Partner with MetroBridge

Municipalities and community-based organizations can learn how to partner with MetroBridge below, and click here to join our mailing list list to receive requests for proposals via email.

BU Faculty interested in teaching a MetroBridge course should contact David Gross, MetroBridge Program Manager, at davgross@bu.edu.

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Overview

MetroBridge embeds real-world projects for municipalities and community organizations into courses at BU, enlisting our students and faculty as allies in addressing urban issues. MetroBridge cultivates projects by seeking out the distinct research needs of cities, towns and community-based organizations and collaborating with faculty across the university to find the best course match for each project. We view our approach as a win-win solution as it provides tailored research support to under-resourced communities, while simultaneously providing real-world learning experiences to students from various disciplines to prepare them for their future careers.

The MetroBridge team serves as a one-stop-shop and point-of-contact for project partners, supporting the project from idea submission to project completion. We assist with project scoping and development, handle the matching of courses for each project, assist with project management, and ensure effective communication between BU and project liaisons. At the end of each semester, students present their work and the MetroBridge team coordinates the development of final deliverables.

Submit a Project Proposal

We invite local governments and community-based organizations to submit project ideas for upcoming semesters.

Submitting a project idea as soon as possible helps gives us more time look for an appropriate course match for your research and project needs!

You can view a selection of recent MetroBridge projects below

A member of our team will contact you after your submission. We do our best to match each project idea with a course, but if we are unable to do so for the upcoming semester, your project idea will also be considered for future ones.

Submit a Project Idea

Topics & Areas of Focus: 2023–2024 Projects

The MetroBridge program is university-wide, which means our government and community partners can leverage all of the academic expertise at Boston University on a wide-range of topics, including those that are not listed below.

The following topics either pertain to relevant courses taught by faculty interested in incorporating a MetroBridge project during the 2023–2024 academic year or are MetroBridge priority areas of focus:*

  • Community Engagement & Assessment
  • Climate Change, Environment, and Sustainability
  • Housing
  • Planning (including the creation of vision plans for urban corridors/neighborhoods) & Development
  • Public Health & Human Services
  • Racial equity and justice
  • Statistical analysis of existing datasets (particularly in areas pertaining to health and/or the environment).
  • Transportation & Parking
  • Projects involving prompts for students to come up with potential creative and innovate solutions^
  • and more!*

*Please note that the above list is not a comprehensive list of possible project topics & focus areas. It may change as we continually hold conversations with our faculty network. 

^We work with an entrepreneurship course in which students come up with creative, innovative solutions over a 3–5 week period. Projects that are a good fit for this course are often in a brainstorming phase or otherwise looking for solution-driven possibilities. 

Project Timeline

The MetroBridge program operates on the academic semester cycle. Each semester is 14 weeks long.*

  • The Fall Semester runs from September until December break. A student-led presentation is typically held in December, with final deliverables completed in January.
  • The Spring Semester runs from late January until early May. A student-led presentation is typically held in April or May, with final deliverables completed in June.

*Summer Classes and Projects: Most BU summer classes take place in one of two summer sessions, lasting roughly 6 weeks each. The first runs from mid-to-late May until early July (or late June), and the second runs from early July until mid-August. While we accept ideas for summer projects, course offerings are limited and projects may require more limited scope than fall or spring semester projects.

Partner Requirements

Local governments and organizations serving as MetroBridge partners should be prepared to donate their time, in addition to sharing data and reports relevant to the project(s). This may include:

  • Planning and check-in meetings/calls with MetroBridge program team and faculty
  • Visiting the class on campus at the beginning of the semester to provide an overview of the project and the city/town
  • Hosting a student site visit (if desired) and coordinating meetings with key local government staff and community partners
  • Providing information such as existing reports, plans, or data related to the project and meeting minutes with pertinent agenda items.

The MetroBridge team assists with project scoping, arranges meetings between students and community partners, and ensures effective communication between BU and project liaisons. At the end of the semester, students present their work directly to partnering local governments and or community organizations, and the MetroBridge team oversees the development of final deliverables.

Recent MetroBridge Projects

Stay in Touch / Contact Us

To receive email updates from MetroBridge regarding calls for project ideas and faculty course matching, please click here to sign-up to our email list. In addition to signing-up — or if you have any questions — please reach out to our Program Manager directly:

David Gross, MetroBridge Program Manager
davgross@bu.edu