2023 Request for Proposals
One of the Center’s goals is to support interdisciplinary research and policy teams (R&P Teams) to figure out novel and practical ways to understand, explain, and solve seemingly intractable problems of racial inequity and injustice.
Proposed each year and led by BU faculty, R&P Teams that are selected to receive funding from the Center consist of interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners of policy, narrative (e.g., journalism, art), and community-driven advocacy. These teams exhaustively study a critical racial inequity or injustice, ascertain the policies leading to the inequity, develop policy correctives, narrate the problems and solutions through journalism and/or art, and organize a campaign for change by working with community members and policymakers to test the policy correctives.
As a mission-driven university-based research center, we aim to transcend distinct academic disciplines by bringing together scholars, policymakers, journalists, artists, and advocates to research how best to dismantle racist structures, practices, and institutions that reproduce racial inequities. R&P Teams play an important role in this process by confronting a variety of issues such as education, economy, environment, health, politics, and mass criminalization and incarceration to research how best to dismantle racist structures, practices, and institutions that reproduce racial inequities.
Applications for the 2023 R&P Teams will be accepted beginning January 3, 2022.
The principal investigator (PI), or at least one co-PI, must be BU faculty. We will allow a maximum of two co-PIs. We will accept research proposals from any academic discipline, as long as the proposal addresses the core of the Center’s vision. Proposed R&P Teams must be comprised of an interdisciplinary team, including at least one researcher, policy expert, journalist or artist, and advocate. Teams drawn from diverse fields of study are strongly preferred. From grants and gifts, the Center will make funding available for research infrastructure, key personnel time, education, research dissemination, advocacy support, or towards policy reform. The funding is not intended to support conferences, seminars, or symposia. Applications for up to $50,000 of funding will be considered for these 1-year awards.
Proposal Deadline: April 3, 2023.
Please submit the entire application as one single-spaced PDF to firstname.lastname@example.org.Please include the following in the application:
- Cover sheet with project title; name, affiliation, and contact information of one contact PI; and names, affiliations, and email addresses of all team members
- Current CV of PI (or CVs of two co-PIs)
- Research and Policy Proposal (5 pages maximum, references do not count towards page limit), which must include the following:
- Research question(s) and background, hypotheses, and methodology/approach;
- Connection to antiracism and the Center’s vision;
- Proposed research team (comprised of at least one BU faculty as PI or co-PI; maximum of 2 co-PIs);
- Proposed (1) educational component (or integration of research project into courses), (2) communications strategy, and (3) plan for advocacy and community engagement;
- A detailed plan (up to 1 page) explaining how you will address policy reform and create tangible policy products. Policy products can include, but are not limited to, a white paper, policy report, or a model policy or legislation. Identify the specific policy issue(s) you plan to address and the audience for your policy product(s). Include a timeline and key indicators that you will use to measure the policy impact of your research. Describe how your policy reform efforts will be based in antiracism; and
- Budget outline (maximum 1 page, does not count towards 5-page limit of Research and Policy Proposal). Budget must include a percentage effort (at least 1%) from one PI. The funding may not be used to support conferences, seminars, or symposia. The budget may cover items related to research materials or infrastructure, key personnel time, education, research dissemination, advocacy support, or resources directed towards policy reform.
Please submit the entire application as one single-spaced PDF to email@example.com
- January 3, 2023: Applications open for the 2023 RFP
- April 3, 2023: Application deadline
- April 2023: Peer review
- May 2023: Notification of awardees
- July 1, 2023: Award start date
For questions about the program or application process, please refer to the virtual information session and FAQ section below or contact the R&P Teams Program at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is Antiracist Research?
The Research and Policy Teams at Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research held a virtual event in December 2021 to discuss the question, “What is Antiracist Research?” During this event we previewed our 2022 and 2023 Request for Proposals and provided a space for BU faculty and co-investigators to network, with the goal of forming interdisciplinary research & policy teams across schools, colleges, advocacy groups, and external community organizations.
Hugo J. Aparicio, MD, MPH
Katherine L. Einstein, PhD
Neda A. Khoshkhoo, JD
Sanaz Mobasseri, MPP, PhD
We invite interested researchers to click the link below to view the event:
Research team members applying for this 2023 Request for Proposals (RFP) are strongly encouraged to apply to the Center’s Affiliates Program (current application period ends January 31, 2023 at 11:59pm EST).
The BU Center for Antiracist Research is seeking to build a network of faculty and graduate students who are engaged in antiracist research across BU and New England, known as our Affiliates Program. This interdisciplinary group will bring their expertise and unique disciplinary perspectives towards the goal of investigating and dismantling racism. The Affiliates Program will also be a key resource to convene Research & Policy Teams, generate interdisciplinary research collaborations, and support research groups applying to the annual Request for Proposals. Applicants for the Research & Policy Teams Program do not have to be Affiliates at the time of submission, but joining this network when applications are open is strongly encouraged.
Will there be an informational session?
A virtual question and answer session will be held on January 24, 2023 at 1pm. Register for this Q&A session here. More information about this session can be requested at email@example.com. Questions and answers from the event will be incorporated into this FAQ page.
Will you fund projects studying international settings or international programs?
For the RFP 2023 cycle, we are focused on U.S. domestic research and policy. The research focused on international research settings or programs will not be funded by the current 2023 RFP cycle.
What is the timeframe for the Research & Policy Team?
For the 2023 cycle, the Research & Policy Team will be supported for 1 year beginning on 7/1/2023 and ending on 6/30/2024.
How much grant funding will be offered?
