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  • Writer's pictureTom Kenny

NSF: Civic Innovation Challenge - Stage 1 Due 5/5/22

Opportunity Title: Civic Innovation Challenge

Opportunity Number: NSF 22-565


The Civic Innovation Challenge (CIVIC) is a research and action competition that accelerates the transition to practice of foundational research and emerging technologies into communities through civic-engaged research. By addressing priorities at the local scale that are relevant across the US, CIVIC is laying the foundation for a broader and more fluid exchange of research and technology capabilities and civic priorities through joint partnerships involving civic stakeholders and the research community. CIVIC funds projects that pilot state-of-the-art solutions over 12 months, following a six-month planning phase, and have the potential for lasting impact in the partnering community as well as the potential to be scaled and implemented in other communities.

Building on other stakeholder-engaged research programs such as NSF’s Smart & Connected Communities program, CIVIC is uniquely designed to enable transition to practice of innovations into communities, as follows: (1) CIVIC flips the community-university dynamic, asking communities to identify civic priorities ripe for innovation and then to partner with researchers to address those priorities; (2) CIVIC focuses on research-centered solutions that are ready for piloting in and with communities on a short timescale, where real-world outcomes can be evaluated within 12 months; (3) CIVIC requires a coalition of civic partners and stakeholders and a multi-disciplinary set of researchers to co-create and execute pilot projects; and (4) CIVIC organizes and fosters nationwide “communities of practice” around high-need problem areas that allow for meaningful knowledge sharing and cross-site collaboration during both the pre-development and piloting stages.

For this solicitation, civic partnership and engagement activities, communities, and academic and civic partners must be based in the United States or its protectorates. For purposes of clarity, civic partners and stakeholders may include local, state, or tribal government officials; non-profit representatives; community organizers or advocates; community service providers; and/or others working to improve their communities.

CIVIC is organized as a two-stage competition with two tracks centered around the following topic areas:

  • Track A. Living in a changing climate: pre-disaster action around adaptation, resilience, and mitigation; and

  • Track B. Bridging the gap between essential resources and services & community needs.

In Stage 1, approximately 50 Planning Grant awards will be made – each with a budget of up to $50,000 for six months to undertake planning and team development activities. These include solidifying the team, maturing the project plans, and preparing a well-developed full proposal for submission to Stage 2. Only awardees of Stage 1 proposals will be eligible to submit for Stage 2.

In Stage 2, approximately 20 Full Awards will be made. These will be selected from Stage 1 award recipients. For Stage 2, proposals will be considered with budgets up to $1,000,000 for up to 12 months. Proposals must describe how the PIs will execute and evaluate their research-centered pilot projects.

Award Details:

Maximum Award:

Stage 1 Planning: $50K

Stage 2 Full Award: Up to $1M

Expected Number of Awards: Approximately 50 Planning Grants (Stage 1), and approximately 20 Full Awards (Stage 2)

Submission Details:

Application Deadline: 5/5/22

Opportunity Link

Grant Management Associates has years of experience with opportunities like this one. Contact us today for a consultation.

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