Research Agenda & Request for Proposals 2017

Request for Proposals

The Initiative on Cities (IOC) is pleased to announce its Spring 2017 RFP 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 inclusion, inequality, and Smart Cities. Proposals covering other topic areas are also welcome.

The Awards are open to all Boston University Schools, and interdisciplinary collaboration is encouraged.  Successful proposals will receive seed funding of up to $10,000.

Please note that past awardees cannot apply for funding a second time.

In our second year of sponsoring University research in 2016, we funded projects on a variety of topics ranging from the study of refugee resettlement as an urban development tool and energy efficient housing interventions to sports-based youth development programs and the evaluation of decades of gentrification research. In total, the IOC sponsored 11 projects.

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 one calendar year. The IOC would like to receive a written product, in a format suitable for website publication, after one calendar year.


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.


Please follow the guidelines of Request for Proposals Spring 2017 for all submissions. 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.

Applications for 2017 are currently closed. Please check back in Spring 2018 for updates.


Please direct any questions or concerns to Patricia Cahill at