Research Support

Research Opportunities

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) has released a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), announcing the creation of a new program called Build & Broaden (B2) and calling for the submission of conference proposals to further examine the goals of the program.  Bis one of a few highly anticipated new programs at SBE proposed by Assistant Director Dr. Arthur “Skip” Lupia.  The programfundamentally seeks innovative solutions to address the low numbers of competitive research proposals from Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs)[1] at SBE relative to other institutions.  The DCL is specifically looking to build research capacity at MSIs by improving meaningful partnerships among MSIs and/or between MSIs and “R1” research institutions.

Proposals may address any SBE field and collaborations must include at least one MSI.  SBE intends to support up to 10 conferences and proposers are strongly encouraged to host the conference on a campus of a partnering MSI.  As noted in the DCL, in addition to being a priority for SBE, enhancing diversity and inclusion in research proposals is a major goal for NSF as a whole and was a identified as a core value in the agency’s 2018-2022 strategic plan.  Applicants that can successfully demonstrate meaningful research partnerships with/among MSIs that bolster the strength of MSI research capacities could be more competitive for future awards at SBE as Bexpands and in other programs throughout NSF.  Responses to the DCL are due May 1, 2020.  The Dear Colleague Letter can be found at


Society of Architectural Historians -SAH Membership Grant for Emerging Professionals

SAH Membership Grants provide emerging scholars with a one-year digital SAH Individual membership to bridge the gap between the Society's subsidized student memberships and the full-cost SAH memberships. These grants are intended to open membership in SAH to emerging scholars who are engaged in the study of architectural history and its related disciplines.

Anticipated Deadline: Aug 31, 2020


Alexander von Humboldt Foundation - Sofja Kovalevskaja Award

The Sofja Kovalevskaja Award allows successful, top rank faculty to spend five years building up a working group and working on a high-profile, innovative research project of their own choice at a research institution of your own choice in Germany.  The award is valued at up to €1.65 million ($1.9 million). 

Deadline: July 31, 2020


Library of Congress - John W. Kluge Center Fellowships

The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress invites qualified scholars to conduct research at the Kluge Center using the Library of Congress collections and resources for a period of four to eleven months. The Kluge Center especially encourages humanistic and social science research that makes use of the Library's large and varied collections. Interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, or multi-lingual research is particularly welcome. Among the collections available to researchers are the world's largest law library and outstanding multi-lingual collections of books and periodicals. Fellowships are tenable for periods from four to eleven months at a stipend of $4,200 per month.

Deadline: July 15, 2020


Urban Communication Foundation - Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Book Award

The annual Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Book Award recognizes an outstanding book, published in English, which exhibits excellence in addressing issues of urban communication.

Deadline: July 15, 2020


Arnold Hirsch Award for Best Article in Urban History published in a scholarly journal in 2018

This award is for the best article on urban history published in a scholarly journal with a publication date of 2018 (either in print or online as part of a journal’s early online version). Criteria for selection for all awards: significance, originality, quality of research, sophistication of methodology, clarity of presentation, cogency of arguments, and contribution to the field of urban history.

Deadline: May 1, 2020


Society for Cinema and Media Studies - Anne Friedberg Innovative Scholarship Award

This award recognizes innovative work that expands the discipline of film and media studies, emphasizing its relationship to other visual fields, including architecture, art history, and digital media.

Anticipated Deadline: July 30, 2020


Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) - Alice Davis Hitchcock Book Award

Established in 1949, the Alice Davis Hitchcock Book Award aims to annually recognize the most, “distinguished work of scholarship in the history of architecture published by a North American scholar.”

Anticipated Deadline: June 1, 2020


Herbert Feis Award, American Historical Association

This prize is offered annually to recognize distinguished contributions to public history, broadly defined. Contributions could, for example, include work as the administrator of a public history group or agency (such as a historical society, a historic site, or a community history project) or as the creator or producer of a public history product or products (such as a museum exhibit, radio script, web site, oral history collection, or film). Often, the contribution will be the result of years of effort in the field, but the prize might also recognize a singular contribution of major importance such as a pathbreaking museum exhibit.  Individuals and collaborative groups are eligible to apply.

