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Welcome to the website for the Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors! This site's purpose is to encourage collaboration among agricultural scientists in the South as well as inform the funders of agricultural research about research priorities, impacts, and status of projects.

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Southern Extension and Research Activities (SERA) are intended to bring together researchers and extension specialists sharing a common problem, issue, or disciplinary interest. The general objective is to provide a functionally integrated forum to coordinate joint activities to address stakeholder needs. 

  • Proposals for new or renewed SERA may be made by a group of research and extension faculty or by an experiment station and/or extension director. A new SERA proposed by a group of faculty will be co-sponsored by an experiment station and/or extension director. Proposals for renewing an existing SERA may be co-sponsored by their Administrative Advisors (AA).
  • SERA proposals are submitted via the National Information Management Support System (NIMSS) using Appendix B to the SAAESD Executive Director, who notifies the Executive Director of the Association of Southern Region Extension Directors (ASRED).
  • Proposals are reviewed by two or more Advisory Committees and by the joint SERA Review Committee, who makes a recommendation to the SAAESD and ASRED Executive Directors.
  • The SERA proposal and Review Committee recommendation is considered by the SAAESD and ASRED directors separately at their Fall meetings. If approval by one association (ASRED or SAAESD) is not granted, the activity may be considered for another type of multistate activity.
  • A complete, detailed list of steps in the entire process to develop a SERA and who is responsible for each step can be found in Steps and Responsibilities in Development of a Southern Extension and Research Activity.

·        Components of the Proposal for a New or Renewed SERA:

The request should include a brief proposal in outline format as indicated below (Appendix B), not to exceed three pages (single sided, single spaced) in length. It should clearly reflect the proposed activity with sufficient detail and precision to allow for quality decisions on the part of the two Associations. The proposal may be prepared in Word Perfect, MS Word, or as a Text file and copied into the web submission form. The following components are to be included in the proposal:

I. Title:

A brief, clear, specific statement of the subject of the planned activity that conveys the intent of the activity in terms understandable by an informed layperson. This should not exceed 140 letters and spaces.

II. Statement of Issue(s) and Justification:

  1. If the request is for renewal of an existing SERA, provide a brief description of what has been achieved during the period of the current activity. Accomplishments should be tied to the original objectives and should be written in terms understandable by an informed layperson. Emphasis should be on any research and/or extension products and/or impacts of this activity.
    • Does This project have a website where annual reports are up-to-date? If so, list URL
    • List any significant joint publications, educational materials (print, web, etc.), extramural funding, or other joint outputs that resulted directly from the current activity over the project period?
  2. Describe the need as indicated by stakeholders and explain how the proposed activity addresses national and/or regional priorities.
  3. Are the proposed objectives being addressed in any other way within the region? Describe.
  4. Why is this the best mechanism to achieve these objectives? Why is it important for the proposed activities to be done as a SERA rather than through other means?
  5. What are the expected benefits or impacts? (Please list as concise one-sentence statements)
  6. Who are the stakeholders, customers, and/or consumers for which the activity is intended?

III. Objectives:

  1. Provide one-sentence statements that describe what is to be achieved with sufficient specificity to allow reviewers to make an informed judgment on the proposal's merit and relevance. See examples for further guidance on developing objectives.

 IV. Procedures and Activities:

Describe the procedures and activities that will contribute to achieving each of the objectives. Cite milestones if appropriate. Briefly summarize the procedures that will be used to address each of the objectives. Enough information should be included to enable the reviewers to evaluate the approach and to discern joint planning and coordination by the activity's participants, in other words, show that this is a collective effort to achieve objectives.

V. Expected Outcomes and Impacts:

  1. For each objective, identify any tangible outputs in research (eg. publications, collaboration, standard experimental protocols) and/or extension (eg. multistate programming, educational materials, modules), with output indicator(s) that will reflect in a quantitative or qualitative manner that the objective has been achieved. Provide approximate target date(s) for outputs.  See examples for further guidance on developing outcomes.
  2. For each objective, discuss the expected outcomes and/or potential impacts of the proposed activity. Examples of possible outcomes/impacts include, but are not limited to:
  • Coordination of specific research and/or extension programs.
  • Exchange of ideas and/or information/data.
  • Generate interest in a specific research and/or extension area (e.g., a symposium or workshop).
  • Publication of joint research and/or extension articles and/or review articles on a common issue.
  • Evaluation and standardization of methods or techniques leading to the development of a common protocol or best management practice.
  • Identification of critical/key research and/or education issues.
  • Development of multistate curriculum materials for training of staff or customers.

VI. Internal and External Linkages:

  1. For new activities, list the disciplines, agencies (both state and federal), and private firms that will participate or should be invited to participate in this activity.
  2. For current activities, include a preliminary table of participants utilizing the format found in Appendix E.
  3. After an activity is approved, directors will be asked to supply participant information via Appendix E for new activities, or update existing information for renewal activities, for purposes of:
  • Demonstrating that an activity is multistate and integrated or multifunctional.
  • Demonstrating that the activity relates to the federal-state partnership's five goals, which in turn relates to the state-based Plans of Work.
  • Identifying the Extension Program(s) to which the activity contributes.
  • Identifying the objectives in which each person will be a participant.

VII. Educational Plan:

  1. Briefly indicate plans for disseminating information/outputs to stakeholder groups described in section II.6 above. Include any special considerations concerning equality for service, ease of access, and focus on under-served and/or under represented communities/consumers.

VIII. Governance:

  1. For a continuing activity, identify the Chair, Chair-elect, and secretary by name and institution. This information should be provided annually as part of the meeting minutes.
  2. If you are using the standard form of governance, please click on the link indicated in Appendix B. Otherwise, describe the processes that will be used for selecting leadership and for decision-making.
  3. Provide the following information regarding the activity's organization:
    • Where will the activity's web site reside? How will it be kept updated and by whom?
    • How often will this group meet? Will it be in conjunction with another meeting? What mechanisms are planned for sharing information and coordinating activity other than meetings?
    • If potential funding opportunities are available to support this activity, how will the group organize to procure those resources?

VIIII. Attachments:

  1. Procedural Plan - If any unique or noteworthy procedures will be used to address particular objectives, describe these procedures and include the document as an attachment to the proposal in this section of Appendix B.

Maintained by: Donna Pearce, Assistant to the Director