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Proposal Guidelines

The Center for Economic Studies (CES) of the U.S. Census Bureau provides the official proposal guidelines for all RDCs.

Successful proposals will demonstrate the following components:
Potential to benefit Census Bureau data programs
Scientific merit
Evidence of feasibility
Clear need for non-public data
Minimal risk of disclosure

Proposal Process

Preliminary proposals must be submitted to the RDC administrator at least one month before the final submission deadline. Researchers also need to set up an account on the CES web site.

Before writing a proposal, researchers are strongly encouraged to contact the Chicago RDC Administrator. Given the restricted nature of the data, the proposal must address the risks of disclosing confidential information as well as how the project will benefit the Census Bureau's data collection programs. These issues may be unfamiliar to researchers who have not already conducted research at a Census RDC. The staff can assist researchers in preparing proposals that will adequately address these issues.

Researcher responsibilities Remainder of the process
Contact administrator
Determine feasibility of project
Set-up on-line account
Submit preliminary proposal
Submit final proposal
Proposal sent to peer reviewers (within and outside Census)
Reviews returned to CES
Reviews and proposals reviewed by Census Review Board
Census contacts researcher with final decision

The entire process takes approximately 6-12 months.
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This site was last updated on June 26, 2008
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We do not offer research services or provide statistics. Please visit the Census Bureau website to find out about such services.