Chicago RDC: Proposal Process


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 website. 

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 might be unfamiliar to researchers who have not already conducted research at a Census RDC. Staff can assist researchers in preparing proposals that will adequately address these issues. 

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


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