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.
Below, you can find the application guidelines, frequently asked questions and a link to the application form.
Meet the 2020 RPCI recipients here!
RPCI Application Guidelines
Applications for the 2020 cycle is now closed. Please check back in later for the 2021 cycle.
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 policy-oriented scholars across ideological and geographic lines.
RPCI projects should:
- Tackle critical public issues that concern citizens across the globe.
- 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 or polarized.
- Share their research and findings with policy makers, the public, and political science faculty and students in ways that encourage interaction and engagement.
- 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.
RPCI applications must include the following components:
- 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.
- PI CV(s) – 5 page max per CV
- RPCI Project Proposal including the following components:
- Problem statement. Identify a topic (1 page single-spaced maximum)
- List of Academy-based Research Team: Approximately 6 higher ed-based members with expertise on the topic who represent differing viewpoints, ideologies, or methodologies.
- List 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). Describe how the selection of topics and personnel demonstrates a commitment to ensuring an inclusive conversation that reflects the diversity of the Association and our profession.
- Budget: Include a 1-page budget for your project.
- Dissemination Plan: Explain how the project will enable broader engagement with the rest of the discipline and the public.
- 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.
You can download a pdf of the call for proposals here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Teams larger than 12 (six academy-based, six partner-based) members are permitted, but require a plan for additional funding beyond the RPCI award.
The dissemination plan should include:
- Resources to be produced that can be hosted on APSA’s new political science education website: this could included teaching resources based on the project, blog posts, explainers, or infographics.
- A report of some kind that enables the public to access your results/recommendations (though this might take traditional or more creative forms) both in print and in a web version
The dissemination plan may also include the following:
- Live-streaming of team meetings and events, with the goal of inviting broad discussion and participation. A team may Invite political scientists who work in relevant fields to contribute data and analysis to the research process at different stages of the project.
- Creation of survey instruments and questionnaires teachers and students can use to collect data on the topic. Research teams are encouraged to consider ways they might crowd-source some aspects of data collection, using political science faculty and students. For example, students at diverse institutions could collect a large volume and variety of qualitative data through class-based interviewing and focus group exercises, or content analysis of local news sources.
- A public event at a partner institution at which participants present their report, with commentary from their various perspectives. This panel discussion should be live-streamed and recorded and posted in the APSA Teaching Library.
- Purpose-designed teaching materials, including assignments in which students respond to the content and process of the discussion. Those responses could be shared with the researchers in a feedback loop that could inform their further work on the topic.
- Publication of interim reports for discussion in the discipline.
- Pairing with an appropriate media outlet to publish a series of posts about the conversation and report.
- Sponsoring a virtual conversation in which political scientists outside the research team comment on the team’s work using hypothesis or other software for annotating documents online.
- Soliciting metacommentary from political scientists, especially theorists and specialists in political communication.
- Publicizing the report results in APSA-sponsored “Town Halls” open to the public, in the form of a broadcast program simulcast at venues around the country, followed by discussions designed by local host organizations.
- Travel and meeting costs for 2-3 face-to-face meetings
- Compensation for research assistants
- Research-related costs, including costs associated with conducting interviews, purchasing data sets, etc.
- Applicants are welcome to propose a team larger than 12 members, or a project with additional meetings and expenses. In that case, your proposal must include a plan for seeking external funding to supplement the RPCI award.
- RPCI may not be used for: honorarium or direct payments to participants, overhead costs.
The inclusivity statement should describe how the selection of topics and personnel demonstrates a commitment to ensuring an inclusive conversation that reflects the diversity of the Association and our profession.
Interested in applying?
We strongly encourage interested members to get in touch with any questions or for more information!
Contact Centennial Center Director Amanda Grigg at email@example.com. You can also reach us at 202-483-2512.