The emergence of new digital marketplaces has revolutionized commerce, transportation, and information dissemination. Digital platforms have made it easier to start a business, find a job, market a new product, or connect your business to customers. In addition to creating new avenues for economic opportunity and growth, these platforms have also created a new set of economic challenges. These include the potential to exacerbate existing inequalities in access to opportunity, particularly for those who lack digital skills.
Part of Facebook’s mission is to empower individuals to build community and to ensure that these communities create opportunity for everyone. Facebook has invested in training, technology, tools, support, and research to help people and small businesses around the world. These include investments in our training programs Facebook Community Boost, Boost Your Business, and our online learning hub Blueprint. We’d like to understand how these programs could be more effective and reach more people, as well as enable more research into who is being left behind in the digital economy and how to help them.
The goal of this RFP is to enable research into how (and whether) the digital economy and online platforms create opportunity and encourage social mobility, as well as identify and address inequalities in opportunity in the United States. Another area of focus is how tools and programs could help disadvantaged groups (including those who lack digital skills) transition into careers that require more digital skills or create and grow their businesses. Examples include digital skills training, tools for small businesses, job finding platforms, information for low-wage workers, and others.
University of Nebraska Omaha
University of Washington
University of Antwerp
Carnegie Mellon University
California State University, Chico
University of Pennsylvania
Applications Are Currently CLosed
*Note: Technical reviews took longer than expected, so we have not yet notified submitters of their proposal status. We will send email notifications to all applicants as soon as we can.
While Facebook cares deeply about supporting economic development around the world, the scope of this particular RFP is to focus primarily on impacts in the United States. Research proposals do not need to be about Facebook programs or apps but research findings should be broadly applicable for practitioners in this area.
Topics of interest for this RFP include, but are not limited to:
Successful proposals will demonstrate innovative and compelling research that has the potential to advance science and understanding in the research topic areas and provide value to policymakers, practitioners, and organizations working in these areas.
Applications should include:
Award recipients will be invited to a workshop in Menlo Park, California to discuss their findings/insights with Facebook researchers in 2020. Please budget travel for 1-2 PIs to attend as a part of the proposed project budget.
We encourage the winners to openly publish any findings/insights from their work. Successful awardees will be also listed on the Facebook Research website.
For additional questions related to this RFP, please email email@example.com.
Most of the RFP awards are an unrestricted gift. Because of its nature, salary/headcount could be included as part of the budget presented for the RFP. Since the award/gift is paid to the university, they will be able to allocate the funds to that winning project and have the freedom to use as they need. All Facebook teams are different and have different expectations concerning deliverables, timing, etc. Long story short – yes, money for salary/headcount can be included. It’s up to the reviewing team to determine if the percentage spend is reasonable and how that relates to the decision if the project is a winner or not.
We are flexible, but ideally proposals submitted are single-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 pt font.
Research awards are given year-round and funding years/duration can vary by proposal.
Yes, award funds can be used to cover a researcher’s salary.
Budgets can vary by institution and geography, but overall research funds ideally cover the following: graduate or post-graduate students’ employment/tuition; other research costs (e.g., equipment, laptops, incidental costs); travel associated with the research (conferences, workshops, summits, etc.); overhead for research gifts is limited to 5%
One person will need to be the primary PI (i.e., the submitter that will receive all email notifications); however, you’ll be given the opportunity to list collaborators/co-PIs in the submission form. Please note in your budget breakdown how the funds should be dispersed amongst PIs.