Call For Proposals: 2016-17 Faculty Research Fellows and Associates

The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future announces its annual call for proposals for Faculty Research Fellows and Associates for the 2016-17 academic year. Faculty Research Fellows and Associates are critical partners in achieving the Center’s core mission of developing and disseminating interdisciplinary, policy-relevant research on topics of global significance.

The Pardee Center’s main research focuses on solution-oriented scholarship. We are primarily interested in interdisciplinary research that uses excellent scholarship to provide a sound foundation for better decision-making to solve problems. The Center’s long-standing interests focus broadly on three themes:

  • the future of urban systems, i.e. innovative approaches and successful models that may alleviate physical and social pressures stemming from the rapid expansion of cities, especially in the developing world;
  • coupled human and natural systems, i.e. investigation of how governance, social, and economic systems are intricately connected to natural systems, and the trade-offs that confront those making resource management decisions;
  • global environmental change, i.e., asking how issues such as food security, energy security, migration trends, and development policy are affected by global changes in climate, land-use, and other trends.

Specific examples of ongoing Pardee Center research projects led by our current Faculty Research Fellows and postdocs can be found on our website.

Within these broad themes, the Center encourages truly interdisciplinary research programs that engage faculty from a wide variety of departments, schools, and colleges from across the University. We are especially interested in proposals that expand the breadth of research questions and involve disciplines not currently strongly represented, such as behavioral economics, psychology, math and statistics, computer science, and the humanities. We also welcome proposals that have the potential to explore new thematic areas for the Center’s research.

By awarding seed grants to Faculty Research Fellows within the Boston University community, the Center seeks to catalyze faculty research in several ways.

First, the Center may make a limited number of small investments in faculty research, covering some of the initial costs, such as fieldwork travel, partial grad student or postdoc support or teaching release. It is hoped these initial investments may lay the foundation for larger, ongoing projects that attract external support.

Second, funding may be requested to support events targeted to the academic community at BU and beyond – seminars, conferences, and workshops that explore a wide range of issues that are important for understanding how the future evolves over decades to a century. The Center typically supports several seminars per semester and up to two major conferences per academic year.

Finally, the Center also convenes task forces of researchers who are interested in forming collaborations that may last from one to several years, and whose results are of interest to both scholarly and decision-making audiences. These task forces typically involve an international group of scholars and practitioners from a broad range of disciplines focused on a particular area of interest.

Faculty Research Fellows are encouraged to contribute to the Pardee Center’s publications program, which includes several types of reports, from short Issues in Brief, targeted at decision-making audiences, to longer, more in-depth conference volumes and research reports. In addition, we encourage all of our Faculty Research Fellows to publish in either journal or book form, as appropriate to the underlying disciplinary or interdisciplinary scholarly audiences.

Faculty Associates, while not actively involved in the Center’s research programs, participate in and provide input concerning the Center’s programs and activities. They also help to raise awareness about the Center’s programs and activities among their colleagues and students in their departments and schools or colleges.

Roles and Responsibilities of Faculty Research Fellows, Associates, and Sabbatical Scholars

The Center offers three main categories of association that BU Faculty may request. Each category has specific roles and responsibilities and length of services. All BU Faculty and BU-associated researchers, including Research Faculty and Research Scholars, and Visiting Scholars, are eligible. Currently supported Faculty Research Fellows are not eligible to apply.

Faculty Research Fellows (Three-year term)

Selected Faculty Research Fellows will have proposed at least one of the following activities:

  • Perform some tangible piece of Pardee-oriented research
  • Plan a conference or event with Pardee Center staff and oversee the written product(s)
  • Convene a Pardee Center task force or experts’ workshop

In addition, selected Faculty Research Fellows are expected to:

  • Publish paper(s) as a Pardee Center publication, journal publication, book chapter, etc.
  • Assist with review of Fellows applications
  • Participate in the Graduate Summer Fellows program as a lunchtime speaker
  • Consult and advise on Pardee Center research programs

During the coming academic year, the Center will host a series of events and meetings for all Faculty Research Fellows intended to promote new and/or deeper collaborations across the University.

Faculty Associates (Annual)

  • Attend as many Pardee Center seminars and events as possible
  • Promote the Graduate Summer Fellows program
  • Assist with review of Graduate Summer Fellows proposals if possible
  • Suggest seminar topics/speakers to the Pardee Director and staff
  • Participate in small group discussions with featured speakers on topical issues

Sabbatical Leave Scholars

Please note: Sabbatical Leave Scholars receive office space and basic administrative support services for up to one academic year, but do not receive salary or other direct financial support

  • In residence at Pardee Center and become an active member of the Pardee House community, which includes the Director, staff, post-docs
  • Participate in seminars, events, research collaborations
  • Publish with acknowledgement of Pardee Center support

Application Process

In order to be considered as a Faculty Associate, Faculty Fellow, Research Fellow, or Sabbatical Leave Scholar, we use a simple process, as follows:

Faculty Associates (one year): Simply send an email to indicating your interest in becoming a Pardee Faculty Associate. Please note that current Pardee Faculty Associates must notify us of their wish to continue the affiliation.

Faculty Research Fellows (three years): Send a proposal of 1,500 words (maximum) including a 250-word abstract that clearly outlines the research topic and how it fits the Pardee Center’s mission for interdisciplinary and policy-relevant studies of the longer-range future.

If a proposal is event-related, it should include a short statement of the type of research activity desired (e.g., conference, task force, workshop), anticipated timing, the type of related publication expected, and be accompanied by a statement of the type of resources requested (e.g., Pardee staff time for event planning and coordination and/or financial resources not to exceed $10,000 per year).

If a proposal is for seed funding for primary research, it should include a statement of research to be accomplished over the three years, the type of associated publication(s) expected, and the specific need for financial resources not to exceed $10,000 per year. Financial support request could be for partial support for grad student/postdoc/teaching relief or travel for fieldwork.

All resource requests must include a strong statement of justification. Resource requests are in addition to the 1500 word limit. Please note: Payment of faculty salaries is not allowed.

Sabbatical Leave Scholars: Send a proposal of 1,500 words (maximum), with a strong emphasis on the research to be conducted, how it fits the Pardee Center mission, and anticipated benefits from spending your sabbatical year at the Pardee Center. As noted above, Sabbatical Scholars receive office space and basic administrative support, but do not receive salary support.

Proposal evaluation and timing

Proposals will be evaluated against criteria of originality, creativity, intrinsic scholarly merit, degree of interdisciplinarity, and relevance to the Pardee Center’s overall mission of policy-relevant research. Strong preference will be given to proposals that involve new and unique interdisciplinary collaborations across disciplines, departments, and colleges. Preference will also be given to proposals that have the potential to evolve into significant proposals for externally funded research. We anticipate supporting up to 10 proposals per academic year.

All proposals and indications of interest to become Faculty Affiliates or Fellows should be sent to Questions may be addressed either to Anthony Janetos, the Director of the Pardee Center ( or Cynthia Barakatt, the Associate Director (

Proposals will be reviewed through the end of June, with the intent of making announcements in late July for appointments beginning in September.

Click here for a list of current and past Faculty Research Fellows and Associates.