Hatch Start-Ups

A Hatch Start-up project is provided to some new faculty who have accepted a position with and are coming to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

These projects are not part of the annual Call for Proposals opportunity. Start-up project proposals can be submitted at any time after you have arrived on campus. These proposals are reviewed outside of the normal review process and will start October 1st of the year in which the proposal is submitted, reviewed, and approved. If the proposal is submitted in October, November, or December, the award will start on October 1st of the following year.

New CALS faculty must have activated their start-up Hatch/McStennis grant at least 6 months before applying to the annual CALS Hatch/McStennis competition.

Application Process

Proposal Development

Proposals must follow the guidelines specified in the annual Call for Proposals opportunity, and must include the required budget worksheets.

When beginning a proposal, please contact Casey Hillmer at casey.hillmer@wisc.edu or 608-262-2397, and provide her with an estimated proposal submission date a desired start date for the project.

See current FY18 call for proposals for more information.

Current FY18 cover page and excel budget.

Proposal Submission

Proposals must be submitted electronically, via the WISPER system. Access the system and instructional guides at http://www.rsp.wisc.edu/WISPER/index.html.

Please route the WISPER record, with your proposal and budget worksheets attached, to Casey Hillmer in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and send an approval request to Angie Seitler.

If you need assistance with your submission, please work with your departmental Research Administrator, or your designated CALS Pre-award contact.

Review Process

Initial Review

Once a proposal has been submitted via WISPER, two reviewers will asesess the proposal and provide feedback. The review process typically takes about two months. Please keep this in mind when you are developing your proposal and determining a desired start date.


If the reviewers identify a need for revisions, a revised proposal will be requested. Revised proposals do not need to be submitted via WISPER; instead, they should be emailed to Angie Seitler at aseitler@cals.wisc.edu, along with a cover page addressing the reviewers’ concerns.


When your proposal is deemed acceptable for funding, you will be notified of the approval and provided with the reviewers’feedback. WAES asks that you keep this feedback in mind when beginning your project.

USDA Review

Following internal approval, all proposals for formula funding must be reviewed and approved by the USDA.

In order to facilitate this review, project information must be entered into the USDA’s REEport, using the project initiation web form.

Contact Casey Hillmer at casey.hillmer@wisc.edu or 608-262-2397 for assistance with completing the REEport forms.

Award Disbursement

Following USDA approval, your budget will be established and you will be allowed to begin expending funds. Typical Hatch Start-up projects are for 2 or 3 years and include $3,000 to $5,000 per year for supplies, student hourly wages, and data collection travel expenses.

Since the USDA fiscal year fruns from October 1 through September 30, you will only receive funds during the first year of a project through September 30. Each fiscal year, a new project number will be established. Funds must be expended by September 30 each year and cannot be carried forward into the next fiscal year.

Certain items cannot be purchased with Federal Formula funds or require approval prior to purchase. Before expending funds, please review the WAES purchasing policies. It is extremely important that you review this information. Please work with Angela Seitler (608-261-1432 or waes@cals.wisc.edu) if you have questions about the allowability of specific items.