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Proposal Guidelines

For projects using restricted-access Census data, proposals consist of three separate documents: an abstract, a project description, and a benefit to the Bureau statement, referred to as the Primary Purpose Statement (PPS). In addition to these three documents, a CV must also be submitted during the proposal process. You should be familiar with the CES website: http://www.ces.census.gov, particularly the section regarding the proposal guidelines before submitting a proposal to CES. Please download detailed information here and helpful tips here.

Projects using restricted-access NCHS or AHRQ health data should follow the proposal guidelines available on the NCHS and AHRQ websites.

Document I: Abstract

The abstract must address both the scientific merit of your project and the benefits to the Bureau. The proposed benefits to the Census Bureau are not a pro-forma requirement. It is the legal basis on which researchers are given access to the data. The abstract must include, at the top of the first page, a project title and the names of all researchers. The abstract should be no more than one single spaced page.

Document II: Project Description

(full proposal)

The project description should be fairly detailed and should include the following elements listed below.

  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Methodology
  • Data Sources
  • Output/Disclosure Risk
  • Project Duration
  • Benefits
  • Conclusion

Document III: Predominant Purpose Statement (PPS)

Proposals must demonstrate that the research is likely to provide one or more Title 13 benefits to the Bureau. A research project must demonstrate that its predominant purpose is to benefit Census Bureau programs. If a project has as its predominant purpose one, or any combination, of a number of possible criteria, it will be considered to have as its predominant purpose increasing the utility of Title 13 data.

Proposal Review Process

Research proposals submitted to CES are reviewed on the basis of five major criteria:
  • Scientific merit.
  • Benefit to Census Bureau programs.
  • Clear need for non-public data.
  • Feasibility.
  • Risk of disclosure.