James Morgan Innovation in the Analysis of Economic Behavior Fund

The James Morgan Innovation in the Analysis of Economic Behavior Fund provides a $10,000 summer support award, which includes some travel funding for a University of Michigan graduate student to conduct innovative research on economic behavior using data from the Panel Study on Income Dynamics (PSID).


Professional Headshot of James Morgan early in his career at U-M.

James Morgan, early in his career at ISR

Jim Morgan came to the University of Michigan in 1949 as a postdoctoral fellow in economics, and was one of the founding members of Institute for Social Research (ISR). Jim published extensively over his career, writing on topics including consumer behavior; the distribution of income and wealth; the dynamics of income change; economic survey methods; retirement, philanthropy, and mobility decisions; housing status; and productive non-market activity.

Throughout his career, he was known for substantive and methodological innovations. He is best known for one of each – developing the Panel Study on Income Dynamics and developing SEARCH, the first data mining program.

Find more information about Jim’s career here, the background on the Panel Study of Income Dynamics here, and SEARCH here.

To continue his spirit of substantive and methodological innovation in the analysis of economic behavior, Jim and his family established the James Morgan Innovation in the Analysis of Economic Behavior Fund to encourage U-M graduate students to use PSID data in new and original ways.


The competition is open to graduate students at the University of Michigan. Preference will be given to students with a strong affiliation with the Institute for Social Research. Special preference will be given to applicants working with a faculty member affiliated with ISR or applicants who can demonstrate that they will benefit from such an affiliation.


In 2018, James Morgan Innovation in the Analysis of Economic Behavior Fund will provide a $10,000 summer award to one U-M graduate student for a substantively or methodologically innovative project using data from the Panel Study on Income Dynamics.

Form and Scope of Award

The Morgan Innovation Award may be spent in the following ways:

  • Travel (related to data collection or academic collaborations)
  • Acquiring datasets or other relevant supplies
  • Hiring an assistant
  • Salary

Awards are intended for use within one year, but may be extended upon request for an additional six months.

Application Procedures

Applications should use 12-point font and 1.5 spacing. Applications should include:

  • A cover page with the following information: applicant information, title of project, project goal, proposed activities, and expected products and outcomes. Click here for format (PDF).
  • A three-page description of the proposed activity with:
    1. Justification for how the project is innovative and meets the goals of the fund
    2. Sufficient detail about hypothesis and design
    3. Statement of deliverables (e.g., dissertation chapter, conference paper)
  • One-page budget with a description of the proposed uses for the money and how these uses will assist in meeting the project goals
  • A letter of recommendation from your advisor
  • An up-to-date U-M transcript
  • An up-to-date Curriculum Vitae

Applications are accepted in electronic format. Please submit your application in as few files as possible in Portable Document Format (pdf), and named with the applicant’s last name (e.g., Smith-Morgan App.pdf). Applications and questions about the award should be sent to Jennifer Puckett (jjblanch@umich.edu). Note, letters of recommendation may be sent directly by the writer in either electronic or hard copy format.

Application Deadlines

The deadline for submission is the last Friday in February at 4:00. Final decisions will be made by March 31st, and funds will be available as early as May 1st. The recipient will be encouraged to attend the celebration of PSID’s 50th anniversary on the evening of April 19, 2018.