Hatch Projects: Frequently Asked Questions

William Henry Hatch (1833 –1896) was a U.S. Representative from Missouri. He made his greatest contribution to U.S. agriculture with the Hatch Act of 1887, which established the state Agricultural Experiment Stations for the land-grant colleges. The Hatch Act provides federal support to Agricultural Experimental Stations in each state and territory in the US that are associated with the Morrill land-grant colleges.

Tenure-Track faculty with research FTE with ARD MUST have an approved Hatch project if their research aligns with the mission of USDA.

From USDA’s webpage: “Hatch projects include research on all aspects of agriculture, including soil and water conservation and use; plant and animal production, protection, and health; processing, distribution, safety, marketing, and utilization of food and agricultural products; forestry, including range management and range products; multiple use of forest rangelands, and urban forestry; aquaculture; home economics and family life; human nutrition; rural and community development; sustainable agriculture; molecular biology; and biotechnology. Research may be conducted on problems of local, state, regional, or national concern.” The Hatch Act of 1887.

As stated in IANR offer letters, new faculty are expected to have an approved Hatch Project within the first year of employment at UNL. A new project is submitted every 5 years.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) supports research and extension activities at Land-Grant Institutions. The support comes in the form of Federal Capacity Funds, and the Hatch projects serve as an accounting link for expenditure. Hatch projects allow the Nebraska Agricultural Experiment Station (ARD-Agricultural Research Division) to support faculty salaries with Federal Funds, which in turn free up State resources to be used for operating, travel, personnel, and graduate research assistantship support across the Institute of Agricultural and Natural Resources.

  1. Faculty conducting biomedical research ONLY;
  2. Faculty who lead or are part of other Capacity Funded projects that have been initiated and approved by the NIFA REEport system (i.e., Multistate Hatch, McIntire Stennis or Animal Health and Disease), are not required to prepare or participate in a regular Individual or Team Hatch project, but are not prevented from leading or collaborating on one; and
  3. Specialty Track faculty with an ARD appointment are not required to have a Hatch project but are not prevented from leading or collaborating on a Hatch project.

Hatch Projects are administered through the Nebraska Agricultural Experiment Station - Agricultural Research Division (ARD). These are 5-year research plans with measurable goals and impacts designed to contribute to the broad research mission of USDA-NIFA.

  1. Regular Hatch: Prepare a new individual or team project, or join an existing individual or team project.
  2. Multistate Hatch Projects:
    • Join a Multistate Committee
    • Submit a multistate Hatch project (limited funding is available on a competitive basis)

Prior to developing a regular Hatch project, faculty should engage with their Unit Administrator(s) and colleagues in research planning. We strongly recommend that faculty develop collaborative team-based Hatch projects that have achievable goals; Units have policies that allow funds provided by ARD (GRAs, staff-lines, operating and travel) to support approved Hatch projects.

Please visit Hatch Project Development for general guidance for the development, review and initiation of USDA-NIFA Hatch projects.

Hatch (capacity) funds are mainly used to support faculty salaries at IANR. Faculty are expected to seek external funding to support their research efforts. Limited funds are available on a competitive basis to enhance participation in Multistate Hatch projects (see below).

Approximately 25 percent of the Hatch Act funds provided to the Nebraska Agricultural Experiment Station (NEAES) are set aside to support multistate research activities. Faculty are encouraged to participate in Multistate (regional) Research Projects that benefit Nebraska and its citizens.

Multistate projects are similar to Hatch-regular projects, but involve a team of investigators associated with several State Agricultural Experiment Stations working together to solve complex scientific problems of regional or national interest. The mission of the multistate research program is to enable research on high-priority topics among the State Agricultural Experiment Stations (SAES) in partnership with the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), other research institutions and agencies, and with the Cooperative Extension Service (CES). In this way, technological opportunities and complex problem-solving activities which are beyond the scope of a single SAES, can be approached in a more efficient and comprehensive way.

To be eligible to participate in a multistate hatch project, a faculty has to be a member of a Multistate Committee registered thru the NIMSS system. To join a Multistate Committee faculty needs to fill in an Appendix-E form that is found at Hatch Multistate Funding. Note that being part of an approved Multistate Committee does not make a faculty member Hatch salary funding eligible nor guarantee Multistate programmatic funding. Faculty needs to have an ARD and NIFA approved multistate project to be eligible. Travel expenses are provided to official NEAES representatives to attend the annual meeting of a Multistate (NE, NC, S or W) Committee / research projects. Funding for operations/supplies, graduate student and technical support may also be provided during the 5-year period of a multistate project.

Multistate Research Projects are governed by a five-year plan of work approved by the region and the USDA NIFA. New national-project outlines, within the North Central (NC) or other applicable national regions, are due to the regional office for review by mid-December with a potential start-date the following October (the other regions have slightly different review schedules, but most projects start and end with the federal fiscal year). If ARD faculty wants to receive programmatic funds during the approved project funding cycle (usually 5-years) in addition to funding to travel to the annual multistate committee meeting, they must submit an application for Hatch Multistate Funding by January 31 of the year in which approval for the new project is expected. In addition, ARD faculty may resubmit, or submit for the first time, a new or revised application for Hatch Multistate Funding during the first year of a new multistate project—this application would request funding for the remaining four years of the national five-year Multistate Research Project.

There are two funding programs to which PIs may apply:

  1. Supplemental Hatch-Multistate Funding Program ($10,000 per approved ARD PI per year)
  2. Enhanced Hatch-Multistate Research Funding Program (up to $100,000 per year/per proposal)

Yes, we ask that you use the following:
“This project is based on research that was partially supported by the Nebraska Agricultural Experiment Station with funding from the Hatch Act capacity funding program (Accession Number XXXXXXX) from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.”