Researchers should consult with the RDC Administrator about the content and form of a research proposal early in the proposal development process. The RDC Administrator will help researchers prepare and submit materials electronically via the Center for Economic Studies on-line proposal management system. The proposal review process is lengthy and rigorous, and the administrator can assist researchers in determining data availability and in preparing high-quality proposals. It is not uncommon for the proposal process to take 6 to 12 months.For projects using Census economic or demographic data, here is a basic outline of the steps:
- Ensure your project requires RDC data and read through the complete MnRDC proposal guidelines and CES proposal instructions.
- Discuss your project with the RDC Administrator.
- Create an account into the CES management system and enter a brief preliminary proposal and your two-page Curriculum Vitae.
- Work with the RDC Administrator in developing your final proposal.
- When invited by the RDC Administrator, submit your final proposal into the CES system. The final proposal consists of four separate documents (uploaded as PDFs): curriculum vitae of all investigators on the proposed project, abstract of the proposal, project description (full proposal), and statement of benefits to the Census Bureau.
- Contact the RDC Administrator for an update on your proposal status.
- Once approved, you will need to obtain Special Sworn Status (SSS). This includes passing a background check and making a signed, sworn statement about preserving the confidentiality of the data.
For projects using NCHS or AHRQ data, here are the basic steps:
- Ensure your project requires restricted NCHS data or AHRQ data and read through the complete proposal guidelines at NCHS and AHRQ.
- Contact the MnRDC Administrator to ensure your project is feasible for completion in a Census RDC.
- Work with the NCHS RDC Director or AHRQ Data Center Coordinator to prepare your proposal.
- Notify the MnRDC Administrator once your project has been approved to begin the process of data access in the MnRDC, including obtaining Special Sworn Status (SSS) by passing a background check and making a signed, sworn statement about preserving the confidentiality of the data.
- Note: you will also need to complete NCHS Designated Agent and confidentiality training or AHRQ confidentiality affidavits.