Method to Request New or Replacement Multistate Research Project

Rapid Response Research (Series-500) Activities:

To create a rapid response (Series-500) activity, directors from two or more SAES must agree to form the activity. A proposal for a Series-500 activity is a statement of intent submitted to the regional association’s chair, usually through the ED’s office. Rapid Response Research Projects are intended to last no more than two years, at which time the project group must follow the process to convert it to a Development Committee or the project will terminate.

See Appendix F, Guidelines for Multistate Research Activities for procedures and components of the proposal (NIMSS Appendix F) for a Rapid Response Research Project.

In order to expedite implementation of this type of project, only the Multistate Research Committee (MRC) conducts a review, no peer review by outside scientists is required. If the MRC recommends approval to the Executive Director, then a request to establish the Rapid Response Research Project is sent directly to the CSREES Multistate Research Office by the Executive Director’s Office.

General Procedures for New or Replacement Multistate Research Projects (S):

The following describes the procedure to be used to request approval of the Association to initiate or replace a Multistate Research Project. The objective of the process is to assure a sufficiently well defined proposal for members of the Association to make a quality decision on its disposition.

  • Proposals for new or replacement Multistate Research Projects may be (1) prepared by a group of interested scientists (“bottom-up” approach) and submitted by a sponsoring Director or Administrative Advisor (AA) or (2) identified by the Association and assigned to a Director for development in a “top-down” approach.
  • To initiate a new Multistate Research Project, a sponsoring director or Administrative Advisor first submits a Request to Write a Proposal in the National Information Management Support System (NIMSS).  This action will result in a S_temp### being assigned to the new project.
  • Subsequently, using NIMSSAppendix A, a Development Committee (DC) proposal is prepared and submitted in NIMSS to the Association through the Executive Director. Advisory Committees and the Executive Committee review the DC request and recommend disposition of the proposal to the Executive Director who collects and summarizes all inputs.
  • A request for a DC can be approved or rejected on vote by the Executive Committee with additional input from Association directors if needed or desired.
  • A DC is approved for two years for the sole purpose of developing a full proposal to establish a new Multistate Research Project. A full proposal is submitted by expanding and editing the DC proposal in the NIMSS database. Both the DC Administrative Advisor and the Writing Committee Chair will have access to edit the proposal using NIMSS.
  • A complete, detailed list of steps in the entire process to initiate a new Multistate Research Project and who is responsible for each step can be found in Steps and Responsibilities in Development of a New Multistate Research Project.
  • The Writing Committee is strongly encouraged to consult the Multistate Review Committee’s criteria that are used in making the final decision on approval or disapproval of a Multistate Research Project proposal.  These criteria can be seen in the Appendix H form, Multistate Research Committee Evaluation Form.
  • In the case of replacement Multistate Research Project, a Request to Write a Proposal should be submitted no later than June 1, 15 months prior to the expiration date. This allows time for proposal development, review, revision, and approval by the regional Multistate Research Committee and USDA/NIFA prior to expiration of the current project.
  • A complete, detailed list of steps in the entire process to develop a replacement Multistate Research Project and who is responsible for each step can be found in Steps and Responsibilities in Development of a New Multistate Research Project.

Proposal Components for a New or Replacement Multistate Research Project:

A DC request should be a brief pre-proposal for the intended new Multistate Research Project. Outlined below are descriptions of the Appendix A components in NIMSS required for a DC request and a full proposal for a Multistate Research Project. The DC request should generally not exceed the equivalent of three pages in length, however the full proposal may be up to 15 pages.

When the first draft of a DC request is entered into Appendix A, NIMSS will automatically assign a S_temp number for identification. Entering and editing the request in NIMSS can be done by either the Administrative Advisor or the designated Writing Committee Chair after authorization is given by the System Administrator in the Executive Director’s Office. Working drafts should be saved for further editing using the “Save as a Working Copy” function. When the DC request is ready for review and an approval decision, it should be saved using the “Submit as Final” function, which will automatically notify the ED Office of its status. Also at this time, the Administrative Advisor should inform the ED Office of which Advisory Committees (two or more) the Writing Committee think are appropriate to review the DC request.

When the DC is approved, the S_temp number will be replaced by a DC number and subsequent editing to develop the full proposal for a Multistate Research Project will be done using the “Edit a Proposal” function in the NIMSS main menu. Both the Administrative Advisor and the Writing Committee Chair can perform this function in NIMSS.

Following is a description of the Appendix A components that are to be included in a DC request and subsequent full proposal.