Deadline: May 15, 2020


James Harvey Robinson Prize, American Historical Association

The James Harvey Robinson Prize is awarded biennially for the teaching aid which has made the most outstanding contribution to the teaching and learning of history in any field for public or educational purposes. The work should be a "teaching aid," which encompasses textbooks, source and reference materials, audiovisuals, computer-assisted instruction, and public history or museum materials.  The work should have the potential to influence history education.

Deadline: May 15, 2020


John H. Dunning Prize, American Historical Association

The John H. Dunning Prize is awarded for an outstanding monograph on any subject relating to United States history. This biennial prize must be the author’s first or second book.

Deadline: May 15, 2020


American Association of State Colleges and Universities

Excellence & Innovation Awards

AASCU has a variety of awards:  Regional & Economic Development Award, The International Education Award, The Leadership Development & Diversity Award, The Christa McCauliffe Excellence in Teacher Education Award, Sustainability & Sustainable Development Award, Civic Learning & Community Engagement Award.

Applications Open in Early March with announcements in June 2020


Shafik Gabr Foundation

East-West: The Art of Dialogue -- Gabr Fellowship

The Foundation sponsors and fosters exchanges between emerging leaders from Egypt and the other countries in arts, science, law, media and entrepreneurship – both business and social. Program participants spend two weeks in Egypt, followed by a further two weeks in the U.S., building enduring connections through hands-on activities, rigorous discussions, web-based interaction and most importantly, their own collaborative ‘action projects’.  There is not a stipend; however, all lodging, travel, and meals are covered by the Foundation.

Deadline: May 31, 2020


Lewis-Burke Associates Report: 

NSF Releases Dear Colleague Letter for Exploring the NSF 2026 Idea Machine

On February 4, 2020, the NaVonal Science FoundaVon (NSF) announced the winners of the NSF 2026 Idea Machine competition, which aims to help NSF set the agenda for fundamental research in science and engineering priorities going forward. NSF then issued a Dear Colleague Le3er (DCL) seeking conference and EAGER proposals to “engage interested stakeholders to enrich the research themes identified through the NSF 2026 Idea Machine and develop associated research agendas.”

The NSF Idea Machine competition was released in the summer of 2018 and invited individuals to identify research and education grand challenges that have potential for significant impact. NSF received around 800 entries from a wide range of individuals. Through a novel review process, NSF identified seven winning topics that are listed below:

* Emergence: Complexity from Bo3om Engineered Living Materials

* From Thinking to Inventing

* Public Carbon Capture and Sequestration Reinventing Scientific Talent

* Theory of Conscious Experience

* Unlocking the Future of Infrastructure

Through the new DCL, NSF invites the research community to build on the Idea Machine concepts to form “actionable research agendas that include sets of specific research questions.” The DCL is open to proposals under the seven-winning topic areas, plus other topics included in the 33 top-ranked submissions. NSF invites conference proposals and EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) Proposal to further develop all 33 themes.

Due Date: Conference proposals are due by March 15, 2020. EAGER concept outlines are due March 1, 2020 and full EAGER proposals are due April 30, 2020.

Eligibility: According to the DCL, “Opportunites for participation by undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, K-12 students, industry representatives, and others are encouraged. NSF welcomes proposals that include efforts to broaden participation of underrepresented groups (women, minorities, and persons with disabilities) in the development of the research agendas. ReflecVng the Idea Machine concept, NSF seeks proposals on topics that cross disciplinary boundaries.”

Sources and Additional Information:

* The press released for the NSF 2026 Idea Machine is available at h3ps://

* The DCL for the NSF Idea Machine is available at h3ps://

* Information on the 33 top-ranked submissions is available at h3ps://


DARPA BTO Releases BAA for Atmospheric Water Extraction (AWE) Program
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Biological Technologies Office (BTO) released a broad agency announcement (BAA) for the Atmopsheric Water Extraction (AWE) program.  AWE seeks technologies to develop low-powered portable systems that can provide potable water in any environment.  Under this program, DARPA ultimately seeks to not only provide the military with a tactical advantage in remote areas by eliminating the need for a water supply chain but also to reduce the likelihood and severity of interstate water conflicts.  Full proposals are due through March 12, 2020 at 4:00 PM ET.  The full solicitation can be found on www.grants.govunder solicitation number “HR001120S0014.” 


