Research Grants Program

Criteria, Expectations, and Request for Proposals 

IRAEA provides annual research grants for MSU faculty members to conduct research projects related to the IRAEA mission. Grants are awarded through an MSU-wide competitive process.   


Any MSU faculty member engaged in research related to regulatory and policy issues is eligible to apply. Research must include a component that addresses the impact of regulation and/or policy in agriculture, healthcare, technology, finance, natural resources, education, public safety, or other related sectors. Interdisciplinary research proposals and proposals directed by multiple project leaders are welcome, and faculty members outside economics are encouraged to reach out to Vincent Smith ([email protected]) or Wendy Stock ([email protected]) for assistance in identifying potential ways to include economic regulation and policy analysis in their projects.

Award Amounts

Awards are up to $15,000 and the period of performance will be one year from receipt of the grant. The grant period runs August 15 through August 15 of each year. Funding for successful applications must be expended by the end of August for each grant period. Research grantees may apply for competitive renewal in subsequent years.

Research Project Expectations

  • Conduct research on topics covered by the Initiative’s mission and submit their resulting research papers to peer-reviewed academic journals.
  • Work with IRAEA research staff to produce policy briefs (condensed versions of published papers written in language accessible to non-specialists) to inform lawmakers, policy advisors, and the general public of the research findings.
  • Present a research seminar on the research project that is open to faculty, students and the general public.
  • Submit a brief end-of-project report in PDF format outlining how the work fulfills each of the project expectations described above. Reports should be 1,000 or fewer words and submitted to IRAEA co-directors as well as the communications specialist.
  • Provide co-directors and the communications specialist with research presentations and any/all other outreach materials developed and presented that pertains to the IRAEA-sponsored research project. Grantees are also asked to participate in the Initiative’s outreach efforts including video interviews and news stories regarding research and outcomes.
  • Complete a brief survey twice per year detailing the status of any papers, presentations, etc. that are associated with the IRAEA-supported research.
  • Follow all MSU and academic journal policies regarding conflicts of interest and acknowledgement of financial support for their research. Grantees are also strongly encouraged to acknowledge IRAEA support in presentations as well as in academic journals and other publications upon acceptance of their work for publication.
  • Where appropriate, researchers are strongly encouraged to include undergraduate students in their projects.

Research Grant Proposal Requirements

Proposals should include items 1-4 below and a current curriculum vita/biosketch (two-page limit) that provides either evidence of research experience in the economics of regulatory and policy analysis or evidence of potential to conduct high-quality research in regulatory and policy analysis.

  1. Proposal narrative (2-4 pages) with a description of the research plan written in the order listed below. Each section should begin with a section header (e.g., Abstract, Specific Aims, etc.).
    • Abstract (150 word limit).
    • Statement of Specific Aims of the Project: Statement of the regulatory/policy issue that the research will address, hypothesis, and a description of the rationale and economic basis for the proposed research.
    • Significance of the Project: Description of the importance of the regulatory/policy issue being addressed, how the research project will improve our knowledge regarding the regulatory/policy issue, including how the research could potentially help policymakers addressing the regulatory/policy issue, and a description of how the research fits into the IRAEA mission.
    • Innovation: Brief explanation of how the project is creative, unique, and innovative, and how the project moves the applicant’s research program forward.
    • Approach (Design and Methods): Provide a clear research plan that includes the various stages commonly used in economics research (e.g., assessment of current state of research on the issue, describing the underlying economic theory that applies to the research, specifying research methods to be used, obtaining data needed, generating research results, producing a working paper, getting expert feedback, and producing the research paper for submission).
    • Student Involvement: Where appropriate, researchers are strongly encouraged to include undergraduate students in their projects. If applicable, describe how students will be involved in the research. Additional funding for student involvement in the research is available on a competitive basis through the IRAEA Undergraduate Research Scholars
  2. If applicable, researchers must abide by the human subjects requirements as described by the MSU Institutional Review Board. ( Researchers must identify whether their research project includes human subjects (including human subjects data), and if so, provide a CITI human subjects training certification (see and an IRB approval letter (or exemption letter) or evidence that IRB approval is pending.
  3. Itemized budget and budget justification for the proposed granting period. The budget may include, but is not limited to, summer salary, equipment, data gathering, and other research-related expenses, and for the principal investigator to travel to attend conferences to present results. Budget cannot be used for students, faculty, or staff who are not affiliated with MSU. 
  4. Project timeline that clarifies the goals, objectives, and work to be accomplished during the granting period, including a timeline for writing white papers and policy briefs and presenting a research seminar on the research project that is open to faculty, students and the general public.

Deadline and Submission Requirements

  • Applicants should complete an OSP Electronic Proposal Clearance Form via the Office of Sponsored Programs website: Prepare a “Full Proposal Form” and select the sponsor, “Charles Koch Foundation (CHAKOC) [P].”
  • Applicants should include their proposal as an attachment on the clearance form. Attachments must be in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) format.
  • An electronic version of the complete proposal should also be sent to Tamara Moe, Department of Agricultural Economics & Economics, at [email protected].

Applicants are encouraged to contact Vincent Smith (994-5615, [email protected]) or Wendy Stock (994-7984, [email protected]) with questions about the proposal format and/or instructions or to discuss potential project ideas or opportunities for joint collaboration with faculty in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics.

Proposal Review

Proposals will be reviewed by the IRAEA Research Grants Selection Committee soon after the submission deadline. The selection committee is comprised of the IRAEA co-directors and the IRAEA research fellows. 

The selection committee will score proposals using the NIH 1-9 scale ( pdf) for overall impact and individual review criteria (Significance, Investigator, Innovation, Approach, and Potential for External Funding) and will include written comments regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal.