Call for Proposals: Collaborative research-based projects addressing critical public issues


To support collaborative research-based projects tackling critical public issues.
Proposals for grants up to $20,000.
DEADLINE: January 5, 2020 at 12:00 midnight EDT

The American Political Science Association seeks proposals from groups of members interested in developing collaborative, research-based projects that tackle critical issues concerning citizens across the globe. Research Partnerships on Critical Issues grants are an initiative of the APSA Presidential Task Force on New Partnerships, which aims to deepen ties among political scientists, between political science and the public, and to strengthen the contributions of political science to the public good.

Research Partnerships on Critical Issues (RPCI) grants have two central goals:

  1. To demonstrate the value of political science to the public, to policymakers and to the broader community through publicly-engaged research.
  2. To bring higher ed-based political scientists into conversation with policy-oriented scholars across  ideological lines.

RPCI projects must:

  1. Address pressing real world problems where political scientists have the potential to advance the public good. Projects can address global, national, or local issues (examples might include: cooperation on climate change or controlling the spread of nuclear weapons; political apathy or social consequences of automation; water management or education issues).
  2. Bring together researchers with divergent ideological orientations, perspectives, and methodological priors to deepen our understanding and suggest ways forward on areas where debate is stagnant and/or polarized.
  3. Share their research and findings with policy makers, the public, and political science faculty and students in ways that encourage interaction and engagement.
  4. Address topics on which political scientists of different ideological and methodological orientations have something distinctive to offer, including topics of interest to scholars of international and comparative politics as well as specialists in US politics.

For detailed application instructions, please visit RPCI applications must include the following components:

  1. Project Abstract (1 page single-spaced maximum) including PI names and APSA numbers, brief account of problem, aims, participants, and proposed activity and total budget request.
  2. PI CV(s)
  3. RPCI Project Proposal (5 page maximum) including the following components:
  • Problem statement – identify an issue/topic
  • Specification of Academy-based Research Team (approximately 6 higher ed-based members with expertise on the topic who represent differing viewpoints, ideologies, or methodologies.)
  • Specification of Partner-based Research Team (approximately 6 experts from think tanks, NGOs, industry groups/personnel, governmental experts, or international organizations whose participation would reflect the cross-ideological goal of the project.)
  • Schedule of Events and Workflow
  • Inclusivity Statement (1 page maximum) describing how the selection of topics and participants demonstrates a commitment to ensuring an inclusive conversation that reflects the diversity of the Association and our profession.
  1. Budget: Include a 1-page budget for your project.
  2. Dissemination Plan
  3. Optional:
  • Letter(s) of support from collaborative institutions (e.g., agreement of a university, college, association, think tank, NGO, etc. to collaborate or make space available for the workshop/meeting/etc.)
  • Letter(s) identifying any additional in-kind contributions from any collaborative institutions. 

Award Timeline and Guidance: We expect to notify applicants of award decisions in February 2020. All grants made will be subject to the same terms and conditions of APSA grants administered through the Centennial Center, including the following requirements:

  • APSA membership for PI’s must be active for the duration of the grant period, normally 12 months.
  • Grant funds may be used for direct costs in support of the described projects, such as travel, meals (with restrictions), organizational staff support, or office supplies.
  • Grant funds may not be used for honoraria or indirect or overhead costs
  • At the time that grants are made, a timeline for fund use will be agreed upon. Normally, grants are for a period of 12 months with the option of a 6-month extension, as needed and if requested prior to the expiry of the grant.

To apply, please review our FAQ, prepare the required components (listed above) and complete the application form at:

We strongly encourage members to get in touch with any questions or for more information! Contact Centennial Center Associate Director Amanda Grigg at You can also reach us at 202-483-2512.

Download the full call for proposals here or submit your application here.

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