We're here to help! If you have questions about the Research Incubator program that aren't answered here, please email our team.

What makes this program different from other offerings from across the University?

Our team recognized that investigators often need support from a collaborative team who can lead work on projects in a hands-on way. Hiring staff usually requires grant funding, which can be challenging to secure for early-career scholars. Through the Incubator program, we are able to leverage the resources of the EFDC to provide staffing for appropriate projects at no cost to our members. 

What is secondary data?

Secondary data is research data that is not collected directly by the study team. We use the term ‘secondary data’ to refer to existing, large population-based datasets, as well as clinical administrative data, such as University of Michigan’s DataDirect tool. 

Why use secondary data?

Conducting original research is a lengthy and expensive process. Secondary data presents a solution to both research pipeline and workforce issues. There is a wealth of secondary data available online to use to make advancements in mental health research. Most data are free to use and include a diversity of topics and sample populations.

Secondary data allows emerging scholars to test preliminary hypotheses and reach research conclusions more quickly and efficiently, providing essential career building blocks for future work. Explore our curated list of data resources for mental health. If you have further questions about data sources, please feel free to contact our team. 

What types of projects are not a good fit for the Incubator?

The Incubator is designed to support short-term projects that are at the analysis stage. Unfortunately, we are not able to support projects that would require long-term (more than 1 year) sustained effort from a statistician. The Incubator program is also not intended to support projects that are preparing for original data collection, actively collecting data or cleaning/extracting data.

If you have a project that is not ready for the Incubator, we are happy to provide consultation and advise on data collection approaches or data sources with our team or to connect you to our other services. 

Do you prioritize projects on certain topics?

No! We will consider projects across a range of topics and welcome investigators from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to apply.

Can I apply if I have original data that I need analyzed?

We prioritize projects that can utilize secondary, existing data. We consider projects with original data on a case-by-case basis and encourage you to contact us before applying to decide if this program is the right fit. 

How do you decide which projects to take on?

Proposals are evaluated based on their potential for impact, novel contributions to the literature and feasibility for our team. Unfortunately, we are not able to take on all projects that are proposed.

What are the responsibilities of participants?

We ask for your engagement and collaboration throughout the project duration, including timely (within reason) responses to emails and meeting requests. We also ask that you collaborate with our team on any project outcomes (such as manuscripts or subsequent grant proposals) and ensure that these outcomes are completed in a timely manner after the project has finished. 

What types of outcomes can I expect to achieve?

Our team will work with you to mutually define successful outcomes for your project during the intake meeting. For most participants, this will likely be a manuscript and/or grant submission, but we will support you in whatever outcomes are meaningful to you. We will typically deliver the Methods and Results section, along with relevant tables and figures, for you to complete the rest of the manuscript. We can provide continued writing support beyond the Incubator program to ensure that findings are widely disseminated. 

How does your team approach authorship?

We will collaboratively define a plan for authorship with you as your project progresses. While we require that at least one member of our team be included as an author, we do not require that someone from our team be listed as the first author. You are welcome to include co-authors from your team if you’d like, though we ask that you manage those relationships directly. 

How long is the program?

The Incubator program is best suited for short-term projects that are smaller in scope. Projects generally should take no longer than one year to complete. 

Is there a cost associated with participation?

No! There are no costs to you, although you must be an EFDC member to participate. If you are not a current member, your application to the Incubator will serve as your membership application. 

EFDC membership is free-of-change and grants you access to all of our research services.