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 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 researchers 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:
- 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) – CVs for primary investigators who will coordinate and lead project. 3 page max per CV
- Research Team – List of higher-ed based members and partner-based members participating in the project. Higher ed-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. Partner-based members should be experts from think tanks, NGOs, industry groups/personnel, governmental experts, local organizers, or international organizations. Ideally, partner-based members will represent multiple viewpoints on or approaches to the issue.
- RPCI Project Proposal (5 page single-spaced maximum). The project proposal should include 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.
- Schedule of activities, workflow, and deliverables.
- Specific plans for sharing the project with and/or ensuring that work is informed by the public.
- Inclusivity Statement – 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.
- 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
We recommend 6 academy-based and 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.
- Travel and meeting costs for 2-3 face-to-face meetings or for necessary equipment or administrative support for virtual meetings
- Compensation for research assistants
- Research-related costs, including costs associated with conducting interviews, purchasing data sets, etc.
- 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.