The Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation is pleased to announce a call for research proposals focused on the systemic study of how cities work, grow, and develop to advance more sustainable and equitable urban futures.
The goals of this call are to 1) encourage new interdisciplinary collaborations between faculty from different departments and schools, and 2) create new generalizable knowledge and transformative methods for understanding urban environments, amplifying UChicago’s urban research and scholarship across the social sciences, environmental and health sciences, the arts and humanities and public policy.
The Institute supports a range of activities bolstering an ecosystem of urban innovation. These include research projects, working groups, faculty-led Initiatives, and postdoctoral fellowships. Selected proposals from this call will be eligible for consideration as future Institute Initiatives, and/or integration with other activities, including the postdoctoral fellows program.
The Mansueto Institute is focused on synthesizing complex ideas from different disciplines and seizing the availability of novel data and methods from more places to build new, fundamental knowledge about cities and urbanization. Proposals may be regionally and topically diverse, and may reflect a 12 to 24 month project timespan. Competitive proposals will demonstrate how the research will advance (an) important general question(s) of environmentally, socially, and/or economically sustainable urban development.
Proposals should take a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach to tackling the challenges and opportunities of cities. We encourage methodological innovation and collaborations with partners outside the University of Chicago.
Project proposals are welcome from UChicago Faculty, full-time Research Appointees and Lecturers. Applicants may submit more than one proposal, with the same or different collaborative teams, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.
Selected projects will receive a blend of direct funding and in-kind support from the Mansueto Institute. Submissions are eligible to receive total award value of between $5,000 – $30,000. A budget template is provided to include in proposal submission. This is a competitive process and partial funding is possible, but ambitious proposals are appreciated.
The Mansueto Institute will support the following project expenses in-kind: research assistant compensation and supervision; event and travel budget; data and equipment purchasing; and communications and marketing resources. Funded proposals also have access to event and co-working space at the Mansueto Institute. Read more about how we support research projects.
Award funding cannot be used for faculty salary support, course reduction, academic leave, or summer salary, sub-awards to external (non-UChicago) collaborators; the purchase of equipment at institutions other than UChicago, or indirect costs. Indirect costs are those that are not directly identifiable to a specific sponsored project (administrative, clerical work, telephones, office supplies, electricity, gas, rent, etc.).
Proposals will be reviewed by a faculty committee using the following measures:
- Explicitly Urban: Focus on a novel question or method pertaining to the study of cities.
- Interdisciplinary Synthesis and Collaboration: Includes collaboration between two or more disciplines as appropriate to address the proposal’s objectives.
- Methodological Innovation: Advances research methods in the social, natural, and/or data sciences, and/or the humanities. Preferred projects will include the use of cutting-edge data, computational methods or technological tools.
- Potential For Continuity: A clear plan to leverage Mansueto Institute’s seed support to attract additional resources that support long-term efforts beyond the 12- to 24-month project period, for example in terms of intended grant applications.
- Feasibility & Deliverables: Clearly conveys anticipated project outputs – such as research results, data, tools, or other products – and an aligned approach to achieve outputs within the project period.
Research project proposals should be submitted using the form below and must include:
1. A Statement of Purpose
- Abstract (250 words max): What is the problem you seek to address, what is your approach to address this topic and what specific outcomes will your project deliver?
- Research Plan (750 words max): Please describe your research questions and why they are novel and important. Also, articulate why this work would benefit from collaboration, anticipated outcomes, and a timeline & key project milestones. Specify follow-on funding opportunities you will target should the project generate expected data, analysis or results.
2. Budget and Budget Narrative (a budget template is available for download; narrative 250 words max)
3. A CV or Resume for the project lead
Applications are reviewed on a quarterly cycle, with deadlines July 1, 2022; October 1, 2022; January 5, 2023; and April 1, 2023.
Collaboration Event – February 4, 2022
The Mansueto Institute will host an informal gathering for potentially interested applicants on Friday, February 4, 2022 from 11:00am to noon. This virtual event will be an opportunity to connect with potential collaborators across the University, sharing research ideas and identifying areas of alignment. Researchers are encouraged to attend with nascent or fully-formed project ideas. Please RSVP here.
Awarded projects are asked to commit to the following:
- Participation in Institute Events/Programs: One of the Mansueto Institute’s goals is to build an active research and scholarship community. Awardees will be requested to participate in community activities, which include workshops, seminars, conferences, and other relevant activities.
- Contribution to Working Paper Series and Acknowledgement: Publications related to the awarded project must be part of our Working Paper Series, and acknowledge Institute’s support.
- Events and Speakers: Project Leads should conceive of at least one event/year involving external speakers, hosted by Mansueto. This may include talks and working groups.
Research Project Proposal Application Form
Please use the below form to submit your proposal materials. The deadline for submission is March 1, 2022, by 11:59pm CDT. For questions, please email Anne Dodge, Executive Director, at email@example.com.