The AIA Upjohn Research Initiative supports applied research projects that enhance the value of design and professional practice knowledge.
This AIA program funds up to six research grants of $15,000–$30,000 annually for projects completed in a 6-to 18-month period. The funds must be fully matched with hard dollars, with a maximum of 10% allocated for overhead. Grant recipients’ research findings and outcomes are published by AIA both online and in a nationally-distributed publication.
You will be using this site to upload your grant proposal and your contact information.
Please login above and follow the instructions to complete your submission.
Your submission proposal should address:
- The value of design,
- Professional practice, or
- Novel materials and methods of construction.
Your proposed research should focus on architectural knowledge that can readily be
applied/transferred within the discipline.
Preferred 2016 Themes
- Building performance (e.g., measurement, metrics, design practices or other
research that addresses energy and/or water performance of a building)
- Climate change mitigation (e.g., resilient design strategies/approaches to
address climate change impacts, lowering carbon footprint of buildings and
- Human impact and wellness (e.g., materials or practices/processes that address
mitigating the impact of the built environment on human well-being, including
innovative approaches to measuring/monitoring human impacts, addressing
obesity through design, and ergonomic considerations)
- Technology and innovation (e.g., innovative materials, visualization/design
tools/practices, mobility of information to advance the profession)
- Project title
- Abstract (250 word max)
- Clients and knowledge communities served (250 word max)
- Summary of projected outcomes (250 word max)
- Images (optional)
- Principal investigator(s) with institutional affiliation(s) and contact information
- Contact information for three references
Omit any identifying information from the title, descriptive text, budget, and the optional images before submitting for the blind review process.
Criteria and Selection
Given their role in helping establish the program, the jury panel is comprised of seven professionals from the AIA Board Knowledge Committee and the AIA College of Fellows.
The jury evaluates each submission and selects the grant awardees based on:
- Relevance of research subject to the intent of the Upjohn program
- Preferred theme alignment
- Evidence of collaboration/partnership
- Innovation of subject matter
- Validity of research method
Submission deadline: September 1, 2016 by 11:59pm Pacific
Notifications to applicants: by November 1, 2016
Verification of matching funds and agreement: by December 1, 2016
Submission fee: None
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are applicants from outside the United States eligible to apply and receive funding?
A. International applications are eligible to submit; funds for grant recipients will be dispersed in U.S. dollars.
Q: May an applicant submit more than one proposal?
Q: May an applicant be involved in more than one submission?
Q: May an applicant have received funding from the Upjohn grants in previous cycles?
A. Yes. The following are encouraged: new projects, related but distinct previously funded projects (clearly document the distinction in the proposal description section labeled ‘other notes’), and unfunded projects from prior Upjohn grant applications. The AIA will determine whether a project previously funded through the Upjohn program is eligible. If applicable, please fill out the 'other notes' field in the proposal description section.
Q: What are the matching funds requirements?
A: When grant recipients are selected, recipients are required to submit verification/documentation of matching hard-dollar funds as part of the agreement process prior to disbursement of funds.
The grant agreement (to be signed by the grant recipient) will have space for noting the dollar amount of matching funds and the source(s).
It will include language about matching funds:
The Grantee represents and warrants that the Grantee has obtained a binding commitment from a third party (“Matching Funds Source”) to pay to Grantee the Matching Funds Amount by (“Matching Funds Pay Date”).
The Match Funds Amount cannot include waiving of/or paying of fringe benefits (i.e., overhead, cost recovery, department administrative support or any other accounting term/principal that implies other than a direct outlay of funds paid to the Grantee).
Q: Would in-kind instrumentation be considered a source of matching funds?
Q: Is there any further guidance on submittals?
These are general feedback points from a previous jury cycle. These may or may not apply to your submission.
- Avoid unnecessary jargon. It can distract from conveying the importance of the work.
- Be clear and substantive about the collaborative aspects of the project. Do not state partners (this is a blind review), but on how you would work together and the kind of stakeholders involved/benefiting.
- If taking place in/on a specific geographical area, be specific as to how it will be applicable to other locations in the U.S. and/or around the world.