Request for Proposals Spring 2016

Boston University Initiative on Cities
Early Stage Urban Research Awards
2016 Request for Proposals
The Initiative on Cities (IOC) is pleased to announce its Spring 2016 RFP for our Early Stage
Urban Research Awards. These seed grants support research addressing urban challenges and
urban populations in the U.S and abroad.
The Awards are open to all Boston University Schools, and interdisciplinary collaboration is
encouraged. Successful proposals will receive seed funding of up to $10,000.
In our first year of sponsoring University research, we funded projects on a variety of topics
ranging from the study of unaccompanied homeless adults and the impact of youth participation
in local government, to urban waste energy management and energy efficiency in Boston public
housing. In total, the IOC sponsored 19 projects.
We seek to continue our catalytic investment in diverse academic research across the Boston
University community, while advancing the understanding of complex urban challenges and
effective policies and solutions.
Proposals will be reviewed by members of the IOC Faculty Advisory Board and IOC officers.
Grant awards should be used within one calendar year. The IOC would like to receive a written
product, in a format suitable for website publication, after one calendar year.
All BU faculty and BU graduate students with faculty oversight are eligible to apply for funding.
Please note that BU policy prohibits faculty on 12-month appointments and full-time staff from
receiving additional compensation. Faculty with 9-month appointments are eligible to receive
summer funding. IOC seed grant funding is not able to cover fringe benefits or conference travel.
All proposals must be submitted in a single PDF and include the relevant documents listed.
Submissions should be between 4-5 pages in total. All fields are required.
Proposals are due no later than Tuesday, April 19, 2016.
Proposals are due by midnight on Tuesday, April 19, 2016.
Acceptances and any revise and resubmit requests will be notified by Friday, May 20, 2016.
Invited revisions will be due on Friday, June 3.
All successful applicants will be notified no later than Friday, June 10, 2016. All grants will be
awarded by mid June 2016.
Please direct any questions or concerns to Patricia Cahill at [email protected]
Project Information
Principal Investigator and Co-PIs, with affiliated schools and departments
Project title
Research objective/Hypothesis
Project description
Impact statement
A few sentences will suffice, but must address the following questions:
a. What existing urban problem does your proposal aim to address?
b. How are you advancing the existing literature?
Detailed methodology
Describe how your project relates to the IOC research agenda, using the
categories provided in Appendix A. Again, a few sentences will suffice.
The IOC seeks to bridge the divide between academic research and practice.
Describe how you will disseminate your findings beyond academic publication
and the ways in which the Initiative can assist in that process. For example, will
your findings be posted online or shared through mainstream media, in a White
Paper, will you hold workshops or briefings for practitioners, etc.?
Timeline of project and deliverables. Research and associated deliverables must be
completed within one year of receipt of grant funds, although need not be published
within that timeframe.
Provide a detailed budget, including what materials will be used and for what
purpose. This grant does not fund fringe benefits or conference travel. Research
travel is permitted.
How will funding from the IOC be leveraged in your pursuit of other funding or
together with other resources you have secured for this project?
VIII. Outside partners. If working with outside groups or institutions, other than
academics, please provide a letter of support. A form letter is available for your use.
If student applicant, please provide the following additional documents:
a. Resume
b. Letter of support from your faculty sponsor. A form letter is available for
your use.
Appendix A: IOC Research Agenda Categories
Expanding Opportunity and
Promoting Urban Vitality
Supporting the Design of Smart,
Sustainable Urban Infrastructure
Helping Mayors Lead Fiscally
Healthy, Agile Cities
Opportunity Agenda – How can
cities close the achievement gap and
provide paths to prosperity for all of
their residents? [Early education,
education, out-of-school time, youth,
workforce development]
Urban Environment - How can
cities promote vibrant urban
ecology, including clean air, soil,
and water? [Urban emissions,
urban ecology, urban gardening,
urban forestry, urban sanitation,
Fiscal Stability - How can city
leaders achieve long-term fiscal
stability? [Budgeting, municipal
finance, pension reform, healthcare
Economic Resiliency – How
can cities develop diverse, stable
economies that provide living wage
jobs? [Economic development,
neighborhood business districts,
workforce development]
Health Equity – How can cities
improve health access and outcomes
for all of their residents? [Public
health, violence, gun/crime control,
early childhood, obesity, urban
Cultural Vitality – How can cities
create and preserve vibrant urban
culture and cultural institutions and
minimize displacement? [Arts, historic
preservation, neighborhood character,
libraries and museums, gentrification]
Equity & Inclusion – How can cities
address barriers to racial, social and
gender equity and overcome income
inequality? (pay equity, gentrification,
affordable housing, minimum wage,
Smart Infrastructure – How can
cities improve their physical
makeup and function, from
changing energy use to
streamlining traffic flows? [Energy
efficiency, infrastructure
investment, cohesive traffic and
transit plans]
Sustainable Growth - How can
cities adapt the built environment
to support diverse, healthy, and
growing populations?
[Transportation and mass transit,
urban planning, affordable
housing, sharing economy]
Resiliency- How can cities adapt
to new and emerging threats,
including climate change, sea level
rise, and other stresses?
[Infrastructure, zoning, urban
planning, climate preparedness]
Power of Persuasion - How do
mayors use influence and the “bully
pulpit” to bring about positive change
in their cities? [Media, relationship
leadership, collaborative governance,
politics, urban regime]
Inspiring Innovation - How do city
leaders stimulate innovation and cocreation in their city and within City
Hall? [Technology, civic
entrepreneurship, civic engagement,
big data]