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A National Research and Action Competition
Driven By Community Priorities

The Civic Innovation Challenge is a multi-agency, federal government 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. It aims to flip the community-university dynamic, inviting communities to identify civic priorities ripe for innovation and to then partner with researchers to address those priorities. 

Projects from CIVIC 2021 (the first round of CIVIC) are still in progress. 

Learn more about these projects here.

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Access the current CIVIC funding opportunity

Learn about the CIVIC proposal and award process

U.S. Department of
Homeland Security

Co-Lead and Co-Funder

U.S. National Science Foundation

Challenge Lead and Funder

U.S. Department of

Co-Lead and Co-Funder


MetroLab Network

Community-of-Practice Builder

What's the Process?

Teams of researchers and civic partners will submit proposals to one of two community-identified tracks by May 5th.


Pre-Disaster Action Around Adaptation,
Resilience, and Mitigation


Bridging the Gap between Essential Resources and Services & Community Needs

Teams’ proposals will be reviewed by civic leaders and researchers in NSF-led review panels. NSF, DHS, and DOE will jointly select Stage 1 planning grants, who will then have the opportunity to apply for Stage 2 full awards. Stage 2 awardees will receive $1 million and have 1 year to implement their pilot projects in communities across the country.

 Stage 1:
Planning Grants
Stage 2:
Full Awards
Award SizeUp to $50KUp to $1M
No. of AwardsUp to 50*Up to 20*
Length of Stage6 Months12 Months

*Contingent on the quality of proposals and availability of funds

Awardees will gather in a collaborative cohort called a “Community of Practice” to support each other as their projects are implemented.