Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

The grant-application process can be daunting for first-timers and veterans alike, but CSDE can guide you through every step of it. To schedule a consulting appointment or request additional information on grant applications, contact John Kemner.

What We Offer

CSDE offers outstanding research infrastructure and a broadly collaborative environment. In addition, affiliates who submit funding applications through CSDE will receive 2% of the indirect costs generated by the award. Our agreement with the College of Arts & Sciences also allows us to pass through 10% of indirect costs to the home department of the affiliate. You can learn more about this policy in “Indirect Cost Return” below.

Principal investigators (PIs) and their departments will also benefit from the Center’s dedicated administrative service. We have three full-time staff members trained to assist with each stage in a grant’s life cycle. In addition to aid with the steps described in “Application Process” below, CSDE also offers other grant services—click below for more information. Our experience with many different sponsor types and award mechanisms ensures efficient, attentive help with every grant presented to us.

CSDE, among other organized research units in the Division of Social Sciences, has been given the task of providing some or all of the following services:

  • Access to Statistical Consulting and workshops
  • Access to Geographic Information Systems with support
  • Availability of high performance computing systems and support
  • Dedicated administrative support for grants
  • Seed grants for pilot research projects
  • Funding trainee student travel to conferences

Specifically, the College of Arts & Sciences receives 35% of all indirect costs associated with such projects and passes on 25% to CSDE. Of that 25% of total indirect costs, CSDE retains 13%, passes through 10% to the PI’s department, and makes 2% available to the PI of the sponsored project(s).

This agreement holds regardless of the primary appointment of the PI—within or outside of Arts & Sciences (occasionally, changes to this schedule are proposed during the application process in order to increase matching support of exceptional projects by CSDE). In many cases, the home department of the PI receives nearly the same indirect costs as if the grant were administered locally and is relieved of nearly all of the administrative burden associated with the award. Additionally, the PI enjoys a cost return where none would typically exist.

A comparison of indirect cost flow is presented in the following table:

$100,000 of indirect costs (IDCs) generated within:
CSDE CSSS Department
IDC returned to PI’s Home Dept. $10,000 $11,800 $12,500$18,750a

$25,000b

IDC returned to PI $2,000 $0 $0 (typical)
IDC retained by Center $13,000 $13,200 n/a

a: department generating $300,000 total indirect costs per year

b: department generating >$500,000 total indirect costs per year

  • Communication with sponsor during proposal development
  • Liaison with home department of affiliate
  • Assistance with UW proposal-submissions systems, from hands-on to hands-free
  • Project staff: hiring, reclassifying, other job actions
  • Updates during award; policy changes, compliance, opportunities
  • Establishment and monitoring of subcontracts
  • Meeting space and connectivity for research activities
  • Travel arrangements and reimbursements
  • Visiting scholar, project staff office space
  • Appoint research assistants (in CSDE)
  • Official correspondence
  • Leave, benefits, payroll services
  • Seminar Speaker info
  • Grant closeout & reporting

CSDE Small Grants

As part of its development mission, CSDE offers funding opportunities for affiliates to accomplish the following:

  • Assemble thought leaders, especially for crosscutting investigations
  • Advance research ideas to proposal stage
  • Conduct teaching and training workshops
  • Generate data through pilot studies

Funding announcements appear periodically—sign up for the CSDE newsletter to avoid missing any!


Application Process

Pre-Award

If you’re applying to an outside award, proposals must be submitted via the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP). Note that sponsors are also moving more and more to an online application process. Individual application instructions vary, but the usual sequence is below:

  1. Identify a funding opportunity.
  2. Develop a responsive proposal.
  3. Compose a budget and justification.
  4. Complete other sponsor-required documents.
  5. Circulate proposal for departmental and school/college approval (9 business days before due date).
  6. Correct errors as required (3 business days before due date).
  7. OSP submits proposal to agency (on or before due date).

An investigator typically works with the departmental administrative staff to complete and circulate forms, though CSDE also provides these services (see “Sponsored Research at CSDE” above). Other units and departments may also be involved in the approval process when their faculty members participate in the application.

Post-Award

The department submitting the application will administer the grant upon award. Before research begins, you will need to satisfy all relevant training, human-subject, and animal-use requirements. After the award is processed, you will be set up with a budget, which may reflect changes requested by the sponsor. You will then hire/appoint workers to the grant and begin research. Most sponsors require yearly progress reports; in some cases (such as NIH), these are submitted via OSP as well. The PI and the involved department track expenditures, effort, compliance, and other requirements until the work is complete. Publications arising from DHHS-sponsored work must comply with the Public Access Policy and the PMCID regulations.


Resources

NIH

The National Institutes of Health are the largest federal sponsor of research and have a wide range of grant mechanisms, encompassing postdocs and small pilot grants, large-scale individual research and cooperative projects, institutional support grants, and more. Here are some starting points:

CSDE’s research infrastructure and training support comes from the Population Dynamics Branch (PDB) of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at NIH. PDB supports a wide range of population research around the world through a combination of center and training grants, individual research grants, and pre- and post-doctoral training awards. As a result, CSDE is greatly familiar with this funding agency.

The branch staff are a small, dedicated group of demographers who serve as program officers for PDB awards. Rebecca Clark is Branch Chief and program officer for our R24 Center grant and T32 Training grant. All of the PDB staff are supportive and very helpful—you should view them as a resource at NIH. They are your best source of information for grant writing, and they look to us in turn for new ideas and directions for targeting funding.

Selected Institutes & Centers of NIH

NIH Grant Listings