2018 Call for Proposals

Purpose of awards: The International Policy Lab (IPL) works with MIT researchers who seek to build relationships with the policy community and engage with policy makers. The IPL 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 guidance to faculty members on how to engage the policy community, connects faculty members directly with policy-makers, provides staff support and modest funding for translation and outreach, and coordinates faculty members’ travel to Washington, DC and elsewhere. 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 7, 2018, 8PM.

Eligibility: All MIT faculty members and research scientists with PI status.

Support: Applicants may request staff support, funding, or both.

The types of staff support the IPL can provide include:

  • Assistance with the translation of scholarly research into policy briefs, opinion pieces, press releases, or other accessible materials.
  • Assistance in preparing speeches on policy issues, Congressional testimony, expert witness testimony in policy forums, talks at think tanks, and similar public presentations.
  • Assistance with drafting public comments on agency rules.
  • Arranging individual briefings with relevant policy makers, including legislators and their staffs, Executive branch officials, and regulators.
  • Soliciting feedback from and engaging policy makers in research projects at an early stage, in order to better guide studies that have policy implications.
  • Coordinating travel and logistics related to policy outreach.
  • Identifying resources to help researchers better engage with the policy community (e.g., training for communicating with policy audiences).

Grants may be used to cover:

  • 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 award is $10,000 in direct costs; proposals may be partially funded. The IPL’s goal is to assist as many faculty members as possible and will prioritize projects where the IPL can most add value. To determine this prioritization, all proposals will go through a three stage selection process.

The selection process:

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

Feedback on unsuccessful proposals will be provided if feasible. Final selections will be made by March 18, 2019.

Proposal Requirements: Proposals should be submitted online and include:

  • A brief description of goals of the project, activities to be carried out, and relationship of the project to the proposer’s scholarly research;
  • Desired outcomes and impact of the project;
  • Requested IPL staff resources;
  • Total funds requested (direct costs only) and proposed use of funds;
  • 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