Research Application

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To request the use of Michigan’s education data researchers should complete an application, which will be reviewed by the Michigan Education Research Institute (MERI).

STEP 1: Ensure eligibility

  • MEDC can release data to researchers at an institution of higher education or a non-profit research institution.
  • Researchers requesting data must have their primary affiliation with an eligible institution, or be a currently enrolled student in a doctoral program at an eligible institution.
  • If you are a graduate student or a postdoctoral researcher at an eligible institution, please review these guidelines prior to starting your application.

STEP 2: Confirm that data are available through MEDC

Prior to submitting an application, researchers should review MEDC codebooks and confirm that MEDC is in possession of data and variables that are required for the study. Because the data request needs to include specific variables and data years, please use the MEDC codebooks to ensure that the variables needed are available in the years covered by the study.

MEDC is unable to provide researchers with summary statistics, aggregate counts or highly customized files, many of which are available at

Therefore, researchers should familiarize themselves with the holdings of and determine whether publicly available data can be used in lieu of individual-level records to answer research questions.

For applications which require a match between program records and MEDC data, please review the process by which MEDC performs a probabilistic match between any incoming dataset and the PII dataset maintained in house.

STEP 3: Preliminary forms, training, and cost

Prior to submitting an application, researchers should:

MEDC Service Type FY24 fees for U-M researchers FY24 fees for all other eligible researchers*
Fee for new projects $4,830 $6,230
Fee for data updates $605 $780
Fee for probabilistic matches

Cost per match depends on the match complexity, factors of which include input variables, the number of records to match, and the estimated effort.

* Please note that the fees shown for all other eligible researchers reflect the cost of services provided by MEDC, in addition to applicable services provided by the University of Michigan.

  • Obtain approval from their Institutional Review Board (IRB).
  • Ask all members of your research team who will be included as part of this application to complete FERPA training.
  • Obtain signed confidentiality and security forms for all research team members included in the application.

STEP 4: Complete the Research Application

To submit the online research application, researchers first create an account through Survey Monkey Apply. Other members of the research team can be invited as research collaborators once an application is generated.

The MERI Research Application Guide lists all relevant steps.


Upcoming application deadlines are:

  • Friday, January 26, 2024
  • Friday, March 29, 2024
  • Friday, May 31, 2024
  • Friday, July 26, 2024
  • Friday, September 27, 2024
  • Friday, November 29, 2023

STEP 5: Application Decision and Data Delivery

After the MERI review team fully reviews each application, researchers will receive a signed decision letter (i.e. approval or denial). With this letter, approved researchers will receive communication about next steps, which should include sample specifications of the approved data request and directions for fee invoicing and payment. Data will be delivered after payment for MEDC services has been confirmed.


As of Fall 2023, we have switched to a new amendment request (née change request) process. Researchers should review the amendment instructions prior to logging into the Michigan Education Research Institute - Research Proposal System to update their application.

The deadlines for submitting change request:

  • Friday, January 12, 2024
  • Friday, March 8, 2024
  • Friday, May 3, 2024
  • Friday, July 5, 2024
  • Friday, September 6, 2024
  • Friday, November 1, 2024

Our team is available to discuss studies and provide feedback on developing applications.