Administrative Advisor Responsibilities Check List and
Proposed Time Line for the NCRA

Project Background:

___ As AA have I reviewed the multistate research portfolio for potential duplication of research project activities.

___ Have I familiarized myself with the nature and the purpose of the regional activity? Have I reviewed the history of the research project activity including consultations with the previous administrative advisor(s) and the NIFA representative? Am I acquainted with the project's website?

___ Are the overall project objectives congruent with regional and national research priorities and program plans? Does the proposed activity fit within the NIFA strategic plan? Do the regional committee activities support the project objectives?

___ Does the project activity demonstrate a level of interdependence in its approach? Is there evidence that the investigators are working together on each objective, or is the work simply a collection of individual investigators conducting research without some demonstrated level of dependence? As AA have you discussed and reinforced the need for demonstrating interdependence in the preparation of annual reports and the SAES 422.

___ In reviewing the outcomes of the proposed activity, are they achievable? Has achievability been discussed with the committee?


___ Have I as Administrative Advisor (AA) authorized the planned regional meeting using the NIMSS paperless environment, 60-90 days prior to the planned meeting or activity? (Reports/Meetings >> Authorize a Meeting) Has the committee posted the previous year's SAES-422 annual report into NIMSS?

___ Has an agenda been developed and posted to all participants prior to the regional meeting? (Use the NIMSS function Directory >> Contact an Expert/Contact Participants >> Contact Participants to reach all official project members)

___ How can I assist the regional committee leadership with the preparation of the meeting agenda? Is the agenda built around the project's objectives?

___ Am I going to attend the project's annual meeting? If not, who will take my place?

___ Have I encouraged the USDA/NIFA representative to attend the annual meeting? In the event that the USDA/NIFA representative cannot participate, have I discussed issues which need to be brought to the attention of the committee members?

___ Is there a strong commitment to the regional activity as evidenced by annual meeting attendance?


___ Has the committee developed a systematic approach for assuring timely submission of reports, authorizations for meetings and project revisions?

___ Has the issue of timely submission of the minutes and annual report from the past annual meeting been discussed with the committee?

___ Have/Has the meeting minutes/SAES-422 annual report form been filed within 60 days of the annual meeting? For NC projects, if the project number is scheduled to terminate, have I encouraged the committee to submit the termination report within 6 months of the termination date (March 31)?

___ As Administrative Advisor, are you acting as an advocate in communicating the findings of the multistate activity? Is there someone that I, as AA, should be communicating with to make USDA, etc. aware of the research and its implications to regional and national needs?

___ Have I checked to see that an annual report has been completed for the past years activities, and properly conveyed?

___ When and where possible the Administrative Advisor can serve a much needed function in dissemination of the result of the multistate research activity into the hands of users.

___ Have I encouraged publications from the project?

___ Haas extramural funding been included in the SAES 422 annual report in NIMSS? (required for NC-type projects, strongly encouraged for NCCCs and NCERAs)


___ Are the membership and officer lists current? If not, have I contacted the appropriate people to update them?

___ Has the regional project sought to broaden its participation with other scientists working in similar areas?

___ Are all scientists assigned to the research project activity contributing?

___ Are there other investigators from other disciplines that if brought into this project activity would increase the multidisciplinary nature of the activity, including extension faculty?

___ When new members join the regional project activity, have I spend time acquainting them with the project activity.


___ Have the scientists engaged in the multistate activity shown any interest or success in seeking and finding supplemental funding to enhance selective objectives of the project?

___ Has the committee included this information in its annual report/SAES 422 in NIMSS?


___ If the project for which I am AA is up for midterm review (3rd year of the project), have I submitted the AA evaluation of the project?

New/Renewal Projects:

___ Have potential officers on the new committee been established?

___ Has a writing committee been established to begin writing the new proposal? Am I providing guidance to that committee?

___ Have I invited all station directors (both regional and national) to add participants to the new proposal?

___ For an NC project if retention of the project number is requested, does the justification meet specifications of the guidelines.

___ Has the new proposal been submitted as final in NIMSS by the December 1 deadline?

___ Have I transmitted the NCAC/MRC comments to the committee for consideration?

___ Have I requested the name of the NIFA rep to the new committee through the Partnership Office?


___ When and where appropriate have I encouraged linking and meeting with similar multistate activities to expand collaboration? NCAC committees and NIFA reps may be helpful in monitoring research progress and quality.

___ Have I recently gone over the NCRA Guidelines for updates and changes?

___ Have I communicated the multistate research philosophy and procedures to my committee?

___ Are there any special concerns or developments that the MRC/NCAC committees need to be aware of and if so, have I contacted them regarding these issues?

Time Line of a Project

(For more specific information regarding steps in the writing process, refer to Appendix N-1 in the NCRA guidelines)

January (Preceding Year)

February to November







October 1