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Applications for the Research Seed Grant Program are now being accepted, see instructions below.

Deadline: March 10th, 2023 at 5 pm.

About the Research Seed Grant Program

The Boston Area Research Initiative is inviting applications for research seed grants for projects occurring during the 2023 – 2024 academic year. The grants will support graduate students conducting original data-oriented research on the Boston area at the intersection of scholarship and policy. Applications can be submitted by students at any local university. Applications are due by March 10th, 2023 at 5 pm.

Note that we have reorganized the application submission and review calendar to ensure that applicants know the decision before they have to make funding plans for the Fall semester.

The program supports two types of projects:

  • Pioneering work that translates a novel digital data set available from a public or private source into a research-ready form that can provide insights on human behavior and society.
  • Projects that seek to develop, implement, or evaluate new programs that incorporate research insights into policy or practice.

Special consideration will be given to projects that examine or address questions with regional significance to greater Boston, beyond any one municipal border, such as inequality and social mobility, though we accept applications on all themes relevant to cities and communities. 

For all funded projects, new data sets and associated documentation will be published through BARI’s Boston Data Portal when the project is completed. Examples of past projects can be found here.

Applicants may request up to $5,000, which can be used for any project-related expenses, including materials, software, participant recruitment, or student stipend. Applicants will be required to demonstrate a commitment by their home institution to provide support for their project, in any appropriate form: faculty time, promotion, convening, matching funds, etc. Applicants will be required to submit a letter from a sponsor at their home institution detailing this support.

BARI has a strong commitment to diversity–we encourage applications from persons with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences.

Applying for the Research Seed Grants

Applications will be accepted at and should include:

  • Cover letter;
  • Summary of the proposed project, including its potential scholarly and practical impacts, and the data and/or partners it centers on;
  • Proposed budget;
  • Letter of support from home institution;
  • Curriculum vitae;
  • Contact information for faculty mentor who will oversee project;
  • If applicable, Letter of Commitment from partner providing data or collaborating on project.

The BARI Research Seed Grant program is made possible in part by support from Boston Indicators at The Boston Foundation and the Herman and Frieda L. Miller Foundation.

The following projects received funding from BARI’s Research Seed Grant program for the 2022-2023 Academic Year:


Greater Boston Migrant Service Providers: Challenges and Connections

Denise Muro, Doctoral Candidate in Global Governance and Human Security at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Denise’s research focuses on community-building among immigrant, refugee, and asylum seeker communities, service providers and advocates, and the broader community. Denise has several years of experience working, advocating, and conducting research with refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants in Colorado, Wyoming, Germany, and Massachusetts and was the previous executive director of the Migrant Alliance and Partnership Network (MAP Network), aiming to strengthen and connect migrant services in the Boston area.

Expanding the Reciprocity Project: A community workshop Relational Approaches to Mapping Boston Area Environmental Justice Data

Vasiliki Pistoftzian, Masters Student in Urban Planning and Policy at Northeastern University. Her research focuses on promoting a relational framework for environmental justice (EJ) research and communication, to counteract perceptions of harm that often have negative impacts on EJ communities. Her research project focuses on using participatory modeling workshops to discuss and critique damage-focused mapping and collaborate on the creation and use of new EJ communication tools that highlight relationships between the polluter and the polluted.