University of Wisconsin–Madison

IRP Extramural Large Grants 2022–2024: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you still have clarifying questions regarding the submission of letters of intent (LOI) or proposals after consulting our website, please contact us at irpapply@ssc.wisc.edu.

General Questions

What is IRP?
The Institute for Research on Poverty is a center for interdisciplinary research into the causes and consequences of poverty and inequality in the United States and the impacts of related policies and programs.

As the National Research Center on Poverty & Economic Mobility, IRP is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE). IRP coordinates the U.S. Collaborative of Poverty Centers (CPC). IRP and its partner centers support and train poverty and economic mobility scholars with a special focus on expanding opportunities for scholars from historically underrepresented groups. In addition, IRP and its partner centers provide relevant, cutting-edge research on a wide range of topics with the ultimate goal of improving the effectiveness of public policies to reduce poverty and its consequences.
What is ASPE?
The Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) is the principal advisor to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on policy development. ASPE is responsible for major activities in policy coordination, legislation development, strategic planning, policy research, evaluation, and economic analysis. Within ASPE, the Office of Human Services Policy (HSP) conducts policy research, analysis, evaluation, and coordination on various issues across the Department, including but not limited to, poverty and measurement, marginalized communities, early childhood education and child welfare, family strengthening, economic support for families, and youth development. HSP serves as a liaison with other agencies on broad economic matters and is the Department’s lead on poverty research and analysis.
What are IRP’s goals for this grant?
IRP seeks to fund research on how human services program and policy design, implementation, and practice create, perpetuate, and dismantle inequities in the following two programmatic areas: (1) child welfare and (2) populations returning to their communities from incarceration.
What do you mean by “policy-relevant research”?
Research is “policy-relevant” when it informs local, state, or federal law, regulation, procedure, administrative action, or program adoption and implementation in a way that is targeted, timely and actionable. Policy-relevant research may inform knowledge and understanding of the nature, causes, correlates, and effects of policy issues such as income dynamics, poverty, individual and family functioning, and child well-being with the goal of improving the effectiveness of public policies.
What topics does IRP primarily support?
For the 2022–2024 extramural large grant application, we are interested in proposals that focus on child welfare or reentry from incarceration. Within these topics, we are particularly interested in research that focuses on the policy implications for human services programs administered by HHS (e.g., child welfare, child support, child care, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, youth homeless services, and Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) but are also interested in the broader social safety net programs (e.g., Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, subsidized housing programs, employment and training programs, and tax credits) especially when those programs interact with the human services administered by HHS.
Why did you select child welfare and reentry from incarceration as topics of interest?
These are both key areas of interest identified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), Office of Human Services Policy (HSP), which serves as the sponsor of the National Research Center on Poverty and Economic Mobility.
What does it mean to meaningfully engage affected communities in research?
Competitive applications will meaningfully engage affected communities in the research and/or dissemination process. Engaging affected communities may look different for each proposal but may include collaboratively developing research questions, potential methods, and plans for data collection, working with community members to interpret findings and put them into context, and sharing results in ways that are accessible to impacted individuals such as through visuals, blogs, and videos.
Do you fund international research interests?
No. This grant is targeted towards scholars studying child welfare or reentry from incarceration in the U.S.
Who can apply for an extramural large grant?
The Principal Investigator must hold a doctorate or the highest degree appropriate for their discipline at the time of application. Proposals are invited from Ph.D.-holding scholars at all career stages, from postdoctoral fellows to senior faculty, and from all disciplines who are interested in pursuing policy-relevant research.

Individuals not associated with a university (domestic or foreign) and foreign entities are ineligible for grants made under this announcement. University of Wisconsin–Madison faculty and postdoctoral fellows are ineligible for funding.
Are graduate students permitted to apply?
No, applicants must hold be Ph.D. holding, U.S. based scholars at the time of application.
Are there deadlines for submitting my application?
Yes, letters of intent should be submitted by January 18, 2022. Applicants invited to submit a full proposal must submit proposals by March 13, 2022.
How do I submit my application?
Applications must be submitted electronically. Letters of intent should be submitted by January 18, 2022, using the link: https://irpwisc.formstack.com/forms/extramural_large_grant_letter_of_intent. Invited proposals must be submitted electronically by March 13, 2022, using the link: https://irpwisc.formstack.com/forms/extramural_large_grant. Fax submissions will not be accepted.
When does the grant start and end?
The grant contract period is flexible depending on scope of the project not to exceed 24 months from grant start date.
How many grants are funded?
IRP anticipates funding four to five projects.
How much funding is awarded per person?
A maximum of $50,000 is awarded per grantee depending on proposed grant budget and availability of funds.
If awarded, what are the requirements of the grant?
Receipt of a grant from IRP will require a commitment to:

  • Within the first 6 weeks of the grant period, participate (either in person or via video conferencing) in a meeting with IRP to discuss the project and how to maximize its policy relevance.
  • Submit brief quarterly progress reports (< 150 words) of work accomplished during the preceding three months every quarter in the established grant period except for the last two quarters.
  • Submit a draft paper for review and comments three months before the end of the established grant period.
  • Within two weeks of submitting the draft, participate (either in person or via video conferencing) in a meeting with IRP to provide an update on project progress and discuss how to maximize its policy relevance.
  • Submit a revised draft by end of established grant period.
  • Present the paper at a seminar, workshop, or other mutually agreed upon public event sponsored by IRP.
  • Agree to have the work summarized in an IRP publication (i.e., Focus on Poverty; Fast Focus Poverty Brief), webinar, and/or podcast.
  • Submit a final paper for academic publication no later than nine months after the end of the established grant period.
  • Acknowledge the support of IRP and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) on all publications associated with the grant.
Should I include travel required for grant reporting into my proposed budget?
All travel related to project conversations referenced above and all travel related to presentations requested by IRP will be funded by IRP directly; applicants do not need to include this travel in their budgets.

