Proposal Information
IRS Criterion Document
Tips for Writing a Successful MCRDC Proposal
"Economical Writing," by Donald McCloskey (Citation Info)
Ongoing Research Projects at MCRDC
 Potential Metodological Topics
Information for Current Researchers  
Social and Economic Data Course  
Working Papers  
Virtual RDC  
Proposal Information

Researchers planning to use the MCRDC must submit a research proposal.  Proposals are reviewed by the MCRDC, by the Census Bureau, and, for proposals that use data it provides to the Census Bureau, by the Internal Revenue Service. 

The research conducted in the MCRDC must have a Census Bureau (Title 13) purpose.  Census Bureau purposes include improving the quality of the data it collects, improving methodology for collecting and disseminating its data, and improving Census sample frames and statistical procedures.  Research that uses Internal Revenue Service (Title 26) data must have primarily a Census Bureau purpose.  In practice, most economic data includes Title 26 data.  See the IRS Criterion document for more information.  All projects will be reviewed for Census Bureau purpose, disclosure risk, feasibility, and scientific merit.  Funding of a project by a granting agency such as the NSF or the National Institutes of Health will be taken as evidence of scientific merit, though outside funding is not necessary to establish scientific merit. 

Researchers interested in submitting a proposal to use confidential data at the MCRDC must first create a user account at the Center for Economic Studies.  Researchers may then submit a one page preliminary proposal on the CES web site; this proposal briefly describes the proposed research project and the requested data set(s).    Researchers then work with the MCRDC to develop a full 15 page (approximately 30 double-spaced pages) research proposal and statement of the benefits that the project will provide to the U.S. Census Bureau.  The MCRDC works closely with researchers in drafting their proposals and invites queries from qualified researchers about the potential projects.  Given the complexity of accessing these data, researchers are urged to contact the MCRDC early in the process of developing proposals.

Census has outlined methodological research topics which are high priority for the U.S. Census Bureau.  Researchers are encouraged to read over this “call for research” in order to identify ways that their propose research can be directly beneficial to those research programs inside the Census Bureau that are concerned with a particular topic.  Click here for a description of the "Potential Research Data Center Methodological Topics".


Click here for an outline of "Tips for Writing a Successful MCRDC Proposal". These tips include a brief summary of the abstract, project description, CV requirements, and benefits statement sections of a proposal.  The "Tips" document also reviews the conditions under which an Institutional Review Board is required to approve a project involving human subjects.  A more detailed set of submission instructions can be found on the CES website.

Researchers currently using the MCRDC should also be aware of our information for current researchers link.  This page contains useful information on releasing output and disclaimers for presentations and publications.


Institute for Social Research
426 Thompson Street, Room 106
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248
(734) 615-2535

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