The Civic Innovation Challenge, or CIVIC, is a research and action competition for funding, organized by the National Science Foundation (NSF), to “build a more cohesive research-to-innovation pipeline and foster a collaborative spirit” between researchers and the communities they serve. CIVIC seeks to encourage grant applications that engage communities in identifying civic priorities and then address those priorities. In a new update, NSF indicates that research on COVID-19 and its effects is a good fit for the aims of CIVIC.
Currently, there are two tracks for CIVIC research: one focused on researching and developing resilience and preparedness for natural disasters, and the other focused on researching solutions to mobility and housing disparities within communities. NSF’s update designates pandemic research as an appropriate research field for participation in the CIVIC through the resilience track and possibly, with consideration, through the mobility track .
NSF’s new guidance says that it will be broadening its support of CIVIC through the involvement of additional NSF directorates, including the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) Directorate. The solicitation notes that behavioral scientists may want to “leverage the challenges introduced by COVID-19 to pursue associated community-level changes, either in resilience to pandemics or mobility in the face of pandemics.” The broadening of the CIVIC program to prioritize additional research on the pandemic can provide valuable opportunities for psychological scientists and others.
Applications for the CIVIC program are due August 3, 2020.