  1. Title (required for DC request and full proposal):A brief, clear, specific statement of the subject of the planned activity. This should not exceed 140 letters and spaces. Do not use terms such as Research on…, or Studies of…, or Investigation of…. Title may be tentative for DC request.
  2. Statement of Issue(s) and Justification (required for DC request and full proposal):
    For a DC request, include very brief statements related to the following, particularly A, B, and D. For full proposals, a more complete explanation of why the research should be done, including statements on all of the following, is required.A. The need as indicated by stakeholders. That is, how the proposed activity addresses national and/or regional priorities. Authors are requested to identify the appropriate SAAESD Priority Areas to which this activity contributes.
    B. The importance and extent of the problem. What would be the consequences if the work were not done?
    C. The technical feasibility of the research.
    D. The advantages for doing the work as a multistate effort.
    E. Benefits or impacts of the research including impact on science.
    F. Identify the stakeholders, customers, and/or consumers for which the activity is intended.
  3. Related, Current, and Previous Work (required for DC request and full proposal):For a DC request to replace an existing Multistate Research Project indicate significant accomplishments of the current project and, if applicable, how that work will support the replacement project. For a DC request to develop a new project, indicate the most significant related research and how it will relate to the new project.

    For the full proposal, include a brief review of literature that cites the more important and generally more recent publications. Also include a more complete explanation on the status of related previous and current research and how the proposed project will supplement it. Incorporate any results from a CRIS search for similar individual Hatch or state research projects and a NIMSS search for related multistate activities. List only the most significant, essential references in the Literature Cited section at the end of this form. This section is NOT expected to be a classical in-depth literature review.

  4. Objectives (required for DC request and full proposal):For both the DC request and full proposal, provide clear, concise, one-sentence statements for each researchable objective arranged in a logical sequence. Include only objectives on which significant progress can be made during the life of the project. Do not include objectives such as coordination of research, joint publications, etc, as these types of activities should be indicated in the Output section below.

    Although objectives are required for the DC request, they may be modified, expanded, or reduced when developing the full proposal.

  5. Methods (required for DC request and full proposal):For the DC request, briefly explain the general methods that will be used to address each objective and how multistate collaboration will support or enhance those methods. Detailed procedures and information on specific participant contributions is not needed in the DC request.

    For the full proposal, summarize the research methods and procedures that will be used to address each objective, including specific contributions of individual participants, if applicable. Explicit information should be included to enable reviewers to evaluate the approach and to discern joint planning and coordination by the technical committee, ie. sharing of equipment, pooling of data, multistate data analysis and summarization, etc.

  6.  Measurement of Progress and Results (Optional for DC request, required for full proposal):This section has three purposes. It is intended to show what the products of the research will be, how these products will affect the stakeholder or end user, and what critical points of achievement are needed for progress toward meeting objectives. The full proposal should address the following items:

    A. Outputs: The results of research activities, such as data, information, biological or physical materials and observations and publications. The output from a plant-breeding program might be a named variety. The output from a survey might be the analyzed survey results.

    B. Outcomes or Projected Impacts: Outcomes describe the significance of the results to individuals, showing in what ways the end user will benefit. For example, an outcome from development of new cultivars would be the use of those cultivars in production. Impacts are the economic, social, health, or environmental benefits derived by the intended users or society in general. These are usually quantitatively measured either directly or indirectly as indicators of benefits. An example of an impact would be improved human nutrition from rice genetically engineered to contain the precursors to vitamin A.

    C. Milestones: Timeline-linked accomplishment that needs to be completed before subsequent activities can begin, or can be completed. As an example; to genetically engineer a crop by 2005 a transformation method needs to be reduced to practice by 2002.

  7.  Projected Participation (Optional for DC requests, required for full proposal):DC requests to replace an existing project may list participants from that project who expect to continue and requests for a new project may list those involved in developing the DC request. This preliminary list of participants should be included as an attachment because the official call for participants is not sent to directors until after a DC is approved.

    Full proposals must include a completed table of personnel resources utilizing the Appendix E format. This table identifies members of the technical committee and other principal leaders by state and agency/institution. It is also intended to identify the committed average annual input of each cooperating state agency and institution in scientist years (SY), professional years (PY), and/or technical support years (TY), and full-time equivalents (FTE) in Extension. A call for participation is sent to all experiment station and extension directors soon after approval of the DC. Due to the commitment of resources, the participant’s experiment station director must enter and approve the information for their participant(s) using Appendix E in NIMSS.

  8. Outreach Plan (Optional for DC request, required for full proposal):Full proposals should briefly describe how results of the project are to be made available in an accessible manner to the intended users of the information (e.g., refereed publications, other peer reviewed publications, workshops, producer field days, etc.). If applicable, include descriptions concerning equality for service, ease of access to services/information, and any focus on under-served and/or under represented communities/ consumers that may benefit from this proposed activity and what the plans are for disseminating information to these and other groups.
  9. Organization and Governance (Optional for DC request, required for full proposal):Full proposals should provide a very brief description of the organization of the technical committee with emphasis on unique items such as the formation of an executive committee and its functions, any subcommittees that are planned for specific functions, any anticipated program coordinators/managers and their responsibilities, etc. If you are using the standard form of governance, please click on the link indicated in Appendix A. Otherwise, describe the processes that will be used for selecting leadership and for decision-making.

    Revision versus Replacement