Are you interested in collaborating with academic and applied experts to address pressing issues of public concern? APSA’s Research Partnerships on Critical Issues program provides grants to political scientists for collaborative, research-based projects aimed at advancing the public good.
The Research Partnerships on Critical Issues program has two central goals:
- To demonstrate the value of political science to the public to policymakers and to the broader community through publicly-engaged research.
- To bring higher ed-based political scientists into conversation with practitioners and policy-oriented scholars across ideological and geographic lines.
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.
Below, you can find the application guidelines, frequently asked questions and a link to the application form.
Meet the 2020 RPCI recipients here!
Proposed projects must:
- Address pressing real world problems with aim of advancing 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).
- Bring together experts with divergent ideological orientations, perspectives, and/or methodological priors to deepen our understanding and suggest ways forward on areas where debate is stagnant and/or polarized.
- Share their research and findings with policy makers, stakeholders, and the general public.
- Address topics on which political scientists have something distinctive to offer.
RPCI applications must include the following components:
- Cover page including
- Project title
- Total budget request
- Brief description of project, and list of team members from academic institutions and applied experts/practitioners. Note: Teams should include a minimum of four academic and four applied team members (eight total). At least two academic team members must be political scientists. You may also have organizations or individuals participating via focus groups or meetings who will not participate in the full project, production of reports or materials, etc. as team members. You can list these partners in your full proposal.
- RPCI Project Proposal (3 page single-spaced maximum):
The proposal should include the following components:
- Identification of the issue, problem, or question to be addressed, the importance of the topic, and the contribution to be made by the RPCI project.
- Planned activities, workflow, and deliverables, including plans for sharing the project with the public.
- Discussion of inclusivity. This may include an explanation of how the selection of PIs and partners demonstrates a commitment to ensuring an inclusive conversation that reflects the diversity of the communities affected by the issue, and of our profession.
- Budget: Include a 1-page line-item budget for your project. Please note for the current (2020-2021) cycle, all proposed activities must be virtual.
- 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
We recommend 4-6 academy-based and 4-6 partner-based members per team, though we are open to funding slightly smaller or larger groups, as long as the proposal demonstrates that they fulfill the goals of the grant, and the budget is within the maximum allowable budget.
Academy-based members should have relevant expertise and represent differing viewpoints, ideologies, or methodologies. Ideally, more than one of these members will be a political scientist. Applied experts may come from think tanks, NGOs, industry groups/personnel, governmental experts, local organizers, or international organizations. They may also come from other organizations – for example, a project focused on issues of health might include medical professionals. Ideally, applied experts will represent multiple viewpoints on or approaches to the issue.
First, note that budgets should be designed around the goals and needs of the proposed work. For some projects, this may mean a budget well under the allowed maximum, while others may require the maximum budget of $10,000 (for the 2020-2021 cycle).
For projects planned for 2021 allowed budget items include:
- Costs for necessary subscriptions, equipment, or administrative support for virtual meetings
- Compensation for research assistants and/or meeting facilitators
- Research-related costs, including costs associated with conducting interviews, purchasing data sets, etc.
- For the 2020-2021 cycle, budgets may not include costs for in-person meetings or events
- Grant funds may be used for direct costs in support of the described projects, such as technology needs, staff or RA support, food and/or per diems, and honoraria for participants.
Public Health Accommodations:
We recognize that in-person meetings are currently limited due to the public health crisis. We welcome applicants to propose projects beginning at any time in the 2021 calendar year, and to propose fully virtual or hybrid programs, or later in-person programs with plans to shift to virtual if necessary.
Generally, we anticipate that virtual proposals will include lower overall budgets.