The Administrative Manual for Hatch funding specifies that “The scope of agricultural research which may be conducted under the Hatch Act … includes research on all aspects of agriculture, including: soil and water conservation and use; plant and animal production, protection, and health; processing, distributing, safety, marketing, and utilization of food and agricultural products; forestry, including range management and range products, multiple use of forest and 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.”
Further, recent directives from USDA-NIFA specify “every Hatch research project must have clear and documented relevance as part of the project to agricultural science. Thus, in your project initiations, relevance to agricultural science needs to be evident or explicit.”
The Hatch program is our largest source of research support funding, with more than three times the direct research support expenditures (not counting those of the farms/facilities, staff, etc.) than for the McIntire-Stennis program.
Research project funding cycles are based on the federal fiscal year of October 1 through September 30. Approved standard Hatch (with or without a multistate component) projects will generally have a funding cycle of three years. At the federal level, multistate projects are approved for five years; however, NHAES project directors must undergo internal NHAES review, including submitting a proposal before joining a multistate project and three years thereafter. Specific projects and/or investigators may be approved for up to a five-year funding cycle when they are identified by the NHAES Internal Review Committee and Director’s Office as representing consistently strong levels of productivity, impacts, and leveraging of resources. There is no maximum limit to the overall length of time for which funded investigators may maintain a consecutive or intermittent series of funded projects, if they are continually approved through the competitive review and evaluation process.
For more information, please see the NHAES Research Projects Manual.