The Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) invites proposals for our Faculty Interactive Research Program (FIRP).University of Minnesota faculty are critical resources in exploring issues and concerns important to Minnesota, such as the criminal justice system, demography, state or local economic development, education, employment, energy, the environment, health, housing, state and local government, welfare and poverty, human and social services, transportation, or land use and development.

The FIRP encourages University faculty to carry out research projects that answer questions about these important regional issues, in partnership with community groups, agencies, or organizations in Minnesota. 

Regular faculty members are invited to apply. Funding is limited to up to $45,000 per application. Grants will be awarded on a one-year basis, starting July 1, 2023. Faculty members who are selected will be expected as part of their project to: (a) interact or engage with appropriate community organizations or agencies, (b) prepare a report for the organization or agency where appropriate, and (c) prepare a 3500-word manuscript for publication in the online edition of the CURA Reporter, our report of faculty research. Grantees are required to acknowledge support from the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs in all written materials and presentations that result from work funded by this grant.

Eligibility: Applications are invited from all University faculty members (professor, associate professor, assistant professor) conducting independent research and who hold (or will hold during the relevant academic year) full time (100 percent) tenured or tenure-track appointments (employee class FAR). The program is designed particularly for faculty who hold nine-month appointments (appointment term not equal to “A”), although we have supported projects of regular faculty on twelve-month appointments. In special cases we can support joint projects. New faculty must begin their appointment by the start date of the grant. Adjunct or contract faculty are not eligible for this program. 

Application Procedure: Applicants are asked to submit the following materials:

  1. Cover Sheet (download Word Doc). The cover sheet should include a short (150 words maximum) abstract that clearly and succinctly describes the nature of the problem or issue the project will address, the mission of the community partner(s) (if identified), the research strategy you will employ, and the expected outcome(s) of the project. Please be aware that this abstract may be used in CURA publications, press releases, or promotional materials to describe your project.
  2. A letter that explains in more detail the nature of the project to be supported. The letter should include a discussion of the problem or issue the project will address; a description of the research methods to be used; an indication of the applicant’s background in and familiarity with the topic; an indication of consultation with the agencies, groups, or organizations that will be involved with the project; and a consideration of the potential public policy implications of the research. These letters are generally 3 to 5 pages in length.
  3. A current curriculum vitae.
  4. Budget and justification. A detailed budget with budget justification on a separate page must be included. Please address how the grant funds will be used to accomplish the proposed research goals. The proposal may request funds for personnel, (e.g. faculty time, graduate or undergraduate students, research associates), travel, project related supplies and services, as long as the item and amount are considered necessary for the project. The amount for each budget line item should be justified in the budget justification. Indirect cost rates (ICR) do not apply given that this is an internal grant. 

Application materials should be e-mailed to NOTE: Applications sent to any other address may not be considered. 

Deadline: Applications must be received in the CURA office by 4:30 p.m. on March 3, 2023. Grant recipients will be notified in April.

Grant Policies: For information on grant policies on extensions and budget changes, please review the FIRP grant policies.

Please e-mail (with subject line: “FIRP grant”) if you have questions.