Call for Submissions – 2015 AIA Upjohn Research Initiative


Supporting applied research projects that enhance the value of design and professional practice knowledge

Richard Upjohn (1802 – 1878) Founding member and first AIA president
Richard Upjohn (1802 – 1878)
Founding member and first AIA president

The Upjohn program funds up to six research grants of $15,000-$30,000 per recipient 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. To transfer the knowledge gained through the Upjohn grants, recipient project findings and outcomes will be published by the AIA electronically and in a nationally-distributed publication.

Deadlines and Submission Fees

The submission deadline for 2015 AIA Upjohn Research Initiative grants is September 1, 2015 before 11:59PM Eastern. Late submissions will not be considered. There is no submission fee required.

Decisions will be made by November 1, 2015.

NOTE: This is a blind submission process. Please do not include any identifying information in the Project File.

Research Themes

Proposals should address the value of design, practice issues, or novel materials and methods of construction. The research should relate to architectural knowledge that can readily be applied/transferred within the discipline.

Preferred themes for 2015 grants (in alphabetical order):

Building Performance: Specifically, measurement, metrics, design practices or other research that addresses energy and/or water performance of a building
Climate Change Mitigation: Examples include, but are not limited to, resilient design strategies/approaches to address climate change impacts, lowering carbon footprint of buildings and materials
Human Impact and Wellness: 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: Examples include, but are not limited to, innovative materials, visualization/design tools/practices, mobility of information, that advance the profession

Submission Guidelines and Format

Please submit the following two (2) files electronically to as a PDF or MS Word file of 8.5×11 inch paper size. A cover letter is not required.

  1. PROJECT FILE: Maximum of 3 pages, including
    • Project title
    • Abstract: 250 word maximum
    • Budget
    • Clients and knowledge communities served
    • Summary of projected outcomes (250 word maximum)
    • Name of file: First two words of project title
    • Principal investigator(s) with institutional affiliation(s) and contact information
    • Names and contact information for three (3) references
    • Any other pertinent information about the research
    • Name of file: First two words of project title, PLUS the letters “ID”

Images: Optional; Please reduce file size for submission

Selection Process and Evaluation Criteria

A panel of seven professionals from the AIA Board Knowledge Committee and the AIA College of Fellows—which includes representatives of both the academic community and the profession—will evaluate each submission and select the grant awardees.

Preference will be given to proposals with the following: team comprised of both academics and practitioners; topic aligned with listed research themes; record of past team collaborations; and budget with less than 10% allocated for overhead.


AIA Board Knowledge Committee and the AIA College of Fellows
AIA Board Knowledge Committee and the AIA College of Fellows