Multistate Research

Part of our work in the Land Grant system is multi-state collaborations.

Multistate research allows State Agricultural Experiment Stations (SAES) to interdependently collaborate in projects that two or more states share as a priority, but for which no one state could address singularly. This is a very high standard for any research project, and has become a hallmark of the Multistate Research Program’s management objectives.  The Multistate Research Program allows other non-SAES partners to join in these project-based collaborations. Thus, many multistate projects include extension specialists as members as well as Agricultural Research Service or Forest Service research scientists. In addition, many projects even have private sector and foreign participants. Moreover, the majority of multistate projects have participants from more than a single region, with many having representation from all regions, such that they are national in scope.

These links provide the core operating procedures for  multi-state work.

WAAESD Multistate Research/WERA/WCC Timline

Prior to January 15th New projects only: Inform Western Directors Office of intent to initiate a new proposal, provide two letters/emails of support from Western Region AES Directors.
January 15th Final new or renewing MRF projects in the NIMSS—completed Appendix A or B, completed Appendix Es for project participants.
Provide the Western Directors Office with a list and contact information for 3-4 external peer reviewers.
January – March Multistate Review Committee (MRC) assignments made, external reviewer comments solicited.
March – April MRC meets to discuss requests and reviews. MRC recommendations are presented to the WDA. Recommendations on multistate projects are forwarded to NIFA by the WDO.
October 1st Usual starting date for new or renewing research projects and coordinating committees.


Multistate Review Committee (MRC – formerly RCIC)

The MRC is delegated the responsibility for review, evaluation, and recommendation of all aspects of western multistate program. Programs may involve one or more functional areas, i.e., research, academic programs, extension, or international programs.

The critical issues facing citizens in the Western Region during the 21st century will require comprehensive approaches to adequately address their increasing complexity. These approaches often require involvement of individuals representing a broad range of skills, expertise, and experience. The organizational structure to stimulate, implement, and oversee regional programming across the boundaries of research, extension education, academic, and international programs is inadequate. The importance of such integrated activity and the inadequacies of the current structure were identified in studies of the land-grant system, including the NRC’s committee on the Future of Land-Grant Colleges of Agriculture (LGCA). They recommended that the LGCA system and federal government revitalize the linkages among teaching, research, and extension. Likewise, the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 identifies that research, extension, and education activities are accomplished in a manner that integrates agricultural research, extension and education functions to better link research to technology transfer and dissemination activities.

Several years ago the importance of extension to the success of the WCC structure was recognized, and extension faculty were encouraged to join WCCs. Therefore, coordinating (integrating) committees across the lines of research, extension, academic, and international programs (WERAs), similar to the Western Coordinating Committees (WCCs) that existed within the regional research structure are authorized. The WERAs and WCCs bring researchers together to coordinate related research, without the need for a formal regional research plan, to organize technical conferences, work groups, task forces, or symposia for exchange of experience and opinions.  The former Regional Coordination and Implementation Committee (RCIC) was effective March 1999, and was implemented on a trial basis for two years. Continuation/modification/discontinuation of RCIC was determined by a third-year review. The name of the committee was changed to Multistate Review Committee (MRC) in July 2010. It is envisioned that this committee could eventually have other responsibilities.The Multistate Review (MRC) provides leadership and oversight to the WERAs and WCCs.

The formation of the MRC and the attendant procedures and processes will adhere to the following organizational concepts.

1. The MRC will be delegated the responsibility for review, evaluation, and recommendation of all aspects of western multistate program. Programs may involve one or more functional areas, i.e., research, academic programs, extension, or international programs.

2. The approval process will include a rigorous review (that may include external ad hoc reviewers) to ensure the highest possible potential for success.

3. Individual faculty participation will be reviewed and approved by state directors or deans during the proposal formation process, prior to the regional review.

4. Funding to support faculty involvement in approved regional programs must be provided by the faculty member’s institution.

5. Proposed projects may originate from one or more Western Region institutions and from one or more functional components (research, extension, academic programs, or international programs), including the ranks of faculty or the regional committee itself.

6. The MRC will recommend disposition of program proposals to state directors of the impacted functional areas who will reserve authority for final approval.

7. The MRC will recommend the assignment of administrative advisors.

8. Oversight and review of approved projects will include regular (annual) progress reports and statements of impact submitted to the MRC.

9. Members of the MRC will be appointed by the relevant state directors and deans. The proposed composition of MRC is
Experiment Stations 4 members
Cooperative Extension 4 members
Academic Programs 1 member
Board on Human Resource Sciences 1 member
CSREES 1 member
ARS 1 member
Forest Service 1 member
NAPFSC 1 member
Veterinary Medicine 1 member

Multistate Review Committee (MRC) – formerly RCIC