Early Stage Urban Research RFP

Each year, the Initiative on Cities invites Boston University faculty and graduate students to apply for seed funding through our Early Stage Urban Research Awards. These awards support research addressing urban challenges and urban populations in the U.S and abroad. 

Our 2020 Request for Proposals (RFP) is now closed. Please check back in early 2021 for updates on the 2021 RFP. Applications typically open in February.

Early Stage Urban Research Request for Proposals: Spring 2020

The Initiative on Cities (IOC) is pleased to announce its Spring 2020 Request for Proposals for our Early Stage Urban Research Awards. These seed grants support research addressing urban challenges and urban populations in the U.S. and abroad. This year, we are particularly interested in proposals related to urban sustainability, international projects, and novel uses of big data. We are also interested in proposals that leverage data from the Menino Survey of Mayors in new ways; six years’ worth of Menino Survey codebooks are available upon request. Proposals covering other urban topic areas are also welcome.

Awards are open to all Boston University (BU) schools and interdisciplinary collaboration is encouraged. BU faculty and BU graduate students with faculty oversight are eligible to apply for funding. Please note that past awardees are eligible to apply for new research projects unrelated to prior awards. Successful proposals will receive seed funding up to $10,000.

Additionally, for the first time in our six years of sponsoring University research, we are offering seed funding up to $20,000 for successful interdisciplinary proposals that include at least two faculty from different departments.

In 2019, we funded projects on a variety of topics ranging from the impact of tourism on a city’s environmental soundscape to understanding how Latinx churches in East Boston are responding to gentrification. In total, the IOC sponsored 13 projects that year.

We seek to continue our catalytic investment in diverse academic research across the Boston University community, while advancing the understanding of complex urban challenges and effective policies and solutions.

Proposals will be reviewed by members of the IOC Faculty Advisory Board and IOC officers. Grant awards should be used within a reasonable timeframe and recipients are invited to publish relevant working papers in our Working Paper Series, as well as white papers or policy briefs.

Eligibility

All BU faculty and BU graduate students with faculty oversight are eligible to apply for funding. Please note that BU policy prohibits faculty on 12-month appointments and full-time staff from receiving additional compensation. Faculty with 9-month appointments are eligible to receive summer funding. IOC seed grant funding is not able to cover fringe benefits or conference travel.

Submission

Please follow our RFP Guidelines for all submissions (click to download template for the Faculty letter of support and Organization support form letter).

All proposals must be submitted in a single PDF and include the relevant documents listed. Submissions should be between 4-5 pages in total. All fields are required.

Timeline

Proposals are due by midnight on Sunday, March 15, 2020.
Acceptances and any Revise and Resubmit Requests will be notified by Monday, April 13, 2020.
Invited revisions will be due on Monday, April 27, 2020.
All successful applicants will be notified no later than Monday, May 11, 2020.
All grants will be awarded by mid-June 2020.

Contact

Please direct any questions to David Gross at davgross@bu.edu.