LOI Questions

Do I have to submit of letter of intent before submitting a full proposal?
Yes. All applicants must submit a letter of intent by January 18, 2022. IRP will acknowledge receipt and provide feedback to applicants within four weeks. Selected applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal due March 13, 2022.
How long should my letter of intent be?
Letters of intent should be no longer than two pages.
How should I submit my letter of intent?
LOIs should be submitted as a single, PDF file using the link https://irpwisc.formstack.com/forms/extramural_large_grant_letter_of_intent. Faxed LOIs will not be accepted.
What should I include in my letter of intent?
A letter of intent should be treated as a “mini proposal.” The LOI should reflect key elements of the full proposal and include the issue(s) to be examined, the hypotheses, proposed methodology, proposed data sources, anticipated research results, the implications of the research results for public policy, and how the project will engage affected community. The LOI should also address whether the proposed data sources are already available to the PIs and how and in what timeframe those data sources will be acquired if not already available. A LOI should propose only one research project.

Additionally, a curriculum vitae for the Principal Investigator should be included with the LOI.
If I submit a letter of intent, when can I expect to hear back from IRP?
IRP will provide feedback to all applicants within four weeks of the January 18, 2022, deadline to submit LOIs. Applicants can expect feedback from IRP on or around February 11, 2022. Selected applicants will then have an additional four weeks to submit a full proposal.
Do all applicants submit a letter of intent and full proposal?
No. This is a two-stage selection process. All interested parties must submit a letter of intent which will be reviewed by IRP scholars and staff. Invited applicants will then submit a full proposal.
How will be letter of intent be evaluated?
Letters of intent will be reviewed by IRP scholars and staff for the following:

  • The relevance of the topic to one of IRP’s focal themes (child welfare and reentry from incarceration);
  • The potential usefulness of the proposed research project to influence the policymaking process, especially related to programs administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and
  • The quality and feasibility of the plan for engaging affected communities in research or dissemination processes.

Proposal Questions

How should I submit my proposal?
Proposals should be submitted as a single PDF electronically using the link: https://irpwisc.formstack.com/forms/extramural_large_grant. Fax submissions will not be accepted.
What should I include in my full proposal?
The application must contain the following components as a single PDF file in the order listed:

  1. A cover sheet giving the title of the proposed research, applicant’s name, date of Ph.D., and institutional affiliation with full address and telephone number, e-mail address, and home address.
  2. A one-page (double-spaced) abstract, describing research objectives, data, and methods.
  3. Description of the applicant’s proposed research, not to exceed eight double-spaced pages in 12-point font with one-inch margins all around, exclusive of references or appendices. The proposal should carefully describe:
    1. the issue(s) to be examined;
    2. hypotheses to be evaluated;
    3. methodology proposed;
    4. data sources to be used (including whether the data sources are already available to the PIs and how and in what timeframe those data sources will be acquired if not already available);
    5. anticipated results of the research, including their potential implications for public policy; and
    6. how the project will engage affected communities, including compensating those who consult on the project.
  4. An itemized budget showing (as relevant) the researcher’s time, research assistant’s time, people with lived experiences’ time spent on project consultation, travel costs (other than those related to IRP-initiated meetings and events), computer services, supplies, and indirect costs if required. (Note that applicants are encouraged to request that their home institution forego or charge minimal indirect costs.) Grant awards will be issued in two or three increments corresponding to the IRP parent award and depending on the length of the project. As such, the itemized budget should be presented in the following periods: from June 1, 2022 to September 29, 2022; from September 30, 2022 to September 29, 2023; and from September 30, 2023 to May 31, 2024.
  5. Curriculum vitae for all investigators.
  6. A letter from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs of the applicant’s institution confirming administrative approval of the proposal.
  7. A timely plan for obtaining Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval or exemption for human subjects research. The University of Wisconsin–Madison will not execute subcontracts without documentation of IRB exemption or approval.
How will my proposal be reviewed?
IRP scholars and staff will review proposals in two stages. First, applicants will be screened for their completeness (online application completed and application materials uploaded). Second, complete applications will be evaluated by a panel of distinguished scholars from IRP, its CPC partners, and ASPE staff. The panels will use the application materials as the basis for scoring the following:

  1. The relevance of the topic to one of IRP’s focal themes of (1) child welfare or (2) justice-involved populations;
  2. The potential usefulness of the proposed research project to influence the policymaking process, especially related to programs administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services;
  3. The potential usefulness of the proposed research project for the advancement of scientific knowledge;
  4. Clarity of stated objectives, methods, and anticipated results;
  5. The appropriateness and soundness of the research design, including choice of data, methods of analysis, and other procedures;
  6. Clarity, appropriateness, and feasibility of stated plan for engaging affected communities in research and/or dissemination processes;
  7. Demonstrated ability of research to be conducted in the timeframe established in this grant particularly regarding the availability of data required to conduct described analysis;
  8. The reasonableness of estimated cost and time commitments in relation to anticipated results; and
  9. The qualifications and experience of personnel, including demonstrated familiarity with the literature and data to be used.
I forgot to submit part of my proposal with my application. Can I go back and edit?
Please resend your application file to irpapply@ssc.wisc.edu as a single PDF and we will update your information with the correct file.