From funds raised through gifts and grants, the Center will provide up to $50,000 in support per team. Funding can be directed toward research infrastructure, key personnel time, education, research dissemination, advocacy support, or towards policy reform. A proposal budget must include a minimum percentage effort (at least 1%) from at least one Boston University faculty PI.
What kind of activities will be supported? Do you fund course buyouts?
We will provide support for data/data collection, research assistance, and infrastructure, research dissemination, consultants, key personnel time, education expenses, advocacy support, policy reform expenses, and salary or equivalent. The award cannot be used to cover fringe benefits or other overhead paid to a university. We will not cover course releases/buyouts. The funding may not be used to support conferences, seminars, or symposia.
How many Research & Policy Teams will be selected?
We anticipate selecting at least 2 teams from the RFP 2023 applications.
When will I be notified of a decision?
We anticipate selecting and notifying the awarded R&P Teams by the end of May 2023, after peer review of applications.
How complete do the teams have to be? Does every position (researcher, policy expert, journalist, artist, and advocate) need to be filled as a requirement for submitting an application?
We strongly encourage teams made up of interdisciplinary investigators. Proposals should address how the researchers plan to address each of the core aims for antiracist research that are parts of the vision of the Center (unifying research, policy, narrative, and advocacy efforts). Some research team members may have overlapping areas of expertise and skills. Nonetheless, it is likely that the strongest proposal applications will be the ones that try to convene teams with experts in each position by the time of proposal submission.
What information, resources, or assistance are available to find and convene experts in each position?
Resources to find collaborators and co-investigators include the Center’s Affiliates Program, BU Profiles website, and various symposia and networking events hosted by the Center (for an example please see the previous information session, accessible via the link above). Applicants may also reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for support and to be connected with resources and for guidance on assembling an application.
Where can we get advice on generating the detailed plan for Policy reform?
Incorporating a research team member with experience or expertise in policy reform and producing policy products can help with formulating this part of the application. The Center is also available to assist with specific questions or strategies regarding this part of the application process and can be reached by emailing email@example.com.
Does the PI have to be a researcher, or can they be a policy/arts/journalism/advocacy expert?
Any member who can oversee and assume responsibility for the entire proposal and the research and policy products that result from the research can be the PI.
What does the team need to look like? What are the requirements?
The proposal should include a description of the team with interdisciplinary expertise in Community engagement/advocacy, Narrative/Journalism/Art/ Research, and Policy. The team members can overlap or have expertise in multiple of these disciplines.
Can there be only 1 researcher per team? 1 artist per team? Only 1 person per position for research/policy/journalism/art/advocacy?
There is no limit to the number of members on the team. The only limit is the number of PIs that can be listed (two). The goal is for there to be at least one expert representing each of the different fields mentioned in the RFP. A single member may have expertise that covers multiple of the required disciplines.
Can non-BU faculty apply?
The 2023 RFP should be considered as an internal funding opportunity and at least one of the maximum two co-PI’s needs to be a BU faculty member. However, outside collaborators are not prohibited from being part of the research team.
I am an Affiliate or researcher who is not faculty at Boston University. How do I connect with other research teams to join a project in response to the RFP? How do I network with other individuals or organizations getting ready to submit a proposal?
We recommend reaching out to BU faculty through websites such as BU Profiles, which also lists publications and research interests. It is also advisable to search the BU Center for Antiracist Research Affiliates Program page, under the Office of Research, to seek out collaborators. Researchers are also contributing to the online solutions-oriented journalism publication, The Emancipator. We encourage potential applicants to follow the BU Center for Antiracist Research on Twitter and Instagram for updates on upcoming symposiums, webinars, and public events.
How detailed does the application need to be?
Proposals should provide sufficient detail to address the requirements in the RFP. There is a focus on appropriate and rigorous research methodology, an education and community engagement plan, and a description of potential policy correctives that could result from the research, within the page limits. All aspects of the RFP should be addressed.
Can non-faculty apply?
Currently, one PI must be a BU faculty with the ability to commit at least 1% FTE.
How concrete do the policy objectives need to be?
Policy objectives should be well considered and relate to the expected findings of the research.
Can the proposal focus on research or policy that is being proposed outside of Massachusetts, as long as a BU faculty member is one of the two co-PI’s?
The 2023 RFP is focused on funding domestic research on antiracist interdisciplinary topics. There is no requirement for the research or policy correctives to be local or in Massachusetts only.
Will there be opportunities for future or longer-term funding?
The Center is interested in supporting research teams and fostering antiracist research through the R&P Teams and through other grants and funding mechanisms both short- and long-term. Researchers can also apply to be part of the Affiliates program to hear of future opportunities.
Can previous R&P Teams apply for subsequent awards?
Previous awardees are allowed to apply with new research projects and proposals. The Center is interested in funding and supporting a diverse range of researchers in different disciplines.
Are projects centering on education eligible?
Education is part of the core mission at Boston University and a plan to teach/educate/train within the proposals is important. The current RFP allows for proposals from diverse fields of study and for many different topics, which include antiracism research in education.
How are applications scored during Peer Review?
Scoring during peer review is based on the quality of the Research and Policy plans. The review will grade the importance of the problem and the research questions; the quality of the plan for community engagement, advocacy, and education; the proposed policy solutions; the make-up and expertise of the interdisciplinary team; the feasibility and logistics required for the project, including appropriate budget; and the alignment of the proposal with CAR’s mission and vision.
Do applicants need to be part of the Affiliates Program to apply for the R&P Teams Program?
Applicants for the Research & Policy Teams Program do not have to be Affiliates at the time of submission, but joining this network when applications are open is strongly encouraged.
For additional questions about the program or application process, please contact the R&P Team Program at firstname.lastname@example.org