NRSP001: National Information Management and Support System (NIMSS)
- October 01, 2011 to September 30, 2016
- Administrative Advisor(s):
Steven Loring (NM.)
F. William Ravlin (OHO)
Adel Shirmohammadi (MD.) *
- NIFA Reps:
Statement of Issue(s) and Justification:
The first version of NIMSS was previewed at the national Experiment Station Section Meeting in Idaho in September 2001. It was fully operational and was serving all the 1862 Agricultural Experiment Stations by 2002. Subsequently, with the success of the first version, more functions were incorporated and a second version was released in August 2004 allowing for customization for each particular group of users. The 1890s research institutions and Cooperative Extension were added and given similar access to fully utilize NIMSS. NIMSS is now currently serving all the 1862 and 1890 Land-grant institutions, allowing them to manage in a totally paperless system their multistate research portfolio.
Another significant accomplishment during the previous period is the development of a Web Service which allows NIFA to download data from NIMSS and integrate them into their management dashboard. This application will continue to be used and explored for further integration of both systems for the purpose of pre-populating federal forms.
The data collected through NIMSS covers a wide range of agricultural and related information including agriculture, forestry, natural resources, rural life, human nutrition, food safety, human health and other consumer concerns. Maintaining and enhancing NIMSS will provide substantial direct benefits to administrators of State Agricultural Experiment Stations (SAES), Cooperative Extension Service (CES), participating scientists, federal agencies, and many others utilizing this system. There will also be indirect benefits to the public through increased access to information on agricultural and related information.
- Sustain activities to improve the timeliness and integrity of information in the NIMSS database through improved operational, technical and managerial procedures.
- Support the flow of data and information into the NIMSS database
- Provide the facilities necessary to allow SAES and NIFA to access and utilize the NIMSS database effectively and efficiently
- More effectively document and communicate impacts of the multistate research activities.
NIMSS is managed by each of the Regional Associations serving the State Agricultural Experiment Stations (SAES). The Regional System Administrators handle the day-to-day tasks related to maintaining the system and answer queries from their users. The Northeast Region is responsible at the national level for upgrading and troubleshooting of the system.
A professional writer will be engaged to help prepare more effective impact statements for the multistate research activities. The writer will have access to the annual SF422 reports in NIMSS. In addition, a standard impact reporting format will be developed, approved by the Management Committee, and included in NIMSS. During the final year of the project, the Administrative Advisor will coordinate with the writer to collect any additional information needed by the writer from the project participants. The writer will prepare a draft impact statement using the standard format. The draft statement will be shared with the Administrative Advisor and participants of the project for comments and suggestions. A two week period will be provided for comments. The writer will then prepare a final statement. It is expected that this impact reporting system will replace those conducted in the North Central and Western regions.
Funding for NRSP-1 will be provided through an off-the-top allocation from the Hatch Multistate Research Fund. An annual budget request will be submitted to SAES Directors and voted on by the Directors at their annual fall meeting. NRSP-1 will provide important administrative support services to research administrators, project participants and other users of NIMSS. Funding for NRSP-1 is seen as an administrative expense and alternative sources of funding are not anticipated.
Integration NIMSS was designed to facilitate the management of integrated research and extension activities supported by the Hatch Multistate Research Fund. It was originally accessed by 1862 SAES participants. It has been expanded to provide access by Cooperative Extension and 1890 research institutions. The program can also be expanded to accommodate integrated education activities when the need arises.
The Regional System Administrators will serve as the primary contact and source of information and training for university administrators, program managers, investigators, business officers, and station staff using NIMSS. Assessment of outcomes for the targeted objectives of this NRSP will most often be subjective in nature. Many of the pursuits of this effort will not provide opportunities for physical measurement in any meaningful quantitative fashion. Some objectives will be realized with implementation of new system modules or reengineering efforts associated with targeted components or functionality. The implementations are indicators of basic successes in the life of the project but in subsequent years the measures of effectiveness and efficiency will be more elusive.
The NRSP-1 Management Committee will serve as stakeholder representatives in addressing assessment issues and to help evaluate the effectiveness of outreach efforts. The representatives will be responsible for collecting information from the institutions in their respective regions or associations to reflect the effectiveness of the NIMSS program in meeting their needs and objectives. The Committee will provide an annual report outlining the accomplishments of the previous year in support of the objectives at the ESS fall meeting. A copy of the report will accompany the annual budget request.
s:/Michael E. Vayda
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