2017 Research Poster Showcase

Hatch & Multistate Projects

All Auburn University faculty members with Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station appointments in the College of Agriculture, College of Sciences and Mathematics, College of Human Sciences, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, and College of Veterinary Medicine are required to have an active Hatch/Multistate project. Please review the information below to assist with policy, proposal development, submission, renewal, frequently asked questions, processes, and reporting.

Policy for Hatch Project Submission & Renewal

  • It is the responsibility of the faculty member to have an active Hatch project if the faculty member has employment with the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station.
  • To determine the status of your Hatch or Hatch/Multistate project, go to the REEport website, log in, and click REEport—SAES.
  • On the flow chart, select Project Initiation. Enter your name in the Project Director Box, and select Search. The results will be returned below. If your project is in the active projects section, you make click the PDF and see the dates of the project. If your project is in the terminated projects section, you may also click the PDF to see the expiration date.
  • Project outlines should follow our General Guide for Hatch Grant Proposal Development.
  • New Hatch projects and project extensions must be approved by the AAES Associate Director in order to be eligible for AAES Internal Competitive Funding programs.
  • Faculty are encouraged to solicit help from their department heads/chairs and/or their departmental Hatch project committee to identify up to three internal reviewers (those familiar with the subject matter) for their Hatch project proposal. The departmental-approved Hatch project should then be submitted via REEport to the AAES Associate Director (for NIFA approval) prior to the submission deadline for the AAES Internal Competitive Funding program.
  • If you are not seeking eligibility for AAES Internal Competitive Funding program, the deadline for submission of your departmental-approved Hatch project in REEport is June 30 for an October 1 start date.


All federally funded projects in AAES require an annual report in the REEport system. In order to make the reports on time, here is a suggested timeline for all principal investigators to consider:

  • Thirty (30) days before the due date, an email reminder will be sent out to all AAES faculty.
  • Seven (7) days before the due date, a second email reminder will be sent out to all AAES faculty, and to all department heads and relevant associate deans for research.
  • One week after the due date, a list of projects that have not been reported will be generated. The list will be sent to department heads and associate deans for research in relevant colleges, asking them to inform the involved faculty to take actions.
  • A final email warning will be sent to the involved individual faculty members three weeks after the due date.
  • If there are still projects that are not reported 30 days after the due date, the involved faculty member and his/her department head/chair/associate dean will be asked to meet with the AAES Assistant Director to discuss the steps toward completion of the report.

*Annual reports for non-funded and internally funded Hatch and Hatch/Multistate projects cover the previous project year, and reports are due on January 31 of the following year. For example, a PI will file a an annual report covering activities between Oct. 1, 2015, to Sept. 30, 2016 by Jan. 31, 2017.

Project Filing Instructions

STeps for filing a Hatch or HATCH-MULTISTAte project in REEport 

  • To begin click on the NIFA USDA portal link above or go to: https://portal.nifa.usda.gov/portal/
  • Log in to the NIFA portal.  Please use your AU email and create your own password. If you do not have a password, click Reset Password.  The system will send you an email to set up a new password.
  • Select REEport – (SAES Auburn University) at the bottom of the page.
  • Select Project Initiation on the flow chart.
  • For a new project, click the blue box “Create a New Project.” For an existing project, enter information in one of the searchable items, and click Search.
  • For a new project, select the source from a drop-down menu. Select Hatch for a project you have written and had approved by your department. Select Hatch/Multistate if you are filing a Multistate project written and approved in NIMSS as your Hatch project.
  • If you select Hatch/Multistate, an additional box will appear. Select the your multistate project number.
  • Read the statement, check the box, and click Next.
  • Enter the project title. This will be completed for you if you are filing a Hatch/Multistate.
  • Select your department.
  • For project number, enter your last name in all capital letters.
  • Complete the remaining fields: Collaborating/Partnering States, Collaborating/Partnering Organizations, Collaborating/Partnering Countries.
  • Enter a start and end date. Most projects are five years. REEport does not allow back dating. The start date must be either the date you are entering the project or a future date.
  • Your name should appear in the Project Director box, but if it does not, select your name from the drop-down box.
  • Save, and select Next.

Next Steps


  • Add Co–Project Directors.
  • Enter FTE information. Save, and select Next.
  • Enter the Major Goals of the project. Save, and select Next.
  • Enter the Expected Outputs of the project. Save, and select Next.
  • Enter the Expected Outcomes of the project. Save, and select Next.
  • Describe the Target Audience. Save, and select Next.
  • Describe the Project Methods. Save, and select Next.
  • Provide a Non-Technical Summary. Save, and select Next.
  • Identify Project Keywords.  Save, and select Next.
  • Complete the project classification items.  You may have multiple knowledge Areas, Subjects of Investigation or Fields of Science.  Save, and select Next.
  • Attach a PDF of your project proposal.  Please include the project submission form with departmental approvals, along with the full proposal.  If you are filing a Hatch/Multistate, REEport will pull the proposal from NIMSS, so you will not attach a proposal. Save, and select Next.
  • Assurance Statements – Answer questions 1, 2, and 3.  Save, and select Next.
  • Select Submit to send the project to Dr. Arthur Appel for submission to NIFA.

