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.

Learn more about the Civic Innovation Challenge and the 52 teams that it is supporting.

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’ Stage 1 proposals were reviewed by civic leaders and researchers in NSF-led review panels. NSF, DOE, and DHS jointly selected 52 awardees. Stage 1 awardees applied for Stage 2 on May 5th, 2021.

 Stage 1:
Planning Grants
Stage 2:
Full Awards
Award SizeUp to $50KUp to $1M
No. of Awards528 (expected)
Length of Stage4 Months12 Months

Awardees gathered in a collaborative group called a “Community of Practice” to develop their ideas and prepare for implementation. The Stage 2 Awardees will be announced soon. To stay updated, use the form at the bottom of this page to register for the Civic Innovation Challenge newsletter.