Department of Energy Plans to Release Vehicle Technologies Research and Development Solicitation
On December 11, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced its plans to release its annual vehicle technologies research and development funding opportunity announcement in February 2020.  In FY 2019, DOE awarded $59 million to 43 projects.  Based on projected FY 2020 Congressional appropriations for renewable energy research, a similar amount of funding is expected to be available in FY 2020.  The “Fiscal Year 2020 Advanced Vehicle Technologies Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)” is managed by DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.  VTO’s research and development portfolio includes advanced batteries, electric drive systems, smart charging technologies, energy efficient mobility technologies and systems, advanced combustion engines and fuels, materials for vehicle light-weighting, technology integration, and transportation and energy analysis.
The Notice of Intent provides more detailed information on each research topic and is linked below.  Cost sharing of between 20 and 50 percent, depending on research topic is typically required.  However, research universities and nonprofit organizations are exempt from cost share requirements in FY 2020.  Cost-sharing is still recommended, especially when collaborating with industry partners on specific projects, and improves chances of success, but not required for DOE to consider an application.  In FY 2019, funding awards ranged from $600,000 to $7.5 million to support projects from two to five years. 
For faculty interested but unfamiliar with DOE’s VTO and its research and development portfolio, volunteering to participate in VTO’s 2020 annual merit review on June 1-4, 2020 (usually held in the Washington, DC area) is a unique opportunity to learn in detail about VTO’s current projects, meet with DOE program managers and potential industry partners, and have DOE review future applications more favorably.  In general, faculty that have served on peer reviews have had a higher level of success on future proposals.  Interested faculty can contact a VTO program manager directly about interest in serving as a peer reviewer.
Sources and Additional Information:


DOE Plans to Release Solar Energy Funding Call
DOE released future research topics in solar energy for its fiscal year (FY) 2020 funding opportunity announcement (FOA) it plans to release in January 2020.  DOE plans to fund research and development in the “Solar Energy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2020 Funding Program” in the following areas:

  • photovoltaics hardware research;
  • integrated thermal energy storage and Brayton Cycle equipment demonstration;
  • solar energy evolution and diffusion studies;
  • innovation in manufacturing for the solar manufacturing sector and supply chain;
  • systems integration issues, such as maintaining power during and restoring power after man-made or natural disasters;
  • solar and agriculture, in particular, research and analysis that enable farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural enterprises that have land underneath solar panels or in adjacent zones to gain value from solar technologies while maintaining availability of land for agricultural purposes,
  • artificial Intelligence applications in solar energy with emphasis on machine learning, and
  • small innovative project in solar for photovoltaics and concentrated solar power.

In FY 2019, DOE issued a $128 million funding call in solar energy and made 75 project awards averaging $3 million for three years and $200,000 for the small innovative projects.  In FY 2020, DOE is expected to issue a similar funding call with final FY 2020 congressional appropriations growing the solar energy R&D program by 14 percent for a total of $280 million. 

Conference Opportunities and Workshops

Dubai 2020: Rapid Cities - Responsive Architecture

A conference coinciding with EXPO 2020: design, planning & construction in the modern world. 

Place: American University in Dubai
Dates: 22-24 November 2020
Abstracts: 30th June 2020 (Round One)



In historic Canterbury, the University of Kent hosts a conference on built heritage, future architecture and the digital turn.

Conference Dates: 29-30 June 2020  

Conference Location: Canterbury, UK. University of Kent

Abstracts: 10th Feb 2020 (Round One)


* The City and Complexity - Life, Design and Commerce in the Built Environment - Virtual Options Added 

In London, City University hosts a conference on urban design, architecture and infrastructure in the context of the city as a social and economic entity. 

Conference Dates: 17-19 June 2020 

Conference Location: London, University of London

Abstracts: 1st Dec 2019 (Round One) 


Terra 2021 - 13th World Congress on Earthen Architectural Heritage: Looking Back, Moving Forward - Advances in Conservation, to be held in Santa Fe, New Mexico June 8-11, 2021. This world congress is being co-organized by the NPS Vanishing Treasures Program, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design, under the aegis of ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on the Conservation of Earthen Architectural Heritage.

Conference Dates: 8-11, June 2021

Conference Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico

Abstracts: 1st March 2020

University Research Initiative Sub-Pillar - Built Environment Research


Drachman Institute News

The Drachman Institute Director will update this information. It will contain updates with information regarding the Drachman Institute.