Guidelines for North Central Multistate Research​

Multistate research is a collaborative effort between states. Support for multistate research is unique and is set aside to address specific multistate activities. Within the North Central Region, multistate research should meet the following criteria:

Problem solving

North Central supports research that addresses a particular regional problem within a high-priority research area. The research program should identify measures for documentable progress within a fiveyear frame. The researcher must clearly define progress and identify specific goals related to solving the problem.

High priority

NCRA develops requests for proposals that identify both specific and general research priorities within seven crosscutting areas that include the research goals forwarded by the NCRA committees. These are the only areas that will be funded. However, the NCRA depends on the NCA committees to annually review the research areas and suggest changes as appropriate to the regional research mission.


The region encourages development of broad, multidisciplinary research programs that address complex problems amenable to coordinated research. For example, all projects should consider economics and social components as well as biological and physical science components (also see the discussion on multistate below).


A goal of prioritizing is to build on the specific research strengths of individual states, and to blend these strengths into cooperative and complementary research programs that capitalize on regional inputs. These research programs are regional because it is unlikely that any single state has the entire set of research components needed to address the breadth of a regional program. The current condition of most land grant institutions—downsizing, or at best, in a no-growth mode—dictates capitalizing on the strengths of individual Experiment Station programs by blending them.

Ensure accountability

The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA, 1993) mandates that all federally sponsored research include both performance indicators and performance measures. Potential milestones or indicators of progress should be identified, and accountability must be measured in these terms. This enhances reporting and input to the required GPRA process as well as strengthens the NCRA knowledge base about our regional research programs.

Direct/impact/outcome to society/people

Every multistate program must be able to show how the proposed research will contribute to society. Each program should clearly identify measureable impacts and expected outcomes that will result from the research.


The NCRA prioritization process will enable us to demonstrate that we are using our research resources wisely and enhance our ability to increase research support. Funds are finite, however, and growth is unlikely. Successful regional research programs can greatly expand opportunities to leverage support from other federal or state agencies as well as private sources. Multistate research proposals should discuss the role of outside funding in the current proposal and the likelihood of future leveraged support if the proposal is successful. The Office of Agricultural Research can provide funds for travel to attend annual multistate research meetings. However, given the limited funds available each multistate committee must seek extramural funds to support its research efforts.

Information and technology transfer

Every project must demonstrate how its results will be delivered to the user—researcher, Extension agent, industry, farmer, 4H program, suburban resident, etc. A project does not cease with the completion of field or lab research. The dissemination of information is important to the enabling or implementation process by the constituency, the public image of the State Agricultural Experiment Stations, and the Government Performance and Results Act process.