Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mason Law & Economics Center, Request for Proposals Policy Relevant Empirical Research on Law and Economics


The Searle Civil Justice Institute (SCJI) is seeking proposals for empirical research projects that will result in publishable-quality and policy-relevant reports. The SCJI will select proposals in a three-stage process.

ABOUT THE SCJI: The Searle Civil Justice Institute (SCJI) is a public policy institute and a component of the Law & Economics Center at George Mason University School of Law. The SCJI's core mission is to provide analytically rigorous, balanced, accessible, and policy-relevant empirical research in the field of law & economics. The SCJI uses academic conferences, reports, and an extensive communications strategy to inject its research into policy discussions.

SCJI research projects typically involve the collection of large data sets, performance of statistical and econometric analyses, and production of SCJI policy reports within a timeframe of 6-12 months. SCJI research projects follow a research protocol and undergo external peer review. An in-house research team of econometricians and lawyers, as well as significant financial resources, allows SCJI to engage in data collection and outreach efforts that often exceed the means of individual academics.

STAGE 1: CALL FOR PRELIMINARY STATEMENTS OF RESEARCH PROJECTS: SCJI requests Preliminary Statements of Research Projects, not to exceed one page. The Preliminary Statements should include a brief description of the policy issue(s) and the proposed empirical research questions. Aside from being policy-relevant and topical, research projects ideally will be relevant to one of the following research areas:
- Medicare Secondary Payer Act
- Class actions and aggregate litigation
- Criminalization of corporate conduct
- State and/or Federal False Claims Acts/qui tam/whistleblowers
- States Attorneys General scope of enforcement authority/retention of private counsel
- Third-party financing of litigation
- State and federal preemption/government standards defense
- Specialized courts/judicial quality and effectiveness/court congestion
- State Consumer Protection Acts
- Arbitration

STAGE 2: DEVELOPMENT OF FORMAL RESEARCH PROPOSAL AND PRESENTATION AT RESEARCH WORKSHOP: Upon review of the Preliminary Statements, the SCJI will select a small number of authors to prepare and present a formal research proposal. = These second stage research proposals must include the following elements: an executive summary of two pages or less describing the proposal for a non-academic audience; a clear statement of the policy issue(s) to be studied; background and motivations; the specific empirical research questions; potential policy implications; proposed analyses and basic research plan; data needs, sources and estimated costs; and a timeline detailing milestones and deliverables. The SCJI will pay an honorarium of $5,000 to authors to prepare and present this research proposal.

Selected authors will present their formal research proposals at a Research Workshop at George Mason University School of Law. The SCJI will utilize the Research Workshop to determine which proposals will be fully funded in stage three.

STAGE 3: MANAGE AND COMPLETE THE SCJI RESEARCH PROJECT: SCJI will fully support certain accepted proposals by paying author(s) to lead the research efforts, providing in-house econometricians and legal experts as project staff, paying for necessary data (which includes employing large numbers of research assistants to find and code data that might otherwise by unavailable), and funding a comprehensive communications strategy for the final Public Policy Report. On average, the SCJI spends between $70,000 - $100,000 to research and promote each project.

PROPOSAL SUBMISSION PROCEDURE: Initial Preliminary Statements of Research Proposals, not to exceed one page, must be received by March 15, 2012, to receive full consideration for the 2011-12 funding cycle. Please send Preliminary Statements electronically to:

- SCJI will request a full proposal from selected authors by April 15, 2012
- The 2011 SCJI Empirical Research Workshop will take place in June 2012

FURTHER INFORMATION: For further information, please contact:

James Cooper
Director, Research and Policy
Law & Economics Center
George Mason University School of Law
3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201

For additional information about the Law & Economics Center, please visit:

For additional information about the Searle Civil Justice Institute, please visit:

Source: Legal Scholarship Network
Prof. (Dr.) Tabrez Ahmad,
Program Director 
College of Law, Alliance University,
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