2017 Seed Grants: Request for Applications

Full Request for Applications

Attachment 1: Budget Template

Bidders’ Conference RSVP

Frequently Asked Questions

The 21st Century Cities Initiative (21CC) is pleased to announce a Request for Applications for the Spring 2017 21CC Applied Research Seed Grant Program. 21CC is a Johns Hopkins University Signature Initiative committed to supporting and facilitating cross-disciplinary, applied research that examines and shapes the future possibilities of cities as dynamic hubs of opportunity, inclusion, and innovation.

In the 2015-16 academic year, 21CC awarded seven inaugural seed grants to research teams across the University. Summaries of these research projects are available here.

Over the past year, 21CC has focused its work around the theme of neighborhood transformation, as reflected in recent convenings, including a series of community conversations on the legacies of Redlining in Baltimore City, and a national symposium on 21st century neighborhoods.

The Spring 2017 21CC Applied Research Seed Grant Program is designed to support the development of new, cross-disciplinary research that meaningfully engages policymakers and/or practitioners in cities and closely aligns with specific urban policy areas explored at 21CC’s aforementioned national symposium, 21st Century Neighborhoods: Research. Leadership. Transformation. These priority areas include: 1) mixed-income neighborhood development, 2) safe and healthy neighborhoods, and 3) economic opportunity, inclusion, and growth.

21CC anticipates awarding up to seven grants with an average award amount of $35,000. The grant period is expected to be 12 months. Applications must be led by a Johns Hopkins faculty member, must combine two or more academic disciplines, and must have an applied partner that can include a local government entity, nonprofit organization, or private sector business or corporation. Applicants are welcome to include research partners from universities or research institutions outside of Johns Hopkins and are welcome to focus their research on one or more cities (with appropriate applied local partners).

Brief letters of intent are due by February 10, 2017. If invited to submit a full proposal, the due date is March 24, 2017. Awards will be announced by May 1, 2017.

21CC will host a bidders’ conference and networking event on January 24th, from 5pm to 7pm at Open Works, located at 1400 Greenmount Ave, Baltimore, MD 21202. Please RSVP for the event.

If you have any questions, please email 21CC Program Coordinator, Mac McComas at 21CC@jhu.edu.

Please find the full RFA here: Full Request for Applications

Budget Template: Attachment 1: Budget Template

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Who can be a PI?

A: The PI should be a Johns Hopkins University tenure track faculty or full-time research faculty. The research team can include researchers that are not faculty and/or not affiliated with Johns Hopkins University, but they must be led by the PI with the above stated qualifications.

Q: Who can be a co-PI and what are the associated responsibilities?

A: A co-PI must be full-time, tenure track (including instructors), research, or emeriti faculty at Johns Hopkins University. While the PI has the ultimate responsibility to lead the project, a co-PI is a research team member who will be making a significant contribution to the project and will share leadership responsibilities with the PI. They will be relied on by the PI to assume responsibilities above those of other research team members.

Q: Who can be a part of the research team?

A: The research team should be led by a Johns Hopkins University tenure track faculty or full-time research faculty. The team can include research scientists, graduate students, doctoral candidates, visiting scholars, and others that contribute to the project. Researchers from other universities, including universities located outside of the US, are allowed to be a part of the research team.

Q: Can one person submit multiple applications?

A: You can only be a PI or co-PI on one project, however, you may serve on the research team of other projects, as long as you are not the project lead.

Q: Who can be applied research partners?

A: Applied research partners may include government agencies, government officials, community-based or non-profit organizations, private-sector corporations, or community leaders or advocates that are active in the urban policy area of focus and are positioned to act on the research project’s findings. Applicants must have at least one research partner, but are allowed to have multiple.

 Q: Are there examples of seed grants that have been funded in the past?

A: Yes, please find out more about our past seed grant awardees here. Note that while these past seed grants are illustrative, they were awarded under different criteria than this current competition and will not completely match to the projects awarded under this round.

Q: What if I don’t have a cross-disciplinary research partner and/or an applied research partner?

A: The 21st Century Cities Initiative can assist, though not guarantee, interested applicants with finding required partners. Interested applicants looking for partners should consider attending the seed grant bidders conference on January 24. RSVP here.

Q: What cities can the research focus on?

A: Applicants can focus on a single city or multiple cities. This can include Baltimore City as the focus, but partnerships with other cities are equally welcomed and encouraged.

Q: What are the required results?

A: Projects must result in at least one research deliverable within 12 to 18 months of the award. Deliverables may include but are not limited to: policy brief, dissemination event, or journal article.

Q: Is there a maximum or minimum request amount?

A: The maximum grant request is $50,000. There is not a minimum.

Q: What is the funding period?

A: Seed grants will fund projects for 12 months. As such, applicants should submit budgets that cover a 12-month period.

Q: Do research projects need to focus on a specific policy area?

A: Yes. 21CC will give priority preference to projects focusing on one or more of the following policy areas:  1) mixed-income neighborhood development, 2) safe and healthy neighborhoods, and 3) economic opportunity, inclusion, and growth. 21CC will accept proposals for projects that cover topics not referenced above but that fit within the broader themes of neighborhood transformation, placemaking, and cities as dynamic hubs of opportunity, inclusion, and innovation.

Q: Can a project include a pilot or demonstration, such as a randomized controlled trial of a new program or policy intervention to be tested?

A: No. These seed grants are intended for research and not for funding program interventions.


If you have any other questions, please email 21CC@jhu.edu.