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RWC Questions & Answers April 2008

Standard Progress Report

1)

It would be good if the AD-421 mirrored more closely the Plan of Work Annual Report categories.  For example, a separate category in the AD-421 asking for a description of integrated activities would simplify the development of the spreadsheet required for the integrated part of the POW report.  A separate place to list patents, plants and inventions would also be helpful.

Response: NIFA has a group studying the standard report now.  We would like to make the standard progress report and the Annual Report for the Plan of Work to look very similar.  We are looking at their similarities now to look at the possibility for information entered into the standard progress report at the project level to be automatically rolled up into the Annual Report for the Plan of Work

2)

At the planning and reporting admin. conference in Seattle last year, the research logic model outcomes were described as 1) discovery of new knowledge, 2) development of new knowledge, and 3) dissemination of new knowledge instead of knowledge, action, and condition change. It looks like this has changed. I find that many of our researchers have no planned outcomes for knowledge, action and condition change but instead relate to the discovery, development or dissemination model. What advice do you have for us?

Response: At the training in Seattle NIFA presented in the logic model training that there are three types of outcomes in the generic logic model we use:  1) change in knowledge, 2) change is action, and 3) change in condition.  We did include three states’ on a panel where they presented how they each handled the Plan of Work.  One of those states did disseminate a logic model that showed outcomes as 1) discovery of new knowledge, 2) development of new knowledge, and 3) dissemination of new knowledge.  However, NIFA continues to advocate use of change in knowledge, action, and condition to indicate type of outcome.

3)

Is there a time schedule for when extension projects (and type of extension projects) will transition to reporting via CRIS? How does the CRIS reporting relate, if any, to the State annual reports, to NIFA. Will it eventually eliminate the State reports?

Response: Some extension programs other than Smith-Lever 3b&c programs are currently reporting into CRIS and most likely be reporting into the Standard Progress Report in the future.  We are still working with several of these programs to establish a time-table for reporting.

4)

Would it be possible to have objectives, and expected outcomes perhaps, show up as a non editable field on the 421 form to remind inputters as to the original proposed project?

Response: Yes, this is very doable and probable.

5)

How does the CRIS reporting relate, if any, to the State annual reports, to NIFA. Will it eventually eliminate the State reports?

Response: If the project is being funded by SL 3b and c funds it will not be reported in CRIS.  We are working on a process to eliminate double reporting, so states will only have to enter information once.  The ultimate goal is to enter a project into a standard progress report, from which information could then roll up to the Annual Report.