Methods Development Small Grants


The development and application of new methods are fundamental to PDHP’s goal of creating a climate that promotes breakthroughs in population research and success in obtaining external funding for this research. The Methods Development Small Grants are intended to support work that advances population science by developing, testing, and implementing new methods that meet researchers’ needs across existing projects and/or in new proposals. There is considerable scope for synergies and collaborations on these new methods among diverse groups of researchers and across topics related to advancing innovative and large-scale surveys, as well as analyzing big data and complex survey data.


This program is restricted to PDHP Faculty Affiliates who are collaborating to address a common methodological problem across existing projects and new proposals, with priority given to those without another active PDHP small grant award. Participation by junior researchers is strongly encouraged. To become a PDHP faculty affiliate, please visit

No funds can be awarded until any and all human subjects issues are addressed and approved by the appropriate IRB. The PI will be required to submit a final report at the end of the period of research. Grantees may be asked to lead a methods workshop to disseminate their procedures or to present a Brown Bag seminar to share their results.

Funds Available

We expect to fund 2-4 applications, depending on the number of applicants and dollars requested per award. Award amounts will vary, but most awards will range from $10,000-$15,000. The maximum period for these awards will be 12 months, with exceptions contingent on clearly communicated and reasonable circumstances.

Application and Submission

A complete application includes the following components:

  1. A Methods Development Small Grant application form (below).
  2. A brief project description no more than two pages long (11 pt. Times New Roman or Arial font; margins of at least ½ inch).
  3. A budget must be appended to the proposal. Add budget notes for any category that is not discussed in the text of the proposal.
  4. Documentation of human subjects approval (if necessary) by the appropriate U-M institutional review board (IRB), including PI Name, HUM Number, IRB Study Title and approval period. If the project has not yet received IRB approval, this should be explained in the application.

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed by the PDHP Steering Committee, applying the following criteria:

  • The potential for the proposed work to advance population science
  • The degree of methodological rigor and innovation in the proposed work
  • The extent to which the proposed work would address methodological needs of existing projects at PDHP or result in new proposals for external funding
  • The feasibility of implementing the proposed approach in practice

Funding for the Methods Development Small Grant program comes from the NICHD’s Population Dynamics Centers Research Infrastructure Program. As such, all awards are subject to the approval of the NICHD’s Population Dynamics Branch, as well as the rules and regulations pertaining to the expenditure of federal research funds.