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of State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors

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New customizable AA presentation available to take to your multistate committee meetings


APLU Meetings Calendar

2016 Joint CARET/AHS Meeting

NCRA 2016 Spring Meeting

NERAOC 2016 (Nat Ext & Research Admin Officers Conference)

APLU Joint COPs Session

Joint NC CARET/AHS Summer Session

  • July 31 - August 2, 2016
  • Embassy Suites, Chicago, IL
  • More details to come

Fall ESS/AES/ARD Meeting and Workshop (Joint w/CES this year)

  • September 19-23, 2016
  • Jackson Lake Lodge, Jackson Hole, WY
  • More details to come

APLU Annual Meeting, November 13-15, Austin, TX

  • November 13-15, 2016
  • Austin, TX
  • More details to come



Contact Information

North Central Regional Association of State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors (NCRA)

Dr. Jeff Jacobsen, Executive Director
jjacobsn (at)
446 West Circle, Room 408
Justin S. Morrill Hall of Agriculture
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: (517) 884-7965

Christina Hamilton, Assistant Director
(NIMSS and Multistate Project Contact)
christina.hamilton (at)
205E Agriculture Hall
1450 Linden Dr.
Madison, WI 53706
Phone: (608) 262-2349
Fax: (608) 265-4528

Renewing/Starting a New NC, NCCC, or NCERA Project

For any questions or assistance, please contact the NCRA Assistant Director/NIMSS system administrator, Christina Hamilton (; ph 608-262-2349)



NCRA Deadlines (these dates start in the fall, one year prior to the project’s expiration date)

    September 15: Deadline to submit a request to write a proposal in NIMSS and upload the Issues and Justifications section.

    Each project MUST select an Administrative Advisor prior to submitting a proposal request. Without an AA, the request will not be approved. The NCRA office can no longer assign AAs to projects.

    Effective 2014, all NC projects will retain the same number designation, unless otherwise requested. Please let the NCRA office know by September 15 if you would like a new number.

    October 15: Deadline to upload the Objectives section in NIMSS. Please contact the NCRA office when this is complete and we will send out the national request for participation.

    November 15: Ideally, all participants and their AES offices should have submitted completed Appendix E forms into NIMSS.

    December 1: Completed proposal is due in NIMSS in its entirely. Failure to meet this deadline may result in the project not being reviewed and renewed this round.

    December 15: AA review forms due in NIMSS.

    Mid-late December: All proposals are sent to NC regional review committees (NCACs) and multistate research committee (MRC)

    Late March/Early April: Final project reviews and decisions made at the NCRA Spring meeting. The NCRA office will notify project AAs of results and send any requested revisions to project AAs by mid-April.

    June 1: All proposal revisions must be completed in NIMSS.

    Mid-July: the NCRA reviews all revisions and makes any remaining project decisions. When your project is approved, it will be assigned a new NC number unless a request to retain the old designation was submitted with the proposal.

    September 30: Old projects expire.

    October 1: New projects begin.

    March 31: Termination reports for expired projects due in NIMSS.

Requesting to Write a Proposal (due September 15)

  1. Login into NIMSS at If you haven't logged into the new NIMSS yet (effective 12/14/2015), use your email address to reset your password under Forgot Password. Going forward, use your email address as your username and new password to log in.

  2. Select Project Proposals >> Create New Proposal.

  3. On the Basic Information page, select New only if the project is NOT a renewal (starting a full five-year project from an NCDC is considered a NEW project). Select Revision/Replacement if you are renewing an existing multistate project (most common).

  4. For Renewals, select the appropriate project number. The title and all other information will automatically populate each text box.

  5. Only for NEW projects: Choose the correct Appendix from the second pull-down menu:
    • NC Committees - Use Appendix A (Includes a Methods section)
    • NCCC/NCERA Committees - Use the appropriate Appendix B (Includes an Activities and Procedures section in place of a Methods section)
    • NC-500 Committees (Rapid Response Committees) - Use Appendix F (Does not include a Methods Section, but does include a section to list the types of project activities expected, requires prior NCRA approval). Refer to specific the NC-500 series instructions within our NCRA New Project Guidelines.
    • NCDC Projects - Only a letter of justification is necessary to explain the nature of the project. Refer to specific NCDC instructions within our NCRA New Project Guidelines.

  6. Only for New projects: Type in the desired project title and enter the five year begin and end dates. Be sure to send the name of your new project's AA to the NCRA office. Proposal requests will not be approved without an AA.

  7. For all proposal requests, new and renewal: Enter the Issues and Justification in the text box. When complete, click Save and Submit to submit it as final and also send an email to the NCRA system administrator, letting us know your request is ready.

