(Adopted May 1996; Revised January 2005; Amended September 2005; Revised June 2007; Revised July 2008; Revised November 2013; Revised October 2015)


Introduction

Research under the Hatch, McIntire-Stennis, and Animal Health and Disease Acts is conducted in three colleges that constitute the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station (VAES):

  1. College of Agriculture and Life Sciences,
  2. College of Natural Resources, and
  3. Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.

For each VAES project proposal submitted, the VAES Director, or the Assistant or Associate Director in the project leader's college will chair the review. The chair is responsible for selecting the Project Review Committee consisting of three or more members who are proficient in the subject of the proposed project. Members may be chosen from outside the university if recommended by the department/unit head or deemed appropriate by the chair.

Faculty from other units within the university may be eligible for VAES support. Such research would have to be reviewed by this policy, fit within the mission of VAES, and approved by the VAES Director. The VAES Director or College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Assistant Director or Associate Director will chair the Project Review Committee.

All faculty in CALS with a 20 percent or greater research appointment are required to have an individual Hatch or Multistate Project.


Proposal Development

The faculty member will prepare the proposal as specified in Essentials of a Project Proposal in the Administrative Manual for the Hatch (Experiment Station) Act as Amended, the Administrative Manual for the McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry Program, and the Administrative Manual for the Continuing Animal Health and Disease Research Program (1992), Appendix F.  Early in the new-project development process, the project leader is strongly encouraged to initiate a subject search using the USDA/NIFA reporting portal, REEport.

The proposed research project should be reviewed by a statistician to assure that the experimental design and statistical analyses are adequate. The project leader may meet with a member of the Statistics Consulting Center (LISA) or the department/unit head may designate someone with statistical expertise to serve as a departmental reviewer. The project leader will then submit the proposal to his/her department/unit head for peer review in accordance with departmental procedures. If the research involves animals, human subjects, or recombinant DNA, the project leader is responsible for submitting the required protocol forms to the appropriate university review committee(s). Proposals will not be forwarded to USDA/NIFA without required approvals. 


Proposal Submission and Review Procedures

The department/unit head will transmit the departmentally approved project proposal to the chair of the Project Review Committee for that college. It is preferable that the following items be transmitted through the STL system. Items to be transmitted include:

  1. The proposal as a Microsoft Word file
  2. The project leader's vita (2-page maximum),
  3. The project certification form,
  4. A research project review form,
  5. Verification of statistical review (LISA or approved alternative), and
  6. List of three or more suggested peer reviewers.

The chair will select reviewers, who will complete the Project Review Forms in the STL system and will forward comments to the chair by a specified date. 

Each proposal will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  1. Is the proposed research relevant to the goals of the department and college, the needs of the people the research would serve, and the priorities established by task forces, work groups, or commodity research committees?
  2. Are the objectives and procedures clearly stated?
  3. Is the proposed duration realistic for the research that is proposed?
  4. Are the appropriate or desirable individuals cooperating on this project?
  5. Does the project list impacts to Virginia (and elsewhere) or anticipated economic importance?
  6. Does the project leader's vita indicate the level of competence required to do the proposed research?

Each reviewer recommends that the proposal be:

  1. Approved with no changes,
  2. Approved with minor changes,
  3. Revised and resubmitted, or
  4. Rejected.

The chair will convene the committee, the project leader, and the department head to review the proposal. The chair will forward reviewers' comments to the project leader and department head prior to the oral review. The oral review may be omitted for revised/replacement projects, at the discretion of the chair, if a majority of the review forms are checked by the reviewers as “approved with no changes” or “approved with minor changes.” If an oral review is not conducted, the chair will provide the review committee comments to the project leader with a copy to the department/unit head. An oral review is required for a project leader’s initial VAES Project.

NOTE: Faculty located at off-campus Agricultural Research and Extension Centers (ARECs) will submit proposals to the center director who will contact the appropriate department head on campus regarding departmental policy for securing a peer review before the proposal is sent to VAES for review. 


Final Submission

The project leader will comply with the recommendations of the Project Review Committee and submit the revised proposal to the department/unit head, accompanied, where appropriate, by a letter containing a rebuttal for any recommendations which the project leader does not accept. The project leader will complete the REEport forms and will send a Microsoft Word copy of the proposal to the VAES office. 

The VAES Director will meet with the chair, the department head, and the project leader if there are any questions or concerns. When the project leader, the department/unit head, the chair of the Project Review Committee, and the VAES Director agree that the proposed project should be accepted, the VAES Director will approve it, assign a project number, and transmit the proposal and the REEport forms electronically to REEport. The NIFA Project Reviewer may possibly contact the VAES Director, Assistant/Associate Director, or project leader if he/she has questions or requires additional information.  If a proposed project is deferred, the NIFA project reviewer will notify the VAES Director, who will confer with the project leader, department/unit head, and chair of the project review committee to resolve the concerns.     

After approval by NIFA, the director will send copies of the confirmation email from NIFA and REEport forms to the chair of the project review committee, the department/unit head, and the project leader.  These documents, the proposal, and all pertinent correspondence will be retained in the official project file in the VAES Director's office.  Project files will be retained for three years after termination of the project.

Format for Curriculum Vitae

(To be submitted with all VAES project proposals) 

  • Name 
  • Academic Rank 
  • Education 
  • Professional Experience 
  • Professional Society Memberships 
  • Pertinent Publications during the Past Five Years 

(Should not exceed 2 pages)

Adapted from USDA/NIFA