NHAES Projects and Assistantships

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. 

Hatch-Multistate projects are an important option and may be folded into standard Hatch proposals. Faculty participation in Hatch Multistate Research Projects is an excellent way to enhance collaboration with disciplinary peers from other states, and is also a requirement of the NHAES’s acceptance of USDA Hatch funds. These funds can only be used for cooperative research involving two or more State Agricultural Experiment Stations (SAES). The formal multistate research program facilitates collaborative research on high-priority topics among the SAES in partnership with the USDA, other research institutions and agencies, and the Cooperative Extension Service. Opportunities and problem solving activities that concern more than one state, but which are beyond the scope of a single SAES, can thereby be approached in a more efficient and comprehensive manner. 

Of particular potential interest to faculty participants should be the opportunity, which arises during annual meetings of the multistate project, to work with, learn about, and get to know national peers who have explicit interest in similar topical areas. Many of these colleagues will likely populate competitive grant review panels and serve in other important roles related to UNH faculty career activities or as potential professional references (e.g., tenure and promotion), etc. Therefore there is significant professional value and opportunity in developing relationships and routinely sharing research activities and results with scientific peer networks through these multistate research projects. 

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. 

The scope of research which may be conducted under the McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry Act includes investigations relating to the reforestation and management of land for the production of timber and other related products of the forest; management of forest and related watershed lands to improve conditions of water flow and to protect resources against floods and erosion; management of forest and related rangeland for production of forage for domestic livestock and game as well as improvement of food and habitat for wildlife; management of forest lands for outdoor recreation and the protection of the forest and its resources against fire, insects, diseases, or other destructive agents; utilization of wood and other forest products; development of sound policies for the management of forest lands and the harvesting and marketing of forest products; and such other studies as may be necessary to obtain the fullest and most effective use of forest resources. 

Examples of the research areas covered by McIntire-Stennis funds include: ecological restoration; catastrophe management; valuing and trading ecological services; energy conservation; biomass energy and bio-based materials development, forest fragmentation, carbon sequestration and climate change; and ways of fostering healthy forests and a globally competitive forest resources sector. In addition, high priority issues include science of integration (ecosystem or landscape approaches, including interdisciplinary multistate projects); forest ecosystem services; human attitudes and behaviors; conflict, uncertainty, and decision-making; technological advancements (biotechnology, nanotechnology, and geospatial technology), productivity, and forest applications; and urban ecosystems. 

Research project funding cycles are based on the federal fiscal year of October 1 through September 30. Approved standard McIntire-Stennis projects will generally have a funding cycle of three years. 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. 

Updated September 2020

The New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station (NHAES) will support a modest number of graduate research assistants (GRA) and postdoctoral scientists (postdocs) to work with highly productive faculty on their NHAES-funded research projects. This is part of the NHAES goals to enhance the productivity and impacts of its funded research, to strengthen the abilities of our scientists, and to help train the next generation of agricultural scientists.

 The deadline for applications is November 13, 2020, for funding to begin in at the beginning of the 2021 Fall semester (GRAs) or October 1, 2021 (federal fiscal year 2022) for postdocs. You must have ongoing funding or be in the process of applying for research support from the NHAES to qualify for a personnel support award. Proposals must be submitted electronically to nhaes.proposals@unh.edu

NHAES Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA) Support Program

NHAES will provide funding on a competitive basis to support 24-month, 0.5 FTE stipend plus tuition and health fees for graduate students working on active NHAES projects. Strong preference will be given to doctoral student assistantships. The graduate student must work 20 hours on NHAES project to comply with federal time and effort reporting regulations. This comes with the expectation that the Project Directors will cover the remainder of the student’s full graduate program costs (stipend/tuition/fees/operations) with his or her own extramural funding. Internal resources, including a teaching assistantship, cannot be used to pay for these expenses, as a key goal of the NHAES funding is to stimulate graduate student support through extramural funds. GRA Support Program awards are available to faculty who are engaged in active NHAES projects. Submissions will be first and foremost evaluated based on their overall merit; when projects are deemed to be of similar strength and importance, due to limited resources, priority for funding will be given to project directors who are members of the graduate faculty and for students in COLSA graduate programs. Proposals are submitted by and awards made to individual faculty members, not student applicants.

NHAES Postdoctoral Scientist Support Program

The NHAES Postdoctoral Scientists Support Program will provide up to two years of funding for a single individual per award (i.e., not for time- or FTE-portions of multiple individuals), at a maximum rate of $48,000 salary plus fringe. Operations, travel, and other support must come from the faculty mentor’s NHAES and/or appropriate extramurally funded projects. The postdoctoral scientist must work full time on the NHAES project to comply with federal time and effort reporting regulations. If you know the name of the intended postdoc, be sure to specify it in the proposal as this will allow the advertising/search requirement for the position to be waived. Proposals are submitted by and awards made to individual faculty members, not postdoctoral applicants.  Project directors will be notified of post-doctoral funding decisions during late winter so they may accept a new postdoc to begin the following October 1 (at earliest). Funding will necessarily correspond to the NHAES federal fiscal year budget allocations of October 1 through September 30.

