Community Research Grants

The Community Research Grant Program, formerly known as the Georgia Smart Communities Challenge, is a competitive program that supports teams of university researchers and local governments of any size across Georgia and expanding new partnerships across the southeast U.S. as well—by providing funding, up to $150,000 per project, program management, access to the Partnership’s Summer Internship Program and a network of peers. Alumni cities and counties have successfully implemented their projects and garnered additional funding and technical assistance to continue their project beyond the program period, continuing to serve their residents and meet their community’s goals. They have also garnered national recognition for their projects and served as a model for other communities in addressing similar problems. Projects are focused on addressing a community problem with applied research involving smart technology and/or civic innovation.

Key Dates

What is a Community Research Team?

The Community Research program activates collaborations between local governments and higher education faculty to advance civic innovation and smart cities initiatives across Georgia and the Southeastern United States.

A community-research team includes, at a minimum, one (1) Project Lead from a city or county and two (2) researchers from a higher education institution. Research teams should be multi-disciplinary and/or multi-university. Project teams can also include multiple communities where the research can be applied and compared. For example, a very dynamic project team could include a rural Georgia community, a similar rural town in Alabama, researchers from large research universities in GA and AL and researchers from a smaller collage located in or near each community.

What Does a Successful Community Research Project Look Like?

2024 Program Theme

This year’s theme is artificial intelligence. While strict alignment with the program theme is not obligatory for selection in this year’s cohort, a proposal that integrates artificial intelligence into a project with substantial community impact is more likely to be selected.

Georgia Foundation for Public Education Add-on Grants

For the second year, The Georgia Foundation for Public Education (GFPE) has generously offered to give  $10,000 add-on grants for projects who are selected for the program and have a K-12 school system partner involved in a meaningful way.

Contact Us

E-mail our Community Research Manager, Katie O’Connor, with general questions. If you would like to meet with Katie, please use this this link to schedule a meeting.

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