Call for Proposals: IRIS Researcher Awards
The Institute for Research on Innovation and Science (IRIS) seeks to fund researchers who will use the IRIS 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 dataset is available to researchers within the secure IRIS Virtual Data Enclave (VDE) environment. A mirror of this dataset with linkages to restricted Census data is available through the Federal Statistical Data Center (FSRDC) system (see here.) This dataset is comprised of two 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) crosswalk files linking IRIS data to external datasets (e.g., publication, patent, federal award data) at the individual and award level.
Up to $15,000 for dissertation awards and up to $30,000 for early career and established researcher awards 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 can include 15% overhead or indirect costs to be paid as a part of the award total.
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.
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. Applicants may apply for one of three award categories, as follows:
- Dissertation Award (up to $15,000) – Applicant is currently a candidate in a doctoral program
- Early Career Researcher Award (up to $30,000) – Applicant received a Ph.D. within 10 years and has not obtained tenure
- Established Researcher Award (up to $30,000) – Applicant received a Ph.D. more than 10 years ago and/or has tenure
A complete application must be submitted to IRIS no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on November 1, 2017, including an online application form, complete research proposal (as attachment), signed research proposal cover sheet (as attachment), bio sketch (as attachment) and a letter of recommendation for dissertation awards (as attachment). Please note that all applications, including attachments, must be submitted via the Online Application Form. A printable version of this form is available to view here: PDF Application Form.
Recipients are required to attend a three day, face-to-face IRIS Data Camp in Ann Arbor, Michigan in February 2018 (exact dates TBD) where they will meet each other, share and discuss proposed projects and take part in training designed to introduce them to the IRIS data, the VDE environment, and disclosure processes. Recipients will also agree to participate in subsequent annual meetings to present and discuss their work in progress, and participate in peer mentoring and a research community of IRIS data users throughout the year.
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 core IRIS data files in addition to the crosswalk files. These files are further described on the IRIS website. Please note that IRIS cannot give direct access to Census data.
IRIS is grateful to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for making possible the funding of these awards.
Additional materials for application:
November 1, 2017
Applications due for 2018 awards
December 15, 2017
Award decisions announced
IRIS Data Camp held for all awardees at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (exact dates TBD)