Seed Grants for Projects Using Microdata from the Central Plains Research Data Center CPRDC

Sponsor Deadline: 

Apr 2, 2018


Iowa Social Science Research Center ISRC, U of Nebraska-Lincoln

Central Plains Research Data Center

Call for Proposals

The Iowa Social Science Research Center (ISRC), along with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, invite researchers at the University of Iowa to submit a short two-page seed award proposal that will provide funding for faculty researchers to develop a full research protocol for gaining access to the restricted-use microdata available through the Central Plains Research Data Center (CPRDC) housed at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln (UNL). The consortium partners in the CPRDC include UNL, University of Iowa, Iowa State University, University of South Dakota, and University of Nebraska Medical Center.

What is the Central Plains Research Data Center?

The CPRDC is a secure facility located at UNL operated in cooperation with the U.S. Census Bureau and other federal agencies in the Federal Statistical Research Data network. Through the CPRDC researchers can gain access to confidential micro-level data in finer detail than that available in public use data sets.  Examples include:

  • Demographic datasets such as the American Community Survey, Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), and National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) are available. 
  • Business, economic and finance data sets such as the Censuses of businesses by industry, the Business Register and link to COMPUSTAT, the Longitudinal Business Database (LBD), and the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) dataset.    
  • Health data sets such as the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). 

Available data are from surveys and other sources collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and other federal agencies.

The CPRDC website ( provides valuable information on available datasets and the process of submitting full research proposals to the Census Bureau. 


We will fund up to six faculty proposals at up to $5,000 each and five graduate student proposals at $1,000 each.

Faculty may use funding in a variety of ways that directly assist in developing a full research protocol for gaining access to data housed at the CPRDC. Proposals from tenure-track or tenured faculty, clinical track faculty, research faculty, lecturers, and staff could include funding for the following:

  1. Hire a student (e.g. undergraduate or graduate, biweekly or part of GA appointment) to assist in a variety of ways, including but not restricted to:
    1. Identifying specific datasets and variables of interest.
    2. Identifying potential linkages among different dataset.
    3. Developing hypotheses and analytic plans.
    4. Advising on issues of weighting and sampling.
    5. Drafting research protocols.
  2. Salary support for the researcher to perform activities such as those just described.
  3. Purchase data necessary to merge with CPRDC data, e.g., in order to combine existing data with lower-level geographic data available through the CPRDC one might need to purchase geographic identifiers not publically available.

Proposals from graduate students will be funded in the form of summer support in the amount of $1,000.


Information Session
The ISRC will host an information session to pass along details about the CPRDC, answer questions about the available data, the Census RDC application process, and about this RFP.
When & Where:   8AM, Tuesday, March 6, 2018,  at  2390 University Capitol Centre (Executive Boardroom)

Proposal Requirements  

The expectation is that seed awards will lead to a protocol accepted by a participating federal agency to conduct work in the CPRDC facility located at UNL. Once a participating federal agency accepts a protocol, additional funds will be available for travel to the CPRDC facility at UNL. Hence, DO NOT INCLUDE estimates for travel costs to UNL in your seed proposal budget.

Successful two-page proposals must contain the following:

  • A general statement of research interest and why access to restricted data are essential for addressing this research interest, beyond what is available in public release data.
  • If the research interest involves Census data, a statement on the criteria that the research project is expected to address that will be of benefit to the Census (please see
  • The specific tasks to be performed with the funding.
  • A budget and timeline that specifies the amount of funding requested and the amount of time expected for the delivery of a research proposal to access data available via the CPRDC. 
  • The identification of at least one funding agency and a specific program within that agency that are likely to support an award that fully or partially includes analyses of restricted-use microdata.
  • CV/Bio-sketch that is no longer than four pages (not counted in two-page limit).
  • Graduate students should include a brief letter of support (no more than one page) from their advisor.

Proposal Submission 
Two page proposals must be emailed to by 8am, Monday, April 2, 2018. We anticipate award notifications to be sent in mid-May, 2018.

Review Process 
Applications will be evaluated by peer-review teams composed of University of Iowa faculty and reviewed by the CPRDC staff at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Recommendations will be made to the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, who will make the final determination of awards.

Applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  • What is the likelihood of producing an RDC proposal and an external funding proposal as well, based on the merit of the research?
  • Are the qualifications, competencies, and achievements of the PI/PD (and collaborators, if appropriate) suited to carry out the project?
  • Is the goal or central problem of the project clearly identified?
  • Is it likely that the project will be completed in the proposed timeline?
  • Has the applicant indicated potential sources of external funding?
  • Is it consistent with the objectives of the CPRDC?

Funded projects will be asked to submit a copy of their final proposal to Research Data Center for reference by future applicants.

For more information on this Call for Proposals, contact Kris Ackerson, Grant Development Manager at the Iowa Social Science Research Center (ISRC), at, (319) 467-0098; or Frederick J. Boehmke, Director of the ISRC, at, (319) 335-2342.

For more information on the CPRDC, contact John Anderson, CPRDC Executive Director, at, (402) 472-1190 or Robert Belli, Chair, CPRDC Steering Committee, at, (402) 472-3721.


For more information on the CPRDC from University of Iowa:

For additional information on Census datasets:  

For additional information on National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) datasets, and the application process:

For additional information on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) application process and available datasets: