In order to learn more about what Ann Arbor residents do with their guaranteed income payments and how it affects people’s well-being, the University of Michigan will conduct a study of Guaranteed Income to Grow Ann Arbor. Kristin Seefeldt, Ph.D., is the lead researcher, and many other researchers and students at U-M will be involved. 
To learn more about the research, please keep reading!

What is a Randomized Control Trial?

And why are we using it?

The overall study of the guaranteed income program will use something called a Randomized Control Trial (RCT). In an RCT:

  • Selection is random. No one person or group gets an advantage over another, ensuring fairness in who receives the guaranteed income.
  • Because people are randomly assigned to receive guaranteed income or not, we can be certain that any differences we see between those who receive the payment and those who do not is due to the payment.

With the guaranteed income pilot:

  • Eligible individuals will be selected to either receive the payments (100 funded participants) or not (100 unfunded participants).
  • Selection will be by “luck of the draw.” The researchers will not give an advantage to anyone who is determined to be eligible.
  • Funded participants will receive $528 a month for 24 months.
  • Unfunded participants will not receive the payment.
  • Both groups will receive $50 each time they complete a survey for the study.

What does it take to be involved in the research study?

Funded and unfunded participants are both vital to the success of the research study. People in both groups will be asked to complete three surveys:

  • one at the start of the program,
  • one after the first year, and
  • one at the end of the program.


These surveys will ask about a number of different topics, including how you use the guaranteed income money if you receive it and other experiences you may have, such as affording food, housing, and child care. We will also ask questions about your health and well-being. Some people will be asked to participate in interviews with a research team member. Each time you complete a survey or an interview, you will receive $50 as a token of appreciation. Additionally, you may choose to skip any question on the survey or in an interview you do not wish to answer, and you may withdraw from the study at any time without it affecting your guaranteed income payment.

Why is it important to have a group that does not receive payment?

While it can be disappointing to find out you are not receiving the payment but are being asked to be part of a study, the contribution you provide is so important and valued. Guaranteed income pilots are growing in popularity across the country, and being part of the unfunded group means you will be part of a larger movement to help develop more just and fair systems of assistance in the United States and even the world. 

How will participants' privacy be protected?

Researchers at the University of Michigan are very serious about protecting your confidentiality and will take the following steps to make sure that your information is protected. All data will be stored on U-M protected servers and accessible only to the study team. In addition, while we will use your individual information to follow up with you to complete the surveys, when we analyze the data we will use identification numbers and present our results in an aggregate form, meaning data will be grouped together so that no one person is identified. If you participate in the interview, only pseudonyms (fake names of your choosing) will be attached to your data. At the end of the study, we will delete all of your identifying information.