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Now Accepting Applications Due Wednesday, July 22nd, 2022

About the Research Seed Grant program

The Boston Area Research Initiative (BARI) provides research seed grant funding for 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. Special consideration is 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 other themes as well.

Regardless of topical theme, 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.

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

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

Apply today for a 2022-2023 Research Seed Grant!

Deadline: Friday, July 22nd, 2022

Applications will be accepted at BARI@northeastern.edu 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 necessary, 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, the Barr Foundation, and the Herman and Frieda L. Miller Foundation.

The following projects received funding from BARI’s Research Seed Grant program for the 2021-2022 Academic Year:

Fall 2021

Thinking holistically, moving upstream: Using data integration to inform policy interventions for Rhode Island households experiencing homelessness, criminal legal system involvement, and eviction

Megan Smith, Doctoral Candidate in Social Work at Boston University. Megan Smith is a social worker who has worked with the homeless community in Rhode Island for twelve years. For the last three years, she was the outreach program manager with the House of Hope CDC, working with adults experiencing street homelessness. She has taught at the Rhode Island College School of Social Work and the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Her research will work with the State of Rhode Island to merge multiple administrative data sets to track how those who have experienced homelessness interact with the criminal justice system, and whether interactions with one system tend to precede the other.

Effects of State Legislation and a Voter Referendum on Transgender Adolescents’ Wellbeing


Nathan L. Hollinsaid, Doctoral Student in Clinical Science at Harvard University. His research focuses on transgender adolescents who have high rates of suicidality and violence victimization, which may result, in part, from anti-transgender discrimination. His research project focuses on how municipal-level outcomes on transgender-related voter referenda predict mental health outcomes in local transgender youth.

Associations between the U.S. immigration policy climate and domestic violence survivors and systems: A mixed-methods study


Sameera Nayak, Doctoral Candidate in Population Health at Northeastern University. Her research focuses on the effects of the immigration policy climate on the health and well-being of immigrant survivors of domestic violence and domestic violence systems in the Greater Boston Area. Specifically, she will work with Casa Myrna to identify how perceptions of immigration policy climate do or do not deter these individuals from seeking out support.