2019 Call for Proposals

Purpose of awards: The Policy Lab works with MIT researchers who seek to build relationships with the policy community and engage with policymakers. The Policy Lab does not support new scholarly research but rather the translation of faculty members’ existing research into policy-relevant material and related outreach. Specifically, it offers faculty members guidance to develop strategies that influence the policy community, provides staff support to connect faculty members directly with policy-makers and implement outreach strategies, and covers modest reimbursement of costs associated with the project. The goal of these activities is to maximize the impact of faculty members’ efforts to inform public policy while minimizing the time they must invest in such efforts.

Deadline:  December 6, 2019, 8PM.
Eligibility: All MIT faculty members and research scientists with PI status.
Support: Applicants may request assistance to develop and implement outreach strategies to policymakers and a maximum of $10,000 in reimbursements for project costs.

The Policy Lab can provide staff support to help with:

  • Crafting strategic outreach plans to impact public policy and develop relationships with policymakers.
  • Identifying and prioritizing specific policy audiences to engage, including legislators and their staffs, Executive branch officials, and regulators.
  • Arranging individual briefings and meetings with identified policy audiences.
  • Translating research into policy documents, such as briefs, opinion pieces, and press releases.
  • Preparing public presentations, such as Congressional testimony, expert witness testimony in policy forums, and talks at think tanks.
  • Drafting public comments on agency rules.
  • Soliciting feedback from and engaging policymakers to better guide studies that have policy implications.
  • Coordinating travel and logistics related to policy outreach.
  • Individual coaching and communication training to make engagement effective.

Funds may be used to reimburse costs related to:

  • Travel.
  • Workshops or meetings that bring together researchers and the policy community.
  • Supplementary research assistance (e.g., summer funding for graduate students) for the development of policy-relevant documents.
  • Partial faculty summer salary for translating policy-relevant scholarly work into policy briefs.

Funds may not be used for regular salary, regular graduate student support, or equipment purchases. The maximum reimbursement is $10,000 in direct costs; proposals may be partially funded.

Selection Process: The selection process will have three stages:

  1. Preliminary evaluation by at least two faculty members associated with the Policy Lab.
  2. For those proposals judged viable and consonant with Policy Lab’s mission, a discussion between the proposer and Policy Lab faculty or staff.
  3. Final selection of proposals made by a committee of faculty members associated with the Policy Lab.

Feedback on unsuccessful proposals will be provided if feasible. Final selections will be made by February 14, 2020.

Proposal Requirements: Proposals should be submitted online and include:

  • A brief description of goals of the project and relationship of the project to the proposer’s scholarly research;
  • Desired outcomes and impact of the project;
  • Requested Policy Lab staff resources;
  • Any resources already committed to the project by the proposer; and
  • Any collaborators (including graduate students, fellows, or researchers at other institutions) who will be involved in the project.
  • A conflict of interest statement

For questions on the application or examples of funded work, contact Dan Pomeroy (dpomeroy@mit.edu), Managing Director and Senior Policy Advisor of the Policy Lab.