1. Why do I need an Experiment Station Project?

You need an Experiment Station Project if you are a faculty member in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences with a research appointment or you receive significant funding administered through the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station (IAHEES, aka the Ag Experiment Station (AES), aka the Experiment Station).

Funds for research projects are used to buy out salaries for scientists and support staff (technicians, graduate research assistants, secretaries, etc.), and are budgeted from the Experiment Station in proportion to their research appointment.Because funds are from both state and federal sources, a federally-mandated reporting system has been developed to account for all Experiment Station expenditures.

All research sponsored by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is required to be documented in REEport, the reporting system for ongoing and recently completed research projects in agriculture, food and nutrition, and forestry. In addition to project description information, the annual and final reports are used by Experiment Station administrators to monitor project progress and for preparation of internal university reports, and are frequently accessed by legislative staff and by scientists in related fields.

The accounting system of the Experiment Station is based upon identification of allocations and expenditures (salaries, equipment and current expense/supplies) with specific research or administrative projects. Thus, it is necessary to have one or more active Experiment Station projects for each faculty member in the Experiment Station.


2. What is a Hatch Project?

A Hatch Project is fundamentally a "plan of work" for Experiment Station (AES) faculty and generally serves as an umbrella for all research activities of AES faculty members. The funding sources (i.e., federal Hatch/Multistate funds and the required state matching dollars) require AES faculty to have plans of work in the form of a Hatch Project. Such projects provide a means for administrative oversight of (1) progress on research conducted at AES facilities and (2) suitability of research conducted through the AES in line with the AES mission of agricultural research. Hatch Projects are initiated by faculty members, peer reviewed by faculty, approved by the AES Associate Director, and then filed via REEport, the online reporting system, for U.S. Department of Agriculture approval. Upon USDA approval, a Hatch Project becomes official.


3. How do I get a Hatch Project?

The first step in getting a Hatch Project approved is submitting a project outline / proposal to the Research Programs office for review. Reviewer comments are returned to the Project Director (PD), with the result of “accept as is”, “minor revision required”, or “major revision required”. Once the reviewer concerns have been addressed, a final version of the project proposal is submitted to the Research Programs Office, and the PD is asked to complete project initiation using the REEport system and notify the Research Programs administrator, who obtains Experiment Station approval and submits the project to USDA for review and approval. In most cases, USDA approves the projects, but the entire approval process can take several months.


4. Do I receive funding for my Hatch Project?

No. Hatch Projects are “plans of work.” Proposing and receiving approval for a Hatch Project is not directly linked with award of funding to conduct the proposed research. Funds for conducting research of Hatch Projects should be sought through various other sources such as AES seed funding and research grants from federal, regional, state, and local funding agencies.


5. When am I considered to have an official Hatch Project?

A Hatch Project is not official until it is approved by USDA, which is the final step in getting a Hatch Project (see question 3). The Hatch Project approval process takes a significant amount of time, so please start early.


6. How do I know my Hatch Project is still active?

Hatch Projects are active for up to five years. It is the responsibility of faculty members to make sure that their Hatch Projects are active. To check on the status of Hatch Projects, contact Lynn Laws, lynnlaws@iastate.edu.


7. How do I generate an annual report for my Project?

You must submit an annual report through the REEport system. Reports for Hatch/Multistate, McIntire-Stennis, and Animal Health Projects are due by the end of November for the federal fiscal year ending September 30; reports for USDA-NIFA grant projects are due within 90 days of their anniversary/termination date.


8. Why should I file a Project report?

Federal laws and regulations require an annual report of all federally approved research projects including Hatch/Multistate, McIntire-Stennis, and Animal Health Projects and USDA-NIFA grant-funded projects. If you fail to make a report, your project is flagged in the REEport system. Future USDA-NIFA grants will not be awarded if you are named as a PD or co-PD on any project that has a delinquent report.


9. Do I need to file a report for this year?

Hatch/Multistate, McIntire-Stennis, and Animal Health Projects: If the project was active prior to October 1, a report will be due before the end of November. The report period covers the federal fiscal year of October 1 through September 30

USDA-NIFA grant-funded project: you are required to file a report during the five month time period from 60 days before to 90 days after the anniversary/termination date.


10. How do I know if my report is a Progress Report or a Final Report?

Contact Lynn Laws if you are not sure.


11.When do I file my report?

Hatch/Multistate, McIntire-Stennis, and Animal Health Projects: a report will be due before the end of November, covering the previous federal fiscal year ending September 30.

USDA-NIFA grant-funded project: within 60 days before to 90 days after the anniversary/termination date.


12.What happens if I do not make an annual report?

It is the responsibility of all AES faculty members to make timely annual reports of their projects.