IRP Extramural Large Grants 2023–2025: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you still have clarifying questions regarding the submission of letters of interest (LOI) or proposals after consulting our website, please contact us at

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. To learn more about ASPE and the work they do, check out this video.
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 three programmatic areas:

  1. Integrating substance use services and human services programs;
  2. Facilitating access to multiple programs; and
  3. Social-emotional development and mental health.
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 research does IRP primarily support?
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.
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. For more background, see Strategies to Center Community Voices in Research and Engaging People with Lived Experience to Improve Federal Research, Policy, and Practice.
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 interest should be submitted by January 10, 2023. Applicants invited to submit a full proposal must submit proposals by March 20, 2023.
How do I submit my application?
Applications must be submitted electronically. Letters of interest should be submitted by January 10, 2023, using the link: Invited proposals must be submitted electronically by March 20, 2023, using the link: 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 up to four 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 a letter of interest before submitting a full proposal?
Yes. All applicants must submit a letter of interest by the established due date. IRP will acknowledge receipt and provide feedback to applicants. Selected applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal.
How long should my letter of interest be?
Letters of interest should be no longer than two pages.
What should I include in my letter of interest?
A letter of interest 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.
Do all applicants submit a letter of interest and full proposal?
No. This is a two-stage selection process. All interested parties must submit a letter of interest which will be reviewed by IRP scholars and staff. Invited applicants will then submit a full proposal.

Proposal Questions

Can UW–Madison faculty be listed as non-funded collaborators?
Yes, as long as all requested budget costs support the work led by the non-UW applicant PI. UW–Madison faculty and postdoctoral fellows are ineligible for funding.
Do the page limits include space for references/citations?
No neither the letter of interest nor the full application page limits include references/citations. Those can be added at the end and will not be included in the page limit.
How much indirect costs can my institution bill to this grant?
Applicants are encouraged to request that their home institution forego or charge minimal indirect costs. However, there is no requirement that home institutions forego indirect costs.
Is there a template for curriculum vitae that must be submitted as part of the LOI and the full application?
No, there is no set template required for CVs.
I forgot to submit part of my proposal with my application. Can I go back and edit?
Please resend your application file to as a single PDF and we will update your information with the correct file.