorized capacity funds, sometimes called Hatch Funds. The federal dollar amounts allocated to each state, including Iowa, depend on variables such as rural population, farm population, forest acreage, and poverty rates. These funds, and matching state funds, strengthen CALS capacity to hire excellent faculty researchers. CALS Ag Experiment Station applies for these funds annually. The Ag Experiment Station (AES) creates research capacity by underwriting the salaries of CALS researchers with these capacity funds. Federal law requires that these researchers document their research by establishing a project and providing annual reports, based on the goals and objectives of their projects.

Any of the capacity projects below will satisfy the requirement that you, as a CALS/AES faculty researcher, have a project. For more information or to start up or join an active project, contact the AES program specialist: aes_research@iastate.edu.  

Hatch projects (HA):

Individual, or small group project: At any time, an individual faculty researcher or a small group of faculty researchers whose research overlaps may write a project proposal--a two to five-year plan of work--and submit it for consideration to the Ag Experiment Station (AES). Please request the proposal template.

Department Umbrella project: At any time, several faculty researchers in the same department may write a project proposal and submit it to AES for consideration. Please request the proposal template.

Hatch Multistate Projects (HM):

Cooperative regional and national research conducted with faculty researchers at other land grant universities is supported with capacity funds and is facilitated by regional associations. CALS' multistate research is facilitated by the North Central Regional Association of State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors. Multistate project proposals are written at a regional level. Simply put, a faculty researcher does not have to create a research proposal/work plan. However, a local project that details Iowa State University's support and involvement will be initiated in the NIFA Reporting System.

If you are interested in knowing more about active multistate projects, go to https://www.nimss.org/. You can search all projects by entering information in the search bar or by clicking on each region (e.g., NC (North Central)) folder arrow on that page.  Then click on the folder with the one or two-letter abbreviation (e.g., NC). A menu of all active research projects in the NC region will drop down for you to explore. Only multistate research projects fulfill the requirement for you to have a project.  If the name contains CC, ERA, DC, or AC, e.g. WCC1003, NCERA13, WDC51, SAC2, a local project is not needed and does not fulfill the project requirement. Once you have your department chair's approval to join a multistate project, please contact the AES program specialist: aes_research@iastate.edu.  


This information has been adapted from the North Central Regional Association (NCRA)
Virtual Multistate Project Handbook.
References to Appendices or page numbers can be found in the linked handbook.

Regional Projects (NC, NE, S, W) are the "engine" of the multistate research program is the collection of funded, technical committees. In the North Central Region, these are referred to as NC committees and the associated projects as NC projects. The format for Multistate Research Projects appears in Appendix A. The guidelines and criteria for NC projects are described in the Prioritization Process document (Appendix A-1). Steps for development and approval of Multistate Research projects are described in the AA checklist and proposal time line (Appendix O). Forms to be completed are discussed under Reporting. The format for meeting minutes is shown in Appendix Q. Projects are reviewed, in most cases, every five years with a midterm review within the third year of existence. Instructions and deadlines for setting up all NC multistate projects can be found online at https://www.ncra-saes.org/multistate-handbook.

Multistate Research Coordinating Committees (CC) and Education/Extension and Research Activity (ERA): The membership of a CC or an ERA is made up of an AA, NIFA representative, scientists, and as applicable, extension specialists and/or extension agents. A CC or ERA provides opportunity for scientists, specialists, and others to work cooperatively to solve problems that concern more than one state, share research data, and coordinate research and other types of activities. This is presently one of the most common mechanisms for functionally integrated activities such as the regional IPM programs. The format for requesting establishment of a CC or ERA appears in Appendix B. These activities are reviewed and approved by the sponsoring regional association. (Appendices J and K are suggested as guidelines for regional associations). The steps for development and approval of Multistate Research CCs and ERAs are described in Appendix N.

