AIA Upjohn Research Initiative Grants 2020 Is Out | Click Here To Apply

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The AIA Upjohn Research Initiative supports applied research projects that enhance the value of design and professional practice knowledge.

Research should be relevant and applicable to practicing architects. Upjohn Research grant funding will be allocated to projects related to the priorities outlined in AIA’s 2020 Climate Action Plan. These include a drive toward sustainable design that helps mitigate or adapt to climate change.

Focus Areas

More specifically, research projects must address one or more of these areas:

Mitigation: Address the building industry’s footprint as a source of operational and embodied carbon; advance carbon-neutrality.

  • Embodied carbon accounting for existing buildings
  • Embodied carbon opportunities in different regions and scales
  • Distributed energy and grid-integrated buildings
  • Net-zero carbon buildings (i.e., design strategies, materials, technology)
  • Water-energy-carbon nexus
  • Regenerative design (i.e., projects that lead to the improvement of the ecosystem, creating resilient and equitable systems)
  • Circular building economy (e.g., materials market)
  • Landscape or site design strategies

Adaptation: Address the impacts of climate change in our spaces, buildings, structures, and communities in order to become more functional and high performing.

  • Durability and sustainability of materials (e.g., low carbon, non-toxic, resource efficient)
  • Building vulnerability assessment processes to address shocks and stresses
  • Hazard mitigation building/retrofit design strategies for climate hazards
  • Temporary and transitional housing models
  • Building strategies (e.g., design, materials) to promote occupant and/or community health and well-being
  • Passive survivability design strategies
  • Improving equity through adaptation of spaces/neighborhoods
  • This AIA program funds up to six research grants of $15,000 – $30,000 annually for projects completed in a 6-to 18-month period. The funds must be fully matched with hard dollars, with a maximum of 10% allocated for overhead. Grant recipients’ research findings and outcomes are published online by AIA.
  • International applications are eligible;
  • You may submit more than one proposal;
  • The following are encouraged: New projects, related but distinct previously funded projects, and unfunded projects from prior Upjohn grant applications. The AIA will determine whether a project previously funded through the Upjohn program is eligible.
  • Research should be relevant and applicable to practicing architects.
  • Upjohn research grant funding will be allocated to projects related to the priorities outlined in AIA’s Climate Action Plan.
Selection Criteria

The jury evaluates each submission and selects the grant awardees based on the following criteria and weighting. Please consider these when preparing your application.

  • Demonstration that the research enhances the value of design and/or professional practice knowledge (30%)
  • Innovation (25%)
  • Evidence of collaboration/partnership (20%)
  • Validity of research method (15%)
  • Strength of projected outcomes related to alignment with theme (10%)
How To Apply

Submission should include the following details:

  • Project title
  • Abstract (250 word max; include project concept and brief description of methodology)
  • Budget
  • Summary of projected outcomes (300 word max; include brief description of how the project would help mitigate or adapt to climate change)
  • Clients and knowledge communities served (250 word max)
  • Approach to collaboration/partnership (250 word max)
  • Images (optional)
  • Principal investigator(s) with institutional affiliation(s) and contact information
  • Contact information for three references

Omit any identifying information from the title, descriptive text, budget, and the optional images (including file properties in optional images) before submitting for the blind review process.

Click Here To Apply

For more information, visit AIA Upjohn Research Initiative Grants.

Application Deadline: September 1, 2020

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