The Current Research Information System (CRIS) is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) documentation and reporting system for ongoing agricultural, food and nutrition, and forestry research. The system contains over 30,000 descriptions of current, publicly supported research projects being conducted by USDA agencies, state and Agricultural Experiment Stations (worldwide), state land-grant colleges and universities, state schools of forestry, cooperating schools of veterinary medicine and USDA grant recipients.

A project within CRIS is a three-to-five-year research activity that is taking place at a single location. By consolidating information about projects, CRIS can provide answers to the following questions:

  • What research is being done?
  • Who is conducting the research?
  • Where is the research being conducted?
  • What is the schedule for the research being performed?
  • What progress has been achieved?
  • What publications have been produced?

By establishing a centralized database of project information, CRIS helps its user to:

  • Stay abreast of the latest developments in agricultural and forestry research
  • Plan future research efforts
  • Avoid costly duplication of effort
  • Establish contacts within the research community.

Subject Areas

CRIS contains information about projects related to the entire range of subjects with which the USDA is concerned. Major subject areas include:

  • Management and use of natural resources,
  • Protection of crops and livestock from pests and other hazards,
  • Production management systems for crops, livestock, poultry and fish,
  • Farm and forest product development and quality improvements,
  • Marketing of crop, animal and forest products,
  • Foreign trade and market development,
  • Food and human nutrition, health and safety, and consumer protection,
  • Rural and community development,
  • Family resource management,
  • Fish and wildlife management, outdoor recreation, and environmental quality.

Data Collection

CRIS information is collected primarily through the use of four forms:

  • AD-416 Research Work Unit/Project Description - Research Resume,
  • AD-417 Research Work Unit/Project Description - Classification of Research,
  • AD-419 or AD-418 Research Funds and Staff Support, and
  • AD-421 Progress Report.

Most data (99%) is received electronically using the web and a PC-based Windows program known as CRISFRMS. When paper forms are received, CRIS office personnel enter the data.

System Management and Contact Information

The system is managed by the CRIS division of the USDA Science and Education Resources Development (SERD) office that is part of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

For additional information, contact:

Current Research Information System


1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.

Stop 2270

Washington, DC 20250

Phone: 202-690-0119

FAX: 202-690-0634