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21st Century Cities Initiative Award for Doctoral Research on Urban Issues

The 21st Century Cities Initiative (21CC) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) will provide four or more JHU graduate students working toward a Ph.D. with a 21CC Doctoral Research Award for innovative dissertation research focusing on policy-relevant urban research that closely aligns with 21CC’s interest areas.

21CC seeks to promote and engage the development and work of promising doctoral research that focuses on issues of urban economic development, poverty, health, real estate, environmental sustainability, education, transportation, infrastructure, and public policy. Each awardee will be expected to participate in a set of 21CC events that includes attending some research seminars, mentoring undergraduates, and working with the Faculty Director on outreach activity tied to the Ph.D. research.

Please visit this page to learn more about our 2020 doctoral awards and this page to learn more about our 2019 doctoral awards.

Award Amounts

Awards will be up to $5,000.

Application Deadline

Applications must be emailed to MacMcComas@jhu.edu by May 28, 2021 at 5pm EST

Award Announcement

June 18, 2021

Use of Award Funds

Award funds must be used for direct dissertation research costs only (e.g. travel, printing materials, transcription of interviews, purchasing of data or software). Funds cannot be used for retrospective payments, i.e. costs incurred prior to the signed award agreement. Any technology (e.g. laptop, printer) purchased with grant funds will remain the property of Johns Hopkins upon conclusion of the dissertation research/award period. If you have any questions about allowable costs, please contact Mac McComas, MacMccomas@jhu.edu, 410-516-4913.

Eligibility Requirements

-Limited to Johns Hopkins University students.

-Students must have completed all written and oral pre-dissertation PhD requirements or must anticipate doing so by June 30, 2021.

-Students must have a fully developed and approved dissertation proposal that addresses 21CC interest areas as outlined above.

-Students must be currently enrolled in accredited programs and be conducting research that will continue for at least one year after the award date.

Application Requirements

Applications must include the following:

-A research abstract no longer than 250 words.

-A detailed research project description, no longer than 5 pages single-spaced, 1-inch margins, 11 point font. The description must include the aims of the research, state of knowledge, overview and design, and policy significance.

-Proposed use of funds.

-Curriculum vitae and transcript (unofficial is permitted).

-A letter of recommendation/support from supervising faculty.

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed and awarded based on the relevancy to urban issues and policies, rigor and methods of the research, impact and importance of the potential findings, and likelihood that the dissertation will lead to future work.

Awardee Expectations

-Provide a summary of the research to be posted on the 21CC website

-Participate in 21CC events when possible.

-Hold one event promoting the research findings.


Mac McComas




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