Research & Policy Team Request for Proposals
The core of the Center’s work is developing problem-centered and solution-oriented research and policy teams (R&P Teams). Proposed each year and led by Center-affiliated BU faculty and supported by grants, R&P Teams are comprised of a team of researchers, and practitioners of policy, journalism, art, and advocacy who will 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 art, and organize a campaign for change to work with policymakers to test the policy correctives. As a 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. We confront a variety of issues such as education, economy, environment, health, politics, and justice reform to research how best to dismantle racist structures, practices, and institutions that reproduce racial inequities.
Research team members applying for this 2021 Request for Proposals (RFP) should also apply to the Center’s Affiliates Program. The BU Center for Antiracist Research is seeking to build a network of faculty and graduate students who are engaged in antiracist research across the University. 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.
Applications for the 2021 R&P Teams will be accepted beginning March 8, 2021. The principal investigator (PI), or one co-PI, must be BU faculty. We will accept research proposals from any academic discipline, as long as the proposal addresses the core of the Center’s work. Proposed R&P Teams must be comprised of a researcher, policy expert, journalist, artist, and advocate, and 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. Applications for up to $50,000 will be considered for these 1-year awards.
Please submit the entire application as one single-spaced PDF to CARRFP@bu.edu. Proposal Deadline: April 12, 2021. Please include the following:
- Cover sheet with project title; name, affiliation, and contact information of one corresponding PI; and names, affiliations, and email addresses of all team members
- Current CV of PI (or CVs of up to 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 mission
- Proposed research team (comprised of at least one BU faculty as PI or co-PI; maximum of 2 co-PI)
- Proposed (1) educational component (or integration of research project into courses), (2) communications strategy, and (3) plan for advocacy
- A detailed plan (up to 1 page) explaining how you will address policy reform and create tangible policy products. Policy products could 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
- 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
- April 12, 2021: Application deadline
- May 2021: Notification of recipients
- July 1, 2021: Funding begins
For questions about the program or application process, please refer to the FAQ section below or contact the R&P Team Program at CARRFP@bu.edu.
- Will there be an informational session? An information session was held on Tuesday, March 16th, with the R&P Teams Program Director, Dr. Hugo Aparicio. Questions and answers from that session are incorporated into this FAQ’s page.
- Will you fund projects studying international settings or international programs? For the RFP 2021 cycle, we are focused on U.S. domestic research and policy. Research focused on international research setting or program will not be funded by the current 2021 RFP cycle.
- What is the timeframe for the Research & Policy Team? For the 2021 cycle, the Research & Policy Team will be supported for 1 year beginning on 7/1/2021.
- 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 towards research infrastructure, key personnel time, education, research dissemination, advocacy support, or towards policy reform. A proposal budget must include a percentage effort (at least 1%) from one PI.
- What kind of activities will be supported? Do you fund course buyouts? We will provide support for data/data collection, research assistance, dissemination, consultants, and faculty PI summary salary or equivalent and fringe. We will not cover course releases/buyouts.
- How many Research & Policy Teams will be selected? We anticipate selecting at least 2 teams from the RFP 2021 applications.
- When will I be notified of a decision? We anticipate selecting the R&P Teams by the end of May 2021.
- 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 that are parts of the mission of the Center. Given the limited time frame, it is understood that the research teams may have difficulty partnering with experts in each area and it is possible that some research team members have overlap areas of expertise. Nonetheless, it is likely that the strongest proposal applications will be the ones that try to convene teams with experts in each position.
- 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, and various symposia and networking events (please refer to go here to RSVP for an upcoming BUSPH symposium featuring the 2020 R&P Teams). Applicants may also reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for support and to be connected with resources.
- 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 strategy 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 research proposal and the research and policy products that result from the research can be the PI.
- 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 PI’s 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 2021 RFP should be considered as an internal funding opportunity and at least 1 BU faculty needs to be PI (out of a maximum of 2 co-PIs). However, outside collaborators are not prohibited from being part of the research team.
- 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 and a description of potential policy correctives that could result from the research, within the page limits, however all aspects of the RFP should be addressed.
- Can non-faculty apply? Currently the 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.
- 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 should apply to be part of the Affiliates program to hear of future opportunities.
- Can previous R&P Teams apply for subsequent awards? While the Center is interested in funding and supporting a diverse range of researchers in different disciplines, previous awardees are not prohibited from applying with new research projects and proposals.
- 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 includes antiracism research in education.
For additional questions about the program or application process, please contact the R&P Team Program at CARRFP@bu.edu.