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NC Virtual Multistate Project Handbook

  1. NIMSS (National Information Management and Support System, our multistate project database) login and handbook

  2. I want to start a new NC multistate project. What are my options?  

    • See page 9 of our NC Multistate Project Guidelines.

    • Before you start, don't be surprised by multistate funding expectations and project requirements!

      • All funding is at the discretion of each participant's AES office and only those with AES appointments are eligible for funds. Before proceeding, we recommend you check with your AES director's office on these policies and funding availability. Additionally, only NC-type (research) projects are eligible for funds beyond travel. The NCRA office does not have funding in our budget to financially support multistate projects.

      • All multistate projects are required to hold annual meetings and submit annual reports in the correct format. See details below under #7.​

  3. ​I'm OK with everything listed under #2 above, so how do I get started?

  4. Renewing an existing NC multistate project/initiating a new 5-year NC-research/NCERA/NCCC

    • Please be aware that proposals will not be accepted after the 12/1 due date - no exceptions.​ Please be sure to submit it to NIMSS on time. We need to keep to our review cycle, thank you!

    • Any proposal submitted as final after the 12/1 due date will be returned to Draft status and will not be accepted until the next submission cycle.

    • NC multistate project/committee expectations guide

  5. Midterm/Year 3 Project Reviews

  6. AA (Admin Advisor) responsibilities (refer to the AA section of the NIMSS manual for detailed instructions)

    • NIMSS authorization of project annual meetings (Meetings/Reports > Meetings > Authorize a Meeting). Note: meetings should be planned/hosted by project members, not the AA.

    • Submit/approve completed annual and termination reports to NIMSS (Meetings/Reports > Reports > Draft/Edit Report). Reports are created by committee members but can be uploaded to NIMSS by the AA or project editors.

    • Attend meetings and make sure the committee is working towards its stated objectives and aware of NIMSS reporting requirements (see #7 below for details).

    • Conduct project reviews in NIMSS (initial and midterm; these forms are assigned by the regional NIMSS system admin).

    • Assign editors to projects (project members who need access to upload reports or text into a renewal proposal) - Please contact your NC Regional System Admin (RSA),, for this function.

    • Serve as the project liaison between multistate members and the NCRA office and share regional or project updates with the project team.

    • Work with the project's NIFA rep to share important USDA updates, funding opportunities, etc., with the project members.

    • AA checklist and a recipe for success

    • Virtual AA Training Sessions

  7. Annual meetings and reports (SAES-422s)

    • All multistate committees are required to meet annually, either virtually or in person. These meetings need to be officially "authorized" in NIMSS by the project AA (see above AA instructions) so we have a formal record of activity.

    • Multistate committees must also submit an annual report within 60 days of a meeting. Without annual meetings and reports, your project may be terminated early for inactivity. Also, we cannot authorize/approve future meetings in NIMSS if any reports are missing.

    • We want to showcase our multistate portfolio as "more than the sum of its parts", so annual reports should follow the Appendix D format and be multistate in focus, showcasing mainly collaborative efforts, with good linkages across states and entities external to agricultural experiment stations (i.e. industry, non-profits, federal agencies, etc.). No lists of individual station reports, please. A few, significant single-state accomplishments can be included if they occurred as a result of the multistate project.

    • Use our example collection template to collect information from individual state members, then use that data to create your project's annual report. 

    • Follow impact writing guideline worksheets at

    • AAs or those with editing access on a project can upload reports to NIMSS via Meetings/Reports > Reports > Draft/Edit Report. Visit and log in to access this function.

    • Examples of excellent reports:

  8. Joining a multistate project/submitting an Appendix E form

  9. NC Multistate Project Review Process

    • Renewal projects/new proposals are first reviewed by their AA, who completes the appropriate assigned form in NIMSS.  Active projects are given a midterm review early in their third year.

    • Next, our NCAC (NC Advisory Committee), consisting of department heads in a given field, conduct their expert review and complete an assigned review form in NIMSS. If a proposal doesn't have an associated NCAC, the NCRA may request the proposal committee select 2-3 peer reviewers, in lieu of an NCAC.

    • Finally, our NC MRC (Multistate Research Committee) conducts their review of the project, using the AA and NCAC reviews as critical, expert resources.  The MRC then makes recommendations for approval, minor revision, major revision, or rejection to the full NCRA directors' group.  The NCRA directors then vote to approve (or disapprove) the MRC recommendations.

    • To view blank review forms, log into NIMSS ( and select Directory >> Forms or click the links in the list below.

      • AppH: New/renewal research proposals/projects (NC_temp)

      • AppI: Midterm reviews of research projects (NC-type)

      • AppJ: New/renewal ERAs and CC proposals (NCERA_temp and NCCC_temp)

      • AppJ1: Midterm review of CC projects (NCCC-type)

      • AppJ2: Midterm review of ERA projects (NCERA-type)

  10. State Hatch Project Proposal Instructions (from the old USDA Hatch Manual)​

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