grant flyerSummary

IRIS is excited to announce a third round of awards to fund researchers who will use the IRIS UMETRICS data to address questions about the social and economic returns to investments in research.

Applicants must be currently affiliated with an academic or research institution in the United States and proposals submitted must emphasize the use of IRIS data in projects that address open issues in the study of science and technology and in science policy.

Application Deadline: Extended to October 31, 2019


Call for Proposals Details: 2020 IRIS Researcher Awards

The Institute for Research on Innovation and Science (IRIS) seeks to fund researchers who will use the IRIS UMETRICS data to address questions about the social and economic returns to investments in research. IRIS seeks to enable fundamental research on the results of public and private investments that support discovery, innovation, and education on the campuses of U.S. universities. We accomplish that goal by: (1) collecting and curating data from universities around the country; (2) cleaning, integrating and protecting that data in our capacity as an IRB approved data repository; (3) partnering with the U.S. Census Bureau to link university data to restricted federal micro-data; and, (4) making the resulting datasets as broadly available to research users as the law and responsible research practice allow. The IRIS UMETRICS dataset is available to researchers within the secure IRIS Virtual Data Enclave (VDE) environment. This dataset is comprised of three collections: (i) core files in which researchers find university financial and personnel administrative data pertaining to sponsored project expenditures at IRIS member universities during a given year; (ii) auxiliary files which provide researchers with look-up and contextual information on institutions, awards, vendors and subaward recipients, and (iii) linkage files in which researchers find crosswalks between IRIS data and external datasets (e.g., publications, patents, and federal award data) at the individual and award level.

Awards up to $20,000 to support innovative research using IRIS UMETRICS data will be disbursed to the recipient’s institution. Funds can be used for personnel (e.g., research assistance, salaries, or stipend if recipient is a student), equipment, supplies, travel (may include travel mandated by the award), and other expenses (e.g., professional development and training). Awards must include no more than 12% overhead or indirect costs to be paid as a part of the award total. Applicants with proposals for projects with longer timelines may be considered, but the monetary award is limited to a 15-month time period beginning January 2020 through March 2021.

Description of Eligible Research

Proposals submitted for IRIS Researcher Awards must emphasize the use of IRIS data in projects that address open issues in the study of science and technology and in science policy. Topics of particular interest include but will not be limited to: (1) new methods to estimate social and economic return on investment for funding from various sources (federal, philanthropic, industrial, and institutional); (2) studies about the relationship between research training, career outcomes and the downstream productivity of employers; (3) research on the relationship between different funding sources and mechanisms and the structure and outcomes of collaboration within and across campuses; (4) analyses of the distinctive contribution university research makes to regional economic development and resilience; and (5) examinations of the effects different funding sources and mechanisms have on research teams and the productivity and efficiency of the academic research enterprise as a whole.

Particular attention will be given to work that develops and tests strategies for using IRIS data to support causal claims. Creative instruments and other identification strategies that can be validated in these projects will enhance the value of IRIS data for the research community. We also seek projects that develop appropriate comparisons and counterfactuals for studies of academic research contributions to the social good and economic growth. To those ends, we hope to support projects that demonstrate the feasibility and value of new data assets that might be linked with IRIS data to further improve its utility.

Applicant Eligibility

Applicants do not need to be affiliated with a current IRIS member institution (see the list of IRIS members). However, applicants must be currently affiliated with an academic or research institution in the United States.

Application Process

A complete application must be submitted to IRIS no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on October 31, 2019. All applications, including attachments, must be submitted via the online application form. (A printable version of this form is available to preview here: PDF Application Form). Incomplete applications will not be considered. 

A complete application includes:

  • online application form with personal contact information, and the following attachments:
    • research proposal
    • proposed budget and budget justification
    • signed research proposal cover sheet
    • bio sketch or curriculum vitae
    • a letter of recommendation (if an applicant is a graduate student)

Recipient’s Commitment

Recipients are required to participate in training designed to introduce them to the IRIS data, the VDE environment, and disclosure processes. Recipients will also agree to participate in one or more annual meetings at IRIS (typically scheduled in late September) to present and discuss their work in progress, and participate in peer mentoring and a research community of IRIS data users throughout the year.

IRIS’s Commitment

Beyond the financial award, IRIS provides a community for researchers as well as training and ongoing support. IRIS will also provide the opportunity for structured mentoring with an experienced researcher. Awarded researchers will receive access to the current IRIS de-identified research data release files. These files are further described on the IRIS website.

Please note that IRIS cannot give direct access to Census data. A mirror of the IRIS dataset with linkages to restricted Census data is available through the Federal Statistical Data Center (FSRDC) system but access to this data is a completely separate application process and is not controlled by IRIS. If you wish to submit a proposal for the IRIS Researcher Awards that includes access to Census data, we recommend that you contact an RDC (link here) to begin the application process simultaneously with them, as it can be a lengthy process.

IRIS is grateful to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for making possible the funding of these awards.

Application Form

Prepare required attachments, then click here to upload attachments and submit the online application:

Postdoctoral Fellowship Opportunity

In addition to these awards, IRIS is also currently seeking applications for two postdoctoral fellows to develop and pursue novel research using the IRIS UMETRICS dataset. These are one-year appointments with a $60,000 stipend and U-M benefits.

Past Award Recipients

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Logo
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Logo
University of Michigan Logo

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