Please send an email to Dr. Arthur Appel, appelag@auburn.edu and Savannah Mehren, shm0015@auburn.edu, confirming your completion.

Hatch Projects FAQ

What is a Hatch Project?

A Hatch Project is fundamentally a “plan of work” for Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station (AAES) faculty and serves as an umbrella for all research activities of AAES faculty members. The funding sources (i.e., federal Hatch/Multistate funds and the required state matching dollars) require AAES 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 AAES facilities and (2) suitability of research conducted through the AAES in line with the experiment station mission of agricultural research. Hatch Projects are initiated by faculty members, reviewed by departmental Hatch Project committees, approved by the AAES Director, and then filed with the CRIS system for U.S. Department of Agriculture approval. Upon USDA approval, a Hatch Project becomes official.

Why do i need a Hatch Project?

You need a Hatch Project if you are a faculty member with an AAES appointment. Through Hatch funding, AAES provides opportunities for funding research projects, travel, and equipment. A Hatch Project or official participation in a Multistate Project is required of AAES faculty for application for such funding.

How do I get a Hatch Project?

The first step in getting a Hatch Project approved is submitting a proposal or plan of work to your departmental Hatch Project committee. Once the project proposal is reviewed through the departmental Hatch Project committee, the proposal is submitted through the REEport system to the AAES for review and approval. The Hatch Project is approved or disapproved by the AAES Director. Once approved by the AAES administrator, the project is assigned a number and submitted to USDA for approval. In most cases, USDA approves the projects, but the approval process can take several months.

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 AAES seed funding and research grants from federal, regional, state, and local funding agencies.

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 can take a significant amount of time, so please start early.

How do I know my Hatch Project is still active?

Usually, Hatch Projects are active for 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, use the REEport system to search for your project. It will either be listed in active projects or terminated projects.  Your project should be active if you are not past the termination date.

How do I generate an annual report of my Hatch Project?

You must make an annual progress report through the REEport system if you have a Hatch Project, AAES-supported research project, or USDA-supported project.

Why should I file a progress report?

Federal laws and regulations require an annual progress report of all federally approved research projects, including Hatch Projects, AAES-funded projects, and USDA-funded projects. If you fail to make a report, your project is flagged in the REEport system for a report.

Do I need to file a report for this year?

Progress reports are due annually, usually on Jan. 31. The report period covers Oct. 1 through Sept. 30 of the previous year. If you have a project active in this period, you are required to file a report. To file the required report, use the REEport system. Click on Annual Report, and enter your last name to search for any outstanding reports. All of your projects should be listed. Pay attention to the Reporting Period End Date, and file a report for any project that has a date for the previous year.

How do I know if my report is a progress report or a final report?

If the termination date for your project has passed, the project report should be a Final (termination) Report. If the project is still active, the report is a Progress Report. To file the Final Report, click on FINAL report in REEport, and find your Final Report in Draft.

What happens if I do not make an annual report?

It is the responsibility of all AAES faculty members to make timely annual reports of their projects. Consequences of not reporting may include loss of eligibility for AAES funding, withdrawal of AAES funding, incorporation of reporting noncompliance into faculty performance evaluations, or suspension of pay for any part of a salary paid from AAES funds.

Guide for Hatch Proposal Development

Project Selection

When defining your Hatch/Multistate project it is important to consider key aspects. Ask yourself the following:

  • Is the project aligned with agricultural issues important to Alabama producers and consumers?
  • Is the research potentially fundable by extramural sources?
  • Is the project timely in addressing problems that are most critical, yet general enough for long-term implementation?
  • Is the project aligned with the research interests of P.I.s and departmental field of specialization?
  • Is the project unique in AAES and other projects nationwide?


  • Cover Pages: Download and use the Hatch Project Proposal Submission Form
    (PDF includes suggested reviewers and intradepartmental signatory approvals)
  • Non-Technical Summary
    The Non-Technical Summary should provide a concise (limited to 250 words) summary of the importance of the project in terms that general citizens can understand. Note that this is not the same as the technical project abstract. A good non-technical summary is composed of 1-2 succinct paragraphs that cover three main points:

    • What is the current issue or problem that the research addresses and why does it need to be researched?

    • What basic methods/approaches will be used to collect and produce data/results and inform audiences?

    • What ultimate goals does the project hopes to achieve and what is the general impact expected? (What societal benefits may be realized?)


  • Search the CRIS database and provide a summary to demonstrate that your proposed research is unique and differs from other active projects in CRIS.

  • Non Technical Summary
  • Literature Review
    (briefly summarize previous related work and present outlook; include a justification for the research and how it addresses Alabama state needs and meets the mission of AAES).
  • Goals and Objectives
    (include a statement on how the project will advance knowledge and how the results will be used to leverage extramural funding)
  • Procedures and Methods
    (provide a general summary of your research procedures including any potential collaborative efforts and a project timeline; no need to be too specific)
  • Outreach Plan
  • Expected Outcomes/Anticipated Impact
  • Target Audience
  • Participants
    (Estimated Projects FTEs for the Project Duration)
  • Estimated Budget
    (Annual Estimated Costs of the Five-Year Project)
  • Literature Cited

Project Review & Submission

Hatch project proposals must be peer-reviewed (for scientific merit) and signed by three faculty members (familiar with the subject matter) prior to submission in REEport. Faculty are encouraged to solicit help from their department heads/chairs and/or their departmental Hatch project committee to identify three internal reviewers for their Hatch proposal.

The departmental-approved Hatch proposal should be submitted (PDF file) via the NIFA Reporting Portal for approval by AAES Associate Director and NIFA. Please follow the steps below to submit your proposal in REEport.


  • Log into the NIFA Reporting Portal
  • Select “Project Initiation
  • Select “Create a New Project
  • Choose Funding Source “Hatch” and click “Next
  • Complete the required elements
  • Departmental—Each department will review faculty projects from within the department through its Hatch Project Committee (i.e., the proposal must be reviewed for scientific merit and signed by 2-3 faculty members familiar with the subject).
  • Check for format and scientific merit.
  • After departmental approval, project proposal should be submitted via the REEport portal. Electronic file (PDF format) will be required.

Approved Projects

  • Once the project is submitted in REEport, it will be reviewed by the AAES Associate Director.
  • Project number will be assigned.
  • Project will be submitted to NIFA

Notice should later be received of federal acceptance. Annual progress reports will need to be submitted in the early months of each year of a project. The due date for progress reports may vary depending on USDA requirements, but usually no later than January 31.

Multistate Projects FAQ

What is a Multistate Project?

A Multistate Project (also called a Regional Project) involves cooperative, jointly planned research employing multidisciplinary approaches to solve problems of concern to multiple states or across a region. Multistate Projects are officially approved by a regional association of agricultural experiment station directors and by USDA. Multistate Projects also include National Projects involving multiple regions such as NRSP-1, NRSP-8, etc.

A Multistate Project provides a “plan of research” for five (5) years, and can serve as an Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station (AAES) project in place of a Hatch Project for research appointments in the AAES. Faculty are required to have AAES appointment in order to access experiment station resources such as Hatch/Multistate funding programs, outlying units, Agricultural Land and Resource Management assistance, etc.

How can I become an official participant in a Multistate Project?

File Appendix E and obtain approval from the AAES Director.

What is the process to establish a Multistate Project?

In most cases, a group of principal investigators representing multiple states identifies a research area that requires collaboration among many researchers across state lines. These researchers then initiate the process of establishing a Multistate Project by working with their respective experiment station directors.

The project proposal is prepared in a fashion similar to a Hatch Project, but the project is presented by an experiment station director from one of the collaborating institutions to the regional experiment station directors for discussion and approval. Once approved by the regional experiment station directors association, the project is filed with USDA for approval. During this process, individual scientists are invited to participate in the project by the Executive Director of the regional experiment station directors.

When new Multistate Projects are being established, or terminating projects are being revised, faculty will be invited to join. E-mails will be sent to faculty informing them of new projects or revisions of projects. These e-mail notices include links to more information on particular projects.

  1. Information on Multistate Projects is available on the National Information Management and Support System (NIMSS) Web site: http://www.nimss.org.
  2. AAES faculty who are interested in participating in a Multistate Project must complete an Appendix E form on the NIMSS website. Involvement in any Multistate Projects must be approved by the Director of AAES.

For more information on initiating a Multistate Project, contact the AAES Assistant Director at aaesgrant@auburn.edu, or Eric Young, Executive Director of the Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors, North Carolina State University, at eric_young@ncsu.edu.

I have a project collaborating with researchers of Florida and Wisconsin. Do I qualify for Multistate funding?

Not necessarily. It depends on whether your project is an official Multistate Project (See “What is a Multistate Project?” for details). If your project is not an official Multistate Project, collaborating with researchers from multiple states does not qualify you for Multistate Project funding.

Multistate Projects Information & Processes

Multistate Research Projects (formerly called “Regional Projects”) (MRPs) involve cooperative, jointly planned research employing multidisciplinary approaches to solve problems of concerns to multiple states or across a region.

MRPs provide a ‘plan of research’ for 5-years, and can serve as an AAES project for research appointments when filed in REEport. Faculty are required to have AAES projects in order to access resources of the experiment station such as outlying units, Research Operations, etc.

Please contact the Administrative Advisor (as appropriate) if you have questions about the proposed project. Contact your System Administrator at aaesgrant@auburn.edu if you have questions about the use of NIMSS.

TO VIEW THE Multistate Project PROPOSAL

  • Go to the National Information Management Support System (NIMSS) at https://www.nimss.org.
  • Use the Search NIMSS box to search by keyword or project number, or the Sort by Region function to find a list of projects by region.
  • Select View by the project you wish to view.



  • Visit the National Information Management Support System (NIMSS).
  • Insert your AU email address and NIMSS password. (If you are a new user, you’ll need to register by clicking New User.)
  • On the left-side menu, select Participants then select Draft/Edit, then Draft New.
  • Enter the project number, e.g. W_TEMP2462, and username.
  • Fill out the form.
  • Click on “Submit.”