Getting Started

Contact MDI

Discuss your idea with the lab administrator: Email GURDC

Abstract & Proposal Process

Develop your research idea into an abstract: GURDC Template Proposal

Upon approval from Federal Statistical Research Data Center (FSRDC) Research Project Coordination staff, meet with the lab administrator to plan your proposal development process.  This is a lengthy and rigorous process involving close collaboration with the GURDC administrator and executive director.  We are here to help answer questions on data availability and to support proposal preparation and submission.


It is not uncommon for the proposal process to take at least 4-6 months for NCHS projects, and 6-9 months for Census projects, and sometimes longer if the project requires multi-agency review.  Interested graduate students should consult with their advisor and the lab administrator prior to beginning the proposal process.

For projects using data from the Census Bureau – economic, demographic, or mixed data:

For projects using NCHS data, the steps include: 

For projects using AHRQ data, the steps include:

For projects using BLS data, the steps include: 

For projects using BEA data, the steps include:

Additional resources

RDC Researcher Handbook

This manual published by the Census Bureau in 2009 provides extensive information about the process of developing proposals, obtaining special sworn status, confidentiality, and other legal information.

CES Annual Reports (2000-2018) list approved projects, abstracts, and have articles featuring successful RDC research projects.