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$180,000 available in faculty grants to research ways to prevent, alleviate poverty

University of Michigan faculty and community partners reflect on feedback on their presentations at the Detroit URC grantees meeting on July 10, 2019. (Lauren Slagter | Poverty Solutions)

ANN ARBOR – Going into the 2019-20 academic year, the University of Michigan’s Poverty Solutions initiative announces its fourth round of faculty grants to support research on ways to prevent and alleviate poverty. 

Research supported by Poverty Solutions has led to the development of new ways to measure transportation instability, provided insight on how the Earned Income Tax Credit affects housing stability, and offered recommendations for preserving affordable housing and preventing the foreclosure of owner-occupied homes in Detroit

For the first time, this year Poverty Solutions will award grants to U-M faculty through a rolling application process that offers more flexibility than the previous deadline system. 

Up to five awards of up to $20,000 each are available.

“This shift to a rolling review process allows faculty to explore opportunities as they present themselves throughout the year,” said H. Luke Shaefer, faculty director of Poverty Solutions. “Whether it be a potentially fruitful community partnership or policy challenge through an action-based research endeavor, we look forward to supporting programs that aim to make a real difference in the lives of struggling families.”

In addition to its faculty grant awards, Poverty Solutions also partners with U-M’s Detroit Urban Research Center to award annual community-academic grants to groups of U-M faculty and community partners that aim to evaluate and strengthen programs and policies that prevent and alleviate poverty. 

“This funding mechanism has provided an outstanding opportunity for university faculty to partner with community organizations to have a positive impact on poverty in the state,” said Barbara Israel, Detroit URC director. “Recipients of these grants have repeatedly commented on the value of the grantees meetings in enhancing effective community-academic research partnerships and sharing insights and lessons learned among the participants.”

Up to four awards of $20,000 to $25,000 each—for a total of up to $80,000—are available through the community-academic grant program. The deadline to apply is noon Nov. 7. 

More information on the faculty grants program and community-academic partnership program is available below. 

Poverty Solutions faculty grants

Poverty Solutions invites faculty at the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor, Flint, and Dearborn campuses to pursue research projects focused on informing strategies that seek to prevent and alleviate poverty.

Up to five awards of up to $20,000 each will be given for self-contained research projects or as seed funding that may be leveraged to pursue larger external awards.

Projects are to be completed within one year of the funds being awarded.

This request for proposals seeks to support faculty research that can inform existing policies, practices, or interventions meant to reduce poverty or research that lays out proposals for future policy directions. Junior faculty are encouraged to apply. Projects using either qualitative or quantitative data sources are eligible for funding. 

Examples of possible projects for funding include (but are not limited to):

  • Secondary quantitative data analysis that informs or examines poverty policy;
  • Simulations of the effects of proposed policy alternatives;
  • A small-scale evaluation of a pilot or existing intervention that seeks to prevent or alleviate poverty;
  • A project that explores how recipients experience anti-poverty programs at the local, state or federal level; and
  • Projects that examine how contextual factors can shape the utilization of existing or proposed interventions, programs, or policies that seek to prevent and alleviate poverty.

For more information, contact Poverty Solutions director of communications and public engagement Kristen Kerecman (

See the complete request for proposals here.

Poverty Solutions-Detroit URC community-academic partnerships

The “Research Strategies to Prevent and Alleviate Poverty” grant will support collaborative research focused on evaluating and strengthening interventions, programs, and policies in the State of Michigan that seek to prevent and alleviate poverty. 

Successful research projects must equitably involve community and academic partners in all aspects of the research process.

A total of $80,000 is available (up to four awards of $20,000 to $25,000 each), and projects are to be completed within one year (Jan. 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2020). 

In addition to funding, three grantees meetings over the funding period will provide opportunities for grantees to gain an increased understanding of the core components of collaborative research, engage in structured project development activities related to their efforts, and build relationships among their cohort. 

For more information, visit or email Detroit URC Manager Carol Gray at

See the complete request for proposals here. 

See past grant recipients