A National Research and Action Competition

The Civic Innovation Challenge is a research and action competition that aims to fund ready-to-implement, research-based pilot projects that have the potential for scalable, sustainable, and transferable impact on community-identified priorities.

To learn more about the Civic Innovation Challenge, read the announcement here.

Read the Guest Column on CitiesSpeak.

Learn More

What’s the Process?

Teams of researchers and civic partners applied to one of two tracks:



Offering Better Mobility Options to Solve the Spatial Mismatch Between Housing Affordability and Jobs


Equipping Communities for Greater Preparedness and Resilience to Natural Disasters

Teams’ proposals are currently being reviewed by civic leaders and researchers in NSF-led review panels. NSF, DOE, and DHS will jointly select awardees. Only Stage 1 awardees will be eligible to apply for Stage 2.

 Stage 1:
Planning Grants
Stage 2:
Full Awards
Award SizeUp to $50KUp to $1M
Expected No. of Awards Per TrackUp to 12Up to 4
Length of Stage4 Months12 Months

In the coming months, awardees will gather in collaborative groups called “Communities of Practice” to develop their ideas and prepare for implementation. To stay updated, use the form at the bottom of this page to register for the CIVIC newsletter.