A National Research and Action Competition

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

Read the Guest Column on CitiesSpeak.

From the National Science Foundation, in partnership with the Department of Energy and the Department of Homeland Security

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.

What’s the Process?

Teams of researchers and civic partners will apply to one of two tracks by August 3:



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


Equipping Communities for Greater Preparedness and Resilience to Natural Disasters

Both the Mobility track and the Resilience track will accept projects that are focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as projects that are not. For more information on how you can approach COVID-19 in your proposal, read the NSF Dear Colleague Letter.

Teams’ proposals will be 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

Get the details.