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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:

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.

The RDC proposal process.
Researcher responsibilities: Remainder of the process:
  • Contact CRDC Administrator
  • Determine project feasibility
  • Set up online 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