Eligibility

Funding is available to faculty having active NHAES projects awarded through the regular competitive review process. The preferred time for faculty to apply for GRA or postdoctoral scientists funding is when sufficient time remains in their approved research project; generally concurrent with a new or revised Hatch, Hatch-Multistate or McIntire-Stennis project proposal submission or the first year of their project to ensure at least two years remaining funded project duration to accommodate the (conventional) two-year GRA or postdoc.

Only one NHAES personnel position will be supported in any laboratory or research program at a time. If you currently have a 2-year NHAES GRA or postdoc support that starts this fall, you are not eligible to apply for additional funding at this time. Initial preference will be given to project directors who have not had two or more rounds of consecutive personnel funding (i.e., 4 or more years of consecutive GRA and/or postdoctoral funding from the NHAES). Proposals from project directors who have had at least 4 years of consecutive personnel funding will be considered if resources are available after funding has been awarded to merited proposals in the initial preference group. 

Postdoctoral scientists and graduate students who are not U.S. citizens are eligible for this program. Noncitizens must have proper documentation allowing them to work in the United States to be paid from NHAES federal funds. Potential faculty sponsors should contact the UNH Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS) to ensure that all required preparations and documentation are completed. The OISS website is https://www.unh.edu/oiss/. Such individuals would presumably be J-1 Exchange Visitors; see the tabs for Faculty/Staff and Departments on the OISS website.

Award Criteria

The NHAES half-time GRA must work at least 20 hours a week on the project director’s NHAES research.  For postdocs, the candidate is expected to work full time (40 hours per week) on the project director’s NHAES research. Because personnel awards are targeted to assist in completing NHAES research, the award criteria focus on project directors’ demonstrated and anticipated future research productivity and demonstrated ability to leverage NHAES funds with external grant dollars to support their work and/or GRAs and postdocs.

In developing the proposal, please address the following:

  • The proposed research roles and activities of the graduate student or postdoc and how these activities will help meet and/or expand the breadth of NHAES project objectives;
  • How the graduate student or postdoc will aid in strengthening or expanding the impacts and outcomes of the ongoing or proposed NHAES research;
  • How the activities of the graduate student or postdoc will aid the project director in potentially leveraging NHAES research for obtaining extramural funding and/or if matching funds are already available;
  • Evidence, especially as it may relate to the ongoing NHAES research, of the project director’s professional accomplishments, recent scholarly publication activity, and recent extramural support;
  • Evidence of the project director’s ability to mentor graduate students and/or postdocs;
  • Other considerations that advocate for a sound investment of NHAES funds.

NHAES and COLSA are committed to growing the diversity and inclusiveness of people and ideas in order to push the frontiers, impacts, and recognition of our research; the training of excellent future scientists; and reaching a broader population of stakeholders locally and globally. As such, we highly encourage that you consider and briefly address how you may be able to contribute to NHAES and COLSA's commitment.

Additionally, please note that while NHAES supports the institution’s strategic mission to grow doctoral student numbers, we are also aware that differences in research project objectives exist and that graduate students and post-doctoral scientists may bring a different set of skillsets, which may be appropriate for specific research needs. As such, when discussing your request for additional project personnel (especially for post-doctoral scientists), please specifically address how the specific skillsets of that individual will address the project needs and missions. Additionally, if you request a postdoc but could potentially adjust proposed activities to better accompany the skillsets and training missions for a doctoral GRA should the postdoc award is not funded, please note this in your proposal.

Lastly, because personnel funding received by NHAES is on an annual "use it or lose it" basis, these dollars must be expended only during the two award years except in the unusual case of prior written agreement. Unspent dollars may not be carried over or retargeted to other uses.

Proposal Timing and Format

An annual request for GRA and postdoctoral funding proposals will occur each year, following the annual request for NHAES project proposals. This year the proposals must be submitted by November 13. Award decisions will be made shortly following the review of new NHAES project proposals in early-2021, so that project directors receiving approval for new projects may be considered for GRA or postdoc support funding.

Please submit proposals that are single-spaced with 12-point font and consist of a 2-page proposal and 2-page abbreviated CV 4 pages. The written portion of the proposal should clearly address each of the award criteria listed above. For post-doctoral scientist proposals that seek support for an individual who has already been identified for the position, two additional pages are permitted to include an abbreviated CV for the potential postdoc.

Other Notes

Due to the high popularity of this program, please note that this year, there is a more limited number of post-doctoral and graduate student assistantships available under the McIntire-Stennis program.

Thank you for considering this program. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you have questions.