  8. When the NCRA office receives and approves the submitted request, the proposal will be assigned a temporary number (NC_tempXXXX). This temp number will refer to the renewal proposal from this point forward until final project approval. The NCRA office will email the proposal submittor this information and assign any other editors.

Typing the Proposal in NIMSS

**Anyone wishing to upload proposal or project materials in NIMSS needs to be granted editing access to the proposal. Please contact your AA or the NCRA office to be granted access.

  1. To begin uploading and editing a proposal, log into NIMSS and under Action Items, select My Project Proposals. You'll see several tabs here. At this stage, your proposal is most likely in the Approved by RSA tab, if you've been given a temp number and been selected as an AA. If you have editing access, you'll see the proposal and be able to click the Edit button.

  2. After clicking the Edit button, you can navigate between sections via the links on the left. Be sure to save between each section!

  3. Once the Objectives section has been uploaded (due 10/15), please contact the NCRA office system administrator so we can send out the national participation invitation to all AES directors. NIMSS does not inform us when this section has been submitted, so it's a very big help if you let us know. Participants should now work with their AES offices to complete their new Appendix E forms. **Please note: Participation in the old project does NOT roll over into the renewal one.

  4. Tips: We recommend you paste sections in as text, then use the text formatting options to add bold, underline, etc. Alternatively, you can paste directly from MS Word, but you may need to do a little extra editing to take out extra line breaks, etc. Be sure to click on the View Project occasionally to check your formatting and edit sections as needed (don't forget to save between sections!)

  5. Figures, charts, and graphs may be attached to proposals using the "Attachments" link on the left side of the screen.

Completing Participation/Appendix E forms in NIMSS (due November 15)

  1. Before starting, be sure the project’s Objectives section is complete. This section is required to appropriately populate the Appendix E form for a given project. See section III for instructions on uploading proposal sections.

  2. For AES affiliated participants, Appendix E forms should be completed only with approval from your AES director’s office. Please contact your local AES office to ensure your continued participation on renewal project. Membership in the expiring project does NOT roll over automatically into the renewal.

  3. For Extension participants, please contact your Extension director for approval to join an AES project. Your Extension office will need complete your Appendix E for you. Your institution’s AES may not fund your travel to project meetings, be sure to discuss this with them and your Extension office prior to joining a project.

  4. For non-LGU affiliated members, contact your regional system admin to be added. We'll need to know your name, email address, company/institution, which project/proposal objectives you'll be associated with, and your KA, SOI, and FOS codes (or your general field of study, as it relates to the project)

  5. Click for more information on Appendix E forms.

Finalizing the Completed Proposal (due December 1)

  1. When the proposal is in its final form, editors must click the Submit as Final button from the proposal's Basic (title, dates, advisors).

  2. Along with the new proposal, all projects up for renewal MUST be sure all annual reports have been submitted. Please see our annual report instructions for more information. The final meeting report should be in the form of a summary/termination report.

Completing the AA Review form (for project AAs only)

  1. All NC proposals are required to have the AA submit a completed review form in NIMSS by December 15.

  2. The NCRA will assign this form to the AA in NIMSS. NIMSS will automatically notify the AA when this assignment has been made, along with instructions on where to find the form in NIMSS.

  3. AAs should complete this form, Save, then Submit. The NCRA uses this review as a reference for our NCACs and MRC.

Approval Process for NC Projects by the NCRA and NIFA

  1. NCAC Committees: For renewal proposals, the appropriate NCAC committee(s) is/are contacted by the System Administrator when the proposal has been submitted as final. For new projects (no previous history), the AA should recommend appropriate NCAC committees to the NCRA office. The ED/AD will consult with the MRC to assign NCAC committees to review the project. In both cases, it is the AA's responsibility to make sure that the System Administrator receives the most up-to date version of the proposal to pass on to the appropriate NCAC committees, including Appendix E information.

  2. After NCAC review, the NCRA MRC will also review each project, using the completed AA and NCAC review forms in NIMSS as guides.

  3. Final project decisions and revision suggestions will be made during the NCRA Spring meeting held in late March/early April. Shortly after the meeting, revision requests will be sent to the project AA. The project AA is responsible for sharing this information with the project members.

  4. All requested revisions are due in NIMSS by June 1. Proposals will be returned to the RSA Approved tab in NIMSS and can be edited by proposal editors and/or AAs.

  5. When revisions have been completed, click the Submit as Final button again on the Basic (title, dates, advisors) page.

  6. When the NCRA approves of all revisions, usually at the July NCRA meeting, the proposal will be sent to NIFA for federal approval (NC-type projects only; NCCCs, NCERAs, and NCDCs do not require NIFA approval).

  7. Once NIFA approves the project, the project will start on the first day of the next federal fiscal year, October 1.

  8. The System Administrator removes the "temp" designation from the project and AES participants should begin the project initiation process in REEport.


    Revised 1/22/2016 ; cmh