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CAES Business Office - Hatch Projects

Hatch Research Projects
Procedures for Research Project
Development and Approval

Appendix I: Research projects from scientists NOT employed by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Appendix II: Research projects by College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences personnel NOT employed by the Agricultural Experiment Stations


  1. The development of research objectives and procedures, and the formalization of these expressions into a project outline, is an activity that is of paramount importance to the Experiment Stations System. The commitment by the administration, when projects are approved, authorizes the expenditure of funds and personnel effort for the research for relatively long periods and removes such resources from use for other research. Projects should, therefore, be developed thoughtfully and subjected to close peer review to assure technical excellence and pertinence to Georgia's agricultural and scientific needs.

    Every person with a faculty appointment in the Georgia Agricultural Experiment Station must be a part of one or more approved research projects. If a person's appointment in the GAES is 25% or less, he/she may serve as a co-investigator on a research project or as a principal investigator if the situation warrants. Persons with GAES appointments of more than 25% must be a principal investigator on one or more research projects within six months of employment.

    Within six months after an initial faculty appointment to the Georgia Agricultural Experiment Stations, but no later than nine months following the appointment date, one or more thoroughly developed and peer reviewed research projects must be submitted to the Director of Georgia Agricultural Experiment Stations.

  2. The duration of projects will usually be for three years with a maximum up to five years. Longer periods are often needed, as in the case of breeding activities, but the efforts required to revise and rewrite such projects periodically are warranted in view of the fund commitment involved and probable changes in objectives or procedures that are needed after three to five years.

  3. Projects may be broadly conceived and related to many research facets of a particular research area or narrowly limited to a single research endeavor. Certain restrictions should be noted. A broad project must specifically indicate simultaneous or sequential objectives and procedures that are clearly related to the overall purpose of the project. A broad, all-inclusive project that covers all contingencies and indicates vaguely general objectives and procedures will not be acceptable. Conversely, projects that are limited so narrowly that they are virtual outlines of a single experiment are to be avoided.

  4. Non-projected research (research not specifically or generally related to a project) may be necessary and valuable as a temporary measure (i.e. to preliminarily pursue a research side issue). However, when a decision is made to expand such pursuits into a significant time-consuming effort, a project should be prepared to encompass the proposed work. Our responsibility to account for the expenditure of resources, particularly Hatch funds, requires us to have approved projects.

  5. This project development and approval system will include all project proposals that are funded with state, federal, and/or grant funds. In the latter case, it is stipulated that project work with grant funds that involves less than 0.10 SY total personal services is exempted from this review system. Such exempted projects must, however, receive prior approval from the administration directly involved.

    An informal preview of a particular project concept should be accomplished by way of a preplanning conference at which the prospective project leader(s), and the department head(s), who will be involved are present. Other research and extension faculty may be invited to attend as is desirable. At such a conference, ideas for a new project can be discussed in light of knowledge of similar ongoing research; funding prospects; and all other pertinent considerations. The preview phase of project development is very important and should give consideration to all sources of information pertinent to the concepts and procedures that will guide the research. All departments involved in the proposed research should be represented in this initial planning. The project leader(s) should, as a result of such preview, receive tentative approval of concepts and limitations of the new project.

    The project leader will develop the project with the help and advice of the department head. The project should then be subjected to a thorough peer review. The project leader will pass the project to the department head with a list of persons who have reviewed the project up to that point. A first-year plan of work will not be required for the project, but should be available to the department head as needed.

    The department head is charged with the responsibility of a final executive committee review for the project. He will send the project to other department heads who may have cooperating personnel for their comments and approval as appropriate. Comments from the Executive Committee will be summarized by the department head and returned to the project leader. In addition, the department head will be responsible for:
    1. Selecting two department reviewers and one reviewer outside the development, and
    2. Transmitting the project proposal to the reviewers with a request to review project proposals for:
      • high scientific quality.
      • clear and achievable objectives in the indicated time frame,
      • investigative state of the art procedures and acceptable scientific methods,
      • addressing important research priorities identified by the department/division, and
      • clearness of writing and grammatical correctness.

    Reviewers should complete their review with one of the following recommendations:

    1. Recommended as written
    2. Recommended with changes indicated
    3. Not recommended for approval

    For revised projects, a copy of the original project should be included with the revision for the reviewer's use in comparison. Reviewers should return their assessment to the department head, and the head will work with the project writer to assure that appropriate corrections or changes are made.

    When a project proposal is transmitted through the Associate Dean for Research Office to the Dean and Director Office, the transmittal letter should state that the Department Executive Committee has thoroughly read, reviewed and approved the project proposal. The letter should also identify the names of the three reviewers and their department affiliation. This letter should be addressed to the Dean and Director.

    Department heads are requested to send the complete project packet to the Agricultural Business Office. The ABO will look over and make any necessary changes before forwarding the paperwork to the correct personnel. After securing signatures from the Associate Dean for Research and the Dean and Director of the CAES, the Ag Business Office will submit all college approved Project information to NIFA.

    The ABO will notify the department head and the project leader of the final approval of the project.




Research projects from scientists who are NOT employed by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Research projects from scientists who are not employed by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences will be subject to the same policies and procedures as those prepared by personnel of the Agricultural Experiment Stations and must also meet the following requirements:

  1. The scientist(s) must have a proven record of research in the area of interest, prior to submission of the project.

  2. The project must be designed to provide information in an area where the experiment stations need expertise.

  3. The proposed project and budget must have preliminary approval of the appropriate department head and Associate Dean for Research.

  4. The proposed project written in accordance with Experiment Station policies will be subjected to peer reviews within the department or College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences according to the guidelines given in GAES-7.

  5. Projects shall have a maximum duration of 3 years.




Research projects by UGA faculty and Extension specialists and USDA scientists NOT employed by the Agricultural Experiment Stations

Research to be conducted at the branch or main stations in the Experiment Station system of the University of Georgia by Cooperative Extension specialists and USDA scientists are encouraged. To properly account for expenditure of GAES funds the following policy will apply:

  1. When proposed research is not covered by an existing GAES project, each specialist or scientist will prepare a GAES project outline to cover such activities. The project outline should be approved by the appropriate department head(s). The department head will assume responsibility for peer review of the project outline using the same procedures used for all other GAES projects. With approval of the Department Executive Committee and the department head, the project proposal, along with approved CRIS forms will be forwarded through the Associate Dean for Research, to the Dean and Director's office for final approval and assignment of a GAES project number. The project number will be given to the specialist or scientist and to each Assistant Dean and branch station superintendent for proper accounting of expended GAES funds.

  2. Each year an experimental plan or protocol will be presented by the specialist or scientist in consultation with the appropriate station personnel to the appropriate department head(s). Upon approval of the proposed experimental plan, the department head shall return a copy of the approved plan to the specialist(s) or scientist(s), the station superintendent, the appropriate Assistant Dean, the Associate Dean for Research and the Dean and Director's office.

  3. The proposed research should be important to the state of Georgia and UGA and be a useful tool in the extension-experiment station-USDA joint research efforts.




For assistance, please contact:
Sunshine Jordan at (706) 542-8837 or