NCCC Committees: In the NCRA, CCs are referred to as NCCC Committees and provide a mechanism for addressing critical regional issues where multistate coordination or information exchange is appropriate within a function (ie. research, education or extension); have expected outcomes; convey knowledge; and are peer reviewed. The format for NCCC projects appears in Appendix B. These activities are reviewed and approved by the sponsoring regional association. (Appendices J and K are suggested as guidelines for regional associations). The steps for development and approval of CCs are described in the AA checklist and proposal time line (Appendix O). The duration of the committee can be up to five years. Membership of the committee is comprised of scientists appointed by participating state research and extension directors, as appropriate. There is one voting member per SAES, but participation by others is an option of each director. Meetings are held annually, with provisions for interim meetings upon authorization by the administrative advisor. Minutes are required 60 days after the meeting. (See Appendix Q for an example of minutes.) The review and approval procedures and deadlines for NCCC committees are the same as for NC projects except that the request format is different and requests are limited to three pages.

NCERA Committees: In the NCRA, ERAs are referred to as NCERA Committees and serve to integrate education (academic and/or extension) and research on a particular topic where multistate coordination or information exchange is appropriate; have expected outcomes; convey knowledge; and are peer reviewed. The format for NCERA projects appears in Appendix B. These activities are reviewed and approved by the sponsoring regional association. (Appendices J and K are suggested as guidelines for regional associations). The steps for development and approval of NCERAs are described in the AA checklist and proposal time line (Appendix O). The duration of the committee can be up to five years. Membership of the committee is comprised of scientists appointed by participating state research and extension directors, as appropriate. There is one voting member per SAES, but participation by others is an option of each director. Meetings are held annually, with provisions for interim meetings upon authorization by the administrative advisor. Minutes are required 60 days after the meeting. (See Appendix Q for an example of minutes.) The review and approval procedures and deadlines for NCERA committees are the same as for NC projects except that the request format is different and requests are limited to three pages

Development Committees (NCDC):  NCDC – Regular: Scientists from two or more states may initiate a proposal for a development committee with concurrence of two or more NC SAES directors. The duration of the committee is one to two years. These committees generally are charged to prepare a justification and a proposal outline for a new multistate activity. Membership of the committee is comprised of an AA and scientists appointed by participating state research and extension directors, as appropriate.

Research Advisory Committees: An advisory committee is most commonly made up of university department heads/chairs, or other institutional managers, along with an AA and sometimes an agency representative. Advisory committees provide stakeholder linkages, technical advice and review to regional associations. These committees operate under the purview of regional associations and in the NCRA, these are called NCACs.


Animal Health projects (AH):

This capacity funding supports research activities into animal health and diseases. The department chair for Animal Science oversees the capacity funding for these projects. Once you have this department chair's approval to propose an Animal Health and Disease capacity project, please contact the AES program specialist: aes_research@iastate.edu for instructions.

McIntire-Stennis projects (M-S) (forestry):

This capacity funding supports research in one of these areas:
1) reforestation and land management;
2) forest and watershed management;
3) forest and rangeland management;
4) management of forest lands for outdoor recreation;
5) protections of forest and resources against fire, insects, disease, etc;
6) utilization of wood and other forest-related products;
7) development of land management policies; and 8) studies promoting fullest and most effective use of forest resources.
Dr. Steven Dinsmore (cootjr@iastate.edu or 515-294-1348) oversees the capacity funding for these projects and should be contacted prior to to creating a M-S project. When you receive approval to propose a McIntire-Stennis project, please contact the AES program specialist: aes_research@iastate.edu for instructions.

USDA/NIFA GRANT PROJECTS (Non-capacity funding)

If you apply for and receive a competitive grant award from the USDA that is administered by NIFA, such as an AFRI grant, you will need to initiate an associated project in REEport. Your grant reporting will also be done in REEport. Do not create your own project initiation. NIFA will place a project initiation shell in your REEport draft folder, within a few days of notifying you of your award.