Public Impact Scholars

Public Impact Scholars is a program developed by the 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 have an opportunity to gain new perspective on state and local government, evidence-based policymaking, and effective community-engaged research. 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. Sessions are held over three half days.

See our inaugural 2020 Public Impact Scholars cohort or Read about their experience.

2022 Cohort

After extremely positive participant feedback from our first year, we are planning a second cohort for 2022. The 2022 sessions will be held Monday June 13th – Wednesday June 15th from 9 AM to 1 PM. We hope to hold it in person at the Initiative on Cities, 75 Bay State Road, if circumstances allow.

Applications for the 2022 cohort are due by Friday, March 4, 2022. Questions about the program can be directed to Katharine Lusk, IOC Co-Director, at

The Public Impact Scholars program addresses the following questions:

  • How are local and state government structured? What are their respective 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?

Interested in being part of the 2022 Cohort of Public Impact Scholars? Apply here by Friday, March 4, 2022.

Apply to be part of the 2022 Cohort