Innovative research requires inspired and effective support.

AES Resources for Current Faculty and Staff

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The Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) is the nucleus of the college's research enterprise, providing essential funding that underpins and sustains the capacity of the college's expertise. The operations of the experiment station are administered within the Office for Research and Graduate Education. Under the direction of the Pennsylvania AES director, a team of support staff is here to ensure faculty can efficiently fulfill their obligations to the federal and state appropriations that support their research programs.

Capacity Grant Project Types

The college's AES supports four capacity grant programs administered through the Office for Research and Graduate Education. More information for joining and reporting on an AES project can be found at AES Resources.


The purpose of this funding is to conduct agricultural research programs at State Agricultural Experiment Stations in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. insular areas. --USDA NIFA, Capacity Grants, The Hatch Act of 1887

Funds allocated to Hatch activities cover a broad spectrum of agricultural research. The majority of faculty in the college participate in a Hatch project, studying a multitude of problems facing agriculture and natural resources at local, state, regional, and national levels.

Hatch Multistate Research Fund

The specific purpose of Hatch [Multistate Research Fund] funding is to conduct research by institutions within a State and by institutions in multiple States to solve problems that concern more than one State. --USDA NIFA, Capacity Grants, The Hatch Act of 1887 (Multistate Research Fund)

Hatch Multistate funding supports multidisciplinary projects that coordinate research concerning more than one state or region along with other state agricultural experiment stations, the Agricultural Research Service, or a college or university. Multistate research projects require jointly planned, cooperative efforts that integrate activity of the participants, include multidisciplinary approaches, and are mutually beneficial to the states involved.


The purpose of this funding is to increase forestry research in the production, utilization, and protection of forestland; to train future forestry scientists; and to involve other disciplines in forestry research. --USDA NIFA, Capacity Grants, McIntire-Stennis Capacity Grant

Funds from this capacity grant are awarded through a competitive process administered by the AES. Projects address a wide range of forest research topics pertaining to management, protection, and utilization of state forests.

Animal Health and Disease Research

The purpose of this funding is to promote animal health research at accredited state veterinary schools or colleges or agricultural experiment stations. --USDA NIFA, Capacity Grants, Animal Health and Disease Research Capacity

Awards from this capacity grant are made through a competitive process overseen by the AES. Funded projects may address a number of animal health concerns, including the general welfare and productivity of income-producing animals, as well as disease prevention for both animals and humans.

Other Project Types

USDA Competitive Grants

Faculty may participate in grants awarded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) but are outside the AES, for instance, competitive grants awarded through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). These proposals and awards for extramural funding are handled by the Office of Grants and Contracts (OGC) through the Office of Sponsored Programs, who is the signatory authority, and extramural funding that requires a separate project designation is assigned a project number through the OGC. Establishment and reporting of a project as a result of extramural funding is managed independently of the AES and handled directly between USDA NIFA and the project director.

Questions regarding the necessity of a USDA NIFA project for a competitive award can be directed to OGC.


Faculty also participate in grants that are supported with state funding and administered as a part of the AES in conjunction with the College's Finance and Business Operations Office. This includes research that addresses concerns beyond USDA priorities but is significant in the college (e.g., human health).