Western Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors

Call for Nominations - 2022 ESS Awards for Excellence in Multistate Research

Call for Nominations – 2022 Experiment Station Section Award for Excellence in Multistate Research

The fundamental mandate of the Multistate Research authority compels 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 station could address singularly. Demonstration of interdependence is a high standard and has become a hallmark of the Multistate Research Program’s management objectives.

The purpose of the Experiment Station Section Excellence in Multistate Research Award program is to annually recognize those station scientists who are conducting exemplary multistate activities and enhance the visibility of the multistate program. A recipient Multistate Project will be selected from the pool of nominees submitted by the five regional research associations (NCRA, NERA, SAAESD, WAAESD, and ARD), and judged by the ESCOP Science and Technology Committee (STC) to exhibit sustained, meritorious and exceptional multistate research activities. The ESCOP Executive Committee will provide final approval.

The Experiment Station Directors have approved a monetary recognition of $15,000 from the Hatch Multistate Research Fund (MRF) for the Excellence in Multistate Research Award winner. Up to $5,000 has been available to cover travel for up to two members of the recipient project (the Administrative Advisor and Chair or their designees) to attend the awards ceremony at the APLU Annual Meeting. The remaining $10,000, and any unused travel funds, has been available to support activities which enhance and contribute to the research and/or outreach objectives of that multistate project, consistent with the appropriate use of Hatch MRF. Use of these funds is a project committee decision made in conjunction with its Administrative Advisor.

Any current regional Multistate Project (research, ERA, CC) listed in NIMSS (www.nimss.org) is eligible for consideration for an Excellence in Multistate Research Award. The nomination is predominantly based upon the five-year project period.

The Multistate Research authority 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 have private sector and non-Land-grant 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.Each of the five regional research associations may nominate one Multistate Project chosen from the entire national portfolio of active projects. An individual project can document collaborative activities with one or more different multistate projects, if applicable, within the appropriate nomination criteria. Nominations shall be made to the Chair of the respective regional Multistate Research Committee (MRC) or Multistate Activities Committee (MAC) via the regional Executive Director’s office. The documentation for this type of nomination should be sufficient to allow the review committee members to evaluate the Project according to the criteria listed below.

Criteria and Evaluation
Successful selections from regional nominations and advanced to the national competition for the ESS Excellence in Multistate Research Award will demonstrate high standards of scientific quality, research relevance to a regional priority, multistate collaboration on the problem’s solution, and professional leadership in the conduct of the project.

All nominated projects, in the required 4-page format, shall be evaluated using the same criteria (with weights shown) based on the Project’s:

  • Issue, problem or situation addressed (5%)
  • Objectives (5%)
  • Accomplishments predominantly based upon the past five-year project period as
    • Outputs (the project’s products and deliverables, 10%)
    • And qualitative and quantitative descriptions of social, economic, ecological, and(or) environmental benefits as:
      • Short-term outcomes (how has the project created awareness, 5%);
      • Medium-term outcomes (how has the project changed behavior, 5%);
      • Long-term outcomes (how has the project changed condition, 5%);
      • Impacts (what are the direct, indirect, and/or anticipated global benefits; how is society and the world better off, 10%)
  • Added-value and synergistic activities across mission areas
    • Multi-disciplinary activities (10%)
    • Multi-functional integrated activities (10%)
    • Additional partnerships, associations or collaborations (10%)
    • Emphasize what the committee did together that would not have been accomplished with individual work (10%)
  • Evidence of multi-institutional and leveraged funding with examples of sources (10%)
  • Summary of participating institutions and units (5%)

Selection Process
The ESCOP STC will serve as the review panel. The review panel will select from the annual group of regional nominees a national winner in time for public announcement and award presentation at the APLU Annual Meeting each year. All nominated projects will be evaluated using the same criteria.

Award and Presentation
The national winning project will be recognized by the Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy (ESCOP) Chair and USDA NIFA Administrator during the Awards Program held at the APLU Annual Meeting. Each regional award winning project will be included in the APLU Awards Program by project number and title, technical committee chair, administrative advisor and participating institutions. This National Awardee narrative will be created by the Impact Writer and submitted to STC Executive Vice-Chair. The title of the national winning project will be added to a plaque located at the USDA NIFA Headquarters.


  • November – Announcement sent to Directors and Administrators, Administrative Advisors and NIMSS participants by ESCOP Chair
  • February 28 – Nominations due at Offices of the Executive Directors
  • March – Nominations reviewed by regional Multistate Research or Multistate Activities Committees and recommendations submitted to regional associations
  • March/April – Regional associations approve regional nominations at Spring meetings
  • April/May – Regional associations review, edit and finalize their nomination prior to the final submission
  • May 15 – Associations submit final regional nominations to ESCOP STC Committee via the regional association supporting STC (pdf and word document)
  • June – ESCOP STC Committee reviews regional nominations in early June and submits recommendation for national winner to ESCOP Executive Committee
  • June/July – ESCOP Executive Committee selects national winner
  • July – National winner submitted to APLU and ESCOP Chair announces at Joint COPs
  • July– STC Executive Vice-chair collects information from regional associations, secures project pictures, and submits materials to APLU for booklet and program script; NIFA notified for USDA NIFA Headquarters plaque inscription
  • September – National winner announced at ESS meeting
  • November – National award presentation at APLU Meeting

Contact Us

Western Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors
5890 Brittania Drive
Reno, NV 89523
Phone: (307) 760-3319

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