Preparing and Submitting a TESS Proposal
Any faculty member, postdoctoral fellow, or graduate student of any social science or social science-related department anywhere in the world. We regret that we cannot provide opportunities to any other individuals and groups.
Proposals are being accepted now and on a continuous basis. Excepting special competitions, TESS has no submission deadlines.
All proposals must be submitted through our proposal handling system.
Each proposal must also designate a contact author in the submission system. The contact author must be listed first on all proposal documents and is the person to whom all official TESS corresponds will be held.
Proposals are limited to five pages of text (including footnotes/endnotes), plus references, up to two pages of tables, and the actual survey items to be included.
Power analyses, which are encouraged, may also be referenced in the main text and placed in a short appendix that does not count against the five page limit. When revisions are invited to proposals, these may be accompanied by a memo that details changes; concision here is encouraged. The entire proposal with all appendices or supplements of any sort may not exceed twenty pages under any circumstances.
Proposals must be double-spaced and 12 point font. A smaller font is allowed in footnotes and endnotes, and there are not specific formatting requirements for tables.
Proposals that exceed these limits will be returned by TESS staff.
To be successful, a proposal must include: A title, provided at the top of the first page of the proposal. A thorough description of the study design. An explanation of how the study will make a valuable contribution to science and society. An explanation of how people in other scientific disciplines will benefit from this study. A request for a particular number of respondent-items with justification. An appendix with actual questions and description of stimuli. In sum, the proposed experiments must evaluate important and clearly-stated hypotheses and be likely to generate new and broadly-applicable knowledge. To preserve the anonymity of the review process, we ask that the main text of proposals be stripped of content that identifies the proposer. Since proposals are linked to their authors by their user profiles, there is no need to include any of this information in the proposal itself. Proposer names should not be listed on the front page or any page of the proposal, although references to previous research that are in stated in the third person are acceptable. If a proposal includes self-identifying content, it will be returned to the contact author along with a request that it be resubmitted without this information.
We seek proposals that break new ground in the hypotheses they investigate, the procedures they employ, or both.
The key to TESS success is to win over reviewers in your chosen field. Ideally, your proposal should offer the potential for a clear scientific advance whose relevance expands beyond any one discipline.
Proposals that report trial runs of novel and focal ideas will be viewed as more credible.
While not required, it is desirable if the proposal is conducted in coordination with non-TESS data collection endeavors, such as traditional laboratory experiments or field work.
Starting with proposals accepted in mid-2015, TESS proposals are made available a year after the data are delivered. They should be included along with study materials in the OSF pages for each project. (If you notice one is missing, please let us know.)
No. See the introduction for an elaboration of what we mean by an experimental design. (As of January 1, 2022, TESS no longer accepts quasi-experiments.)
The "size" of a TESS experiment is a function of both the length of the experiment and the number of respondents (N). The shorter the experiment, the more respondents on which it can be conducted. This page provides the maximum N for studies of different length, as well as guidelines for how study length is calculated. Note that experiments that involve subsampling will involve some % reduction in the maximum N.
This allotment does not include the demographic and socioeconomic data that TESS provides for all studies. The standard delivery includes: Gender Race/ethnicity Age Education Household income Employment status Marital status # of members in household Housing type Home ownership Home internet access State of residence Census region Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) status Telephone service Device type (used to take survey) Party affiliation Political ideology Religious affiliation Religious service attendance
More information on the precise measurements provided for family income is available here.
There are no limits on the number of times investigators may use TESS. In fact, we encourage investigators to build on their previous TESS findings for subsequent proposals.
To submit a proposal to TESS's Short Studies Program please follow the instructions provided here.
In a limited number of cases, TESS can provide additional respondent-questions. Such requests, however, are required to pass higher review standards than regular proposals. If the request entails substantial additional costs on TESS, we will have to reject the proposal or ask the proposer to pay the additional cost. More systematically, opportunities for larger studies have been provided through TESS special competitions.