Anton Bekkerman
Director, NH Agricultural Experiment Station
Rudman Hall, G15A
Phone: (603)862-1676
Email: anton.bekkerman@unh.edu

Updated September 2019

As a part of the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station’s (NHAES) goal to enhance the productivity and impacts of its funded research, to strengthen the abilities of our faculty scientists, and to help train the next generation of agricultural scientists, NHAES will support a modest number of postdoctoral scientists (postdocs) to work with highly productive faculty members on their NHAES-funded research projects.

Funding Amount, Duration and Timing

The NHAES Postdoctoral Scientists Support Program will provide up to two years funding for a single individual per award (i.e., not for time- or FTE-portions of multiple individuals), at a maximum rate of $48,000 salary plus fringe. Operations, travel and other support must come from the faculty mentor’s NHAES and/or appropriate extramurally funded projects. The postdoctoral scientist must work full time on the NHAES project to comply with federal time and effort reporting regulations. If you know the name of the intended postdoc, be sure to specify it in the proposal as this will allow the advertising/search requirement for the position to be waived.

Proposals are submitted by and awards made to individual faculty members, not postdoctoral applicants. If a potential postdoc has been identified, their qualifications may be included in the proposal (below). For a number of reasons including net cost, priority for funding will be given to PDs who are tenured or tenure-track faculty within COLSA Faculty

PDs will be notified of postdoctoral funding awards during late winter so they may accept a new postdoc to begin the following October 1 (at earliest). Funding will necessarily correspond to the NHAES federal fiscal year budget allocations of October 1 through September 30.

Eligibility

Funding is available to faculty having active NHAES projects that are awarded through the regular competitive review process. The preferred time for faculty to apply for GRA or postdoctoral scientists funding is when sufficient time remains in their approved research project; generally concurrent with a new or revised Hatch, Hatch-Multistate or McIntire-Stennis project proposal submission or the first year of their project to ensure at least two years remaining funded project duration to accommodate the (conventional) two-year GRA or postdoc.

Note: Only one NHAES personnel position will be supported in any laboratory or research program at a time. If you currently have two-year NHAES GRA or Postdoc support that starts this fall, you are not eligible to apply for additional funding at this time.

Due to the popularity of this program and limited funds, project directors may receive no more than two rounds of personnel funding (two years each), followed by a gap of at least two years.

For Federal Fiscal Years (FFY) 2020 and 2021, all our McIntire-Stennis funds are fully encumbered through project awards. Thus, there will be no competition for new GRA or Postdoc awards within McIntire-Stennis program for the next two years.

Postdoctoral scientists and graduate students who are not U.S. citizens are eligible for this program. Noncitizens must have proper documentation allowing them to work in the United States to be paid from NHAES federal funds. Potential faculty sponsors should contact the UNH Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS) to ensure that all required preparations and documentation are completed. The OISS website is https://www.unh.edu/oiss/. Such individuals would presumably be J-1 Exchange Visitors; see the tabs for Faculty/Staff and Departments on the OISS website.

Award Criteria

The NHAES half-time GRA must work at least 20 hours a week on the PD’s NHAES research.  For postdocs, the candidate is expected to work full time (>40 hours a week) on the PI’s NHAES research.  Award criteria therefore focus on the PD’s demonstrated past and anticipated future research productivity, demonstrated ability to leverage NHAES funds with external grant dollars to support GRAs and postdocs, including a mixture of the following:

  • professional accomplishments
  • record of scholarly publications (last five years)
  • record of research impacts and outcomes
  • leveraging of resources through extramural funding
  • graduate students mentored and their outcomes
  • the supported GRA or postdoc’s proposed research role and activities
  • the supported GRA or postdoc’s research relevance to local/regional and national priorities
  • potential for individual and programmatic productivity and impacts
  • other considerations that advocate for a sound investment of NHAES funds

Based on funding and institutional strategies to grow doctoral student numbers, we may fund relatively fewer postdoctoral scientists in favor of supporting a greater number of GRAs in this round of the competition for personnel. If you request a Postdoc but are also willing to cover a doctoral GRA should the postdoc award not be funded, please note this prominently in your proposal document.

Proposal Timing and Format

An annual request for GRA and postdoctoral funding proposals will occur each year, following the annual request for NHAES project proposals. This year the proposals must be submitted by November 12. Award decisions will be made shortly following review of new NHAES project proposals, so those PIs receiving approval for new projects may be considered for GRA or postdoc support funding.

The proposal must be single-spaced 11-point font or larger. They should clearly address each of the award criteria listed above, beginning with a statement of what the GRA or Postdoc will contribute to new or current NHAES research.  The proposal must not exceed 4 pages including the abbreviated CV for the PD.  For postdoctoral scientist proposals, where an individual has already been identified for the position, two additional pages are permitted to include an abbreviated CV for the potential postdoc.

For more information, please see the NHAES Research Projects Manual.