Full Request for Proposals available online.
M O T I V A T I O N
MIT Governance Lab’s (MIT GOV/LAB) mission is to produce and promote engaged scholarship on how to encourage citizens to voice their needs and best induce governments to respond to their interests. Our aim is to produce rigorous research that contributes to academic scholarship and is mutually beneficial to practitioners, thus improving the uptake of the insights and evidence into practice. We believe in research collaborations based on a process and values of equitable exchange and respect between practitioners and academics.
T O P I C S
To build a stronger evidence base, MIT GOV/LAB is piloting an open call for research proposals on topics related to citizen engagement and government accountability (particularly from a behavioral perspective) in a diversity of contexts. Funding will support empirical research to understand the drivers of attitudes and beliefs of citizens, bureaucrats, elites, or elected officials. Of particular interest are attitudes and beliefs linked to behavior that promotes government accountability, such as participation in social movements, citizen demand-making, or access to government services.
P A R T N E R S
Research studies will ideally integrate a local practitioner partner in all stages of the research ideation and proposal writing, study design and implementation, and dissemination of results. In an effort to design and implement research that is most useful and relevant to changing real-world outcomes, we prioritize asking practitioners who are grounded and deeply embedded in communities what questions they need answers to do their work better.
We are launching this RFP early to allow for ample preparation time, including partner selection and relationship-building. Priority given to empirical projects that will result in an academic publication, and are relevant and useful for the decision-making of practitioner partners.
F U N D I N G
- MIT GOV/LAB anticipates funding up to a total of $100,000 for this 2019 RFP
- Junior faculty (pre-tenure) and postdocs can apply for up to $30,000 for a research study
- Graduate students can apply for up to $15,000 for dissertation research
- Funding is for full-scale projects; not for piloting
Submission deadline: 11:59 PM US EST, August 31, 2019.
E L I G I B I L I T Y
Research team composition
All submissions must be made up of teams of scholars and practitioners. We prioritize applications where practitioner partners and coauthors are locally based in the place of study. Submissions must be made by at least one university-affiliated Principal Investigator (graduate students need to be sponsored by a university-affiliated PI). This RFP is aimed at junior faculty, which we define as pre-tenure. Teams that include a mix of pre-tenure and tenured faculty are eligible. Teams that include a mix of faculty (pre-tenure and/or tenured) and graduate students are also eligible, with the expectation of full partnership including co-authorship.
Practitioner partner guidelines
We welcome a diversity of practitioner partners who have detailed knowledge of local contexts and are suitable for implementing rigorous empirical studies. Partners can include non-governmental organizations, such as civil society groups, social enterprises, or local governments. Strong prioritization will be given to the following criteria for partner selection:
- Practitioners refer to organizations (governmental or nongovernmental) engaged in applied practice, including activities such as service provision, citizen mobilization, and policy advocacy
- Partners should have extensive experience, including a long-standing presence (full time staff and/or office) in the country/region/locality of research
- Practitioner partners should be of good reputation and have a stated mission and/or values adhering to ethical principles of engagement
- Non-partisan and not-for-profit practitioners are preferred. If organization is for-profit, an additional section justifying the collaboration and detailed conflict of interest statement from the researcher and practitioner should be included
Engaged scholarship guidelines
We will give priority to proposals which can credibly argue that the research to be undertaken is of significant use and interest to local partners (particularly implementing partners), and a contribution to the academic field. For example, if the proposal identifies:
- Local research/academic partners and outlines their substantive role in various stages of the proposed research
- Existing partner priorities, programs, and/or theory of change that align with the proposed research
- Specific partner learning needs or research questions that the proposed research seeks to address
D E T A I L S
Full Request for Proposals available online.