National Research Center on Poverty and Economic Mobility Early-Career Mentoring Institute – Application Deadline: 11:59pm PT, 2/18/2022

View/Download the Full RFP in PDF Format

Institute Dates: June 6-10, 2022
Institute Location: Davis, California

About the Early-Career Mentoring Institute

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) and the University of California, Davis’s Center for Poverty & Inequality Research (CPIR) invite applications for the 2022 National Research Center on Poverty and Economic Mobility Early-Career Mentoring Institute (ECMI). This week-long convening, held in Davis, California, will provide valuable mentoring and career development opportunities to poverty and social mobility scholars who are in the early stages of their research careers and who have the potential for leadership in supporting members of populations that are underrepresented among academic researchers.

Institute activities will provide participants with opportunities to develop skills that will support policy relevant human services research. The topics covered include developing policy relevant research, paper workshopping, research methodology consulting, and professional mentoring.

An interdisciplinary roster of four distinguished faculty mentors, four featured speakers, and up to twelve ECMI participant scholars will attend the week-long institute. In addition, ECMI participants will receive guidance on writing a research grant proposal that will be eligible for consideration to receive one of two $25,000 research grants on policy relevant human services research on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The Institute will address a wide range of mentoring and professional development topics, such as:

  • Becoming an Effective Mentor
  • Key topics in human services research
  • Building and Managing a Research Team
  • Developing Effective Writing Habits
  • Engaging with Media, Community Organizations, and Lawmakers
  • Grant Writing Strategies
  • Including participant voice in research
  • Studying hard to reach populations
  • Conducting policy relevant research
  • Incorporating a racial equity lens in research
  • Secondary data sources: promises and pitfalls


Successful applicants must show evidence of research experience in areas relevant to poverty, low-income populations, or related social policy, as well as the potential to produce rigorous research to inform policies and programs to combat poverty and/or its effects.

Proposals are invited from poverty and social mobility scholars who:

  1. Completed their doctorate no more than six years prior to the ECMI’s start date, or expect to complete their doctorate in 2022; and
  2. Do not currently hold a tenured faculty position.

We particularly welcome applications from scholars belonging to groups that are underrepresented in academia. IRP and CPIR are using the definition of underrepresented outlined by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Underrepresentation can exist in various forms, including one’s race or ethnicity, ability status, gender identity or sexual orientation, or current or past economic disadvantage.

Award Information

ECMI scholars’ travel to Davis, CA, will be fully funded, as will their lodging and meal expenses for the duration of the Institute. Participants will be matched in small groups of three scholars with a senior faculty mentor who will work closely with the scholar throughout the week’s activities. Funding is provided by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as part of IRP’s National Research Center on Poverty and Economic Mobility award.

About 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 sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 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.

About CPIR

Founded in 2011, The UC Davis Center for Poverty & Inequality Research’s mission is to facilitate non-partisan academic research on poverty in the U.S., disseminate this research, and train the next generation of poverty scholars. Our research agenda includes four themed areas of focus: labor markets and poverty, children and intergenerational transmission of poverty, the non-traditional safety net, and immigration.

Selection Process

Following initial screening to ensure completeness, applications will be evaluated by a panel of distinguished scholars selected by CPIR. Applications will be evaluated according to:

  1. The scholar’s record of original and significant contributions to knowledge on issues related to poverty, economic mobility, equity, inclusion, diversity, and access in human services, taking into account the scholar’s relative advantages and constraints over the course of their academic career;
  2. The scholar’s interest in developing a research agenda with the potential to influence the policymaking process, especially related to programs administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and
  3. The scholar’s potential for leadership in addressing the barriers preventing the full participation of groups underrepresented among academic researchers.

Application Instructions

Applications will be accepted via the online application portal. In addition to the background information requested in the online application, please also provide the following as PDF file uploads:

  1. A letter (no more than two single-spaced pages) that:
    1. describes your poverty and social mobility research interests, as well as your professional goals in this area, progress toward them, and accomplishments to date; and
    2. identifies up to three senior scholars whose work has inspired or influenced your own research and career goals, explaining why you aspire to a similar career.
  2. Statement describing your potential for leadership in addressing the barriers preventing the full participation of groups underrepresented among academic researchers.
  3. Your curriculum vitae.
  4. One example of your poverty or social mobility-related written material.


Applications for the 2022 ECMI are due by 11:59pm PT, February 18, 2022. Participants will be notified of the status of their application in early March, 2022.


All inquiries about the Institute and application process should be directed to Dr. Jacob Hibel, ECMI Director, at