Public Impact Scholars

Public Impact Scholars is a new program developed by the BU Initiative on Cities to equip BU faculty with new skills and knowledge to influence local and state policy and discourse for positive societal impact. Faculty will have an opportunity to gain new perspective on state and local government, evidence-based policymaking, effective community-engaged research, and media engagement. The program also provides an opportunity to be part of a peer group of like-minded BU faculty from a variety of disciplines.

The program is open to any tenured, tenure-track or research faculty, as well as full-time lecturers at Boston University. Program instructors include faculty and senior staff drawn from across BU, as well as government and community leaders.

The program includes two days of intensive training, which will be held at the BU Initiative on Cities on June 1st and 2nd, 2020 between 9 am and 4 PM. It will address the following questions:

  • How is local government structured? What are its powers and limitations?
  • How do cities garner and allocate their financial resources?
  • What are the best mechanisms by which researchers can influence the policy-making process?
  • What are the most effective methods of community-engaged research? What are some common challenges and how best can researchers address them?
  • How do academics build a public profile and engage media for impact?

Additional activities may be developed in consultation with participating faculty.

Faculty interested in participating are asked to submit a brief Statement of Desired Impact, via this form by Monday March 1st, 2020.  We will confirm your participation by March 15th, 2020, pending space. We look forward to hosting you. If you have questions, please contact Katharine Lusk at

Application Form