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Frequently Asked Questions on AREERA Plan of Work and Annual Report

Q: In "Plain English," which formula grants must be covered in the 5-Year Plan of Work ?

A: The 5-Year Plan of Work must address formula grants authorized under the Hatch Act (both Regular Hatch Formula Grants and Hatch Multistate Research Funds) for research activities at the 1862 land-grant institutions, section 3(b) and (c) of the Smith-Lever Act (regular "3(b) and (c)," special needs, CSRS retirement, and FERS retirement formula allocations) for extension activities at the 1862 land-grant institutions, and sections 1444 and 1445 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (NARETPA) for research and extension activities at the 1890 land-grant institutions, including Tuskegee University.

Q: Are 1890 land-grant institutions required to report on multistate and integrated activities?

A: YES. Multistate and integrated research and extension activities should be reported under the “Planned Programs” section of the 5-Year Plan of Work. Under section 225 of AREERA, they are required to report on multistate and integrated research and extension activities in their plans of work. However, since they are not required to expend a specified percentage of their section 1444 and 1445 funds on multistate extension and integrated research and extension activities, the 1890 institutions should not report "Multistate Activities," or "Integrated Research and Extension Activities" financial report section as neither section 105 of AREERA (for multistate extension activities) nor section 204 of AREERA (for integrated research and extension activities) applies to funds allocated to the 1890 institutions.

Q: Are the 1862 land-grant institutions in American Samoa, Guam, Micronesia, Northern Marianas, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin I03/03/2010tivities?

A: YES. Multistate and integrated research and extension activities should be reported under the “Planned Programs” section of the 5-Year Plan of Work. Under section 202 of AREERA, they are required to report on multistate and integrated research and extension activities in their plans of work. However, since they are not required to expend a specified percentage of Hatch Act and Smith-Lever Act formula grants on multistate extension activities and integrated research and extension activities, these 1862 land-grant institutions should not report "Multistate Activities," or "Integrated Research and Extension Activities" financial report section as neither section 105 of AREERA (for multistate extension activities) nor section 204 of AREERA (for integrated research and extension activities) applies to the Territories.

Q: Is the 1862 land-grant institution in the District of Columbia required to report on multistate and integrated research and extension activities?

A: Yes. Multistate and integrated research and extension activities should be reported under the “Planned Programs” section of the 5-Year Plan of Work. There is no reporting requirement under "Multistate Activities," as section 105 of AREERA does not apply to the District of Columbia. Formula grants for cooperative extension work in the District of Columbia are authorized under the District of Columbia Postsecondary Education Reorganization Act and not under the Smith-Lever Act. However, there is a reporting requirement under "Integrated Research and Extension Activities," since section 204 of AREERA does apply to the District of Columbia as formula grants for research activities in the District of Columbia is authorized under the Hatch Act.

Q: Which formula grants are subject to a scientific peer review?

A: Only the projects submitted for the Hatch Multistate Research Funds are subject to a scientific peer review at the recipient institution. All other projects submitted for Regular Hatch Formula Grants as well as any other formula grants are subject to a merit review process at the recipient institution.

Q: There is no mention of Smith-Lever 3(d) Formula Grants. Are we required to report on these formula grants in the AREERA Plan of Work ?

A: NO. The only formula grant activities authorized under the Smith-Lever Act that must be reported in the AREERA 5-Year Plan of Work are those activities supported by section 3(b) and (c) of the Smith-Lever Act. However, under the “Planned Programs” component of the 5-Year Plan of Work, you may choose to report on these 3(d) funds, including 3(d) Special Projects, and any other funding used to support this "Planned Program." See below for more information on 3(d) funding requirements.

Q: Are the 1890 institutions required to develop a plan of work addressing the new section 1449 (of NARETPA) matching requirements for sections 1444 and 1445 funding for extension and research activities? If so, what basis should be used?

A: YES. The 1890 institutions are required to develop a plan of work that includes the activities supported by the matching funds.

Q: Why was there a separate notice in the Federal Register for the proposed rule on Stakeholder Input Requirements?

A: Section 102(c)(2) of AREERA requires USDA to promulgate regulations on stakeholder input requirements. In addition, a separate notice for this proposed rule was necessary, as the requirements for stakeholder input apply not only to the formula grants covered by this 5-Year Plan of Work, but also to the formula grants for forestry research under the McIntire-Stennis Act and for animal health and disease research under section 1433 of NARETPA. Hence, the stakeholder requirements will apply to recipients that are not land-grant institutions and to formula funded activities that may not be addressed in the 5-Year Plan of Work.

Q: What is required to be reported under "Stakeholder Input Process?"

A: Under this component, an institution should be reporting on the actions taken to seek stakeholder input that encourage stakeholder participation and a brief statement of the process used by the recipient institution to identify individuals and groups who are stakeholders and to collect input from them. Since this requirement applies not only to the formula grants that must be reported on in the 5-Year Plan of Work but also to the McIntire-Stennis forestry research and animal health and disease research formula grants, an institution may report that the stakeholder input process described in this 5-Year Plan of Work also considers the uses of McIntire-Stennis forestry research and animal health and disease research funds. This notation in the 5-Year Plan of Work will avoid duplicate reporting requirements for the institution.

 

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