Call for Research Projects 2017
A call is open for research projects matching the Turku Urban Research Programme 2014-2017 and supporting the City of Turku’s key projects (especially themes 1 and 4). The research funding is provided by the City of Turku, the West-Finland Housing Association of Public Utility, the University of Turku, and Åbo Akademi University. The call applies to research groups, led by and including researchers affiliated with the University of Turku (UTU) and Åbo Akademi University (ÅA). The consortiums can involve also researchers from other universities and research institutes.
The call is for research proposals involving one or several of the following topics:
1. Models for strategic urban development
Strategic urban development stands for setting visionary objectives, identifying essential questions, and making choices, setting priorities and focusing consequently. Aiming to govern development with multiple actors involved, in the context of potentially even rapid changes. What kind of good models for strategic urban development can be identified in Northern Europe and what could be learned and transferred from them to governing Turku’s development?
2. Housing development - with moderate pricing
How to develop housing, taking into account changed aspirations and preferences, such as increased demand for family housing in inner city, but also reasonable pricing? The question is topical in Turku, a city with economic upheaval and expanding labour market.
3. Preventing cross-generational social exclusion
Parents’ primary school dropout, unemployment and long-term subsistence benefit receiving all predict, statistically significantly, their children’s vulnerability to equivalent social exclusion in their adulthood. What kind of services, support, guiding, interventions or supporting social networks, when and executed by whom, can be used to prevent cross-generational social exclusion in families with children?
4. User perspective to Smart City
Obtaining benefits of digitalisation requires service users’ (consumers, customers, citizens) involvement in and support for change. How has the user perspective been taken into account in recent or on-going experiments implementing smart city ideas (planning, executing, supporting less skilled users, follow-up) and what can be learned from them?
The research funding will be provided up to a maximum of €500,000. The expectation is to fund four projects, valued €125.000 each.
The Turku Urban Research Programme’s funding rules are as follows: The workload of the project director (and potential directors of sub-projects in a consortium), usually a professor, is considered as the university’s self-funding, which is not covered. However, a working hours calculation (e.g. a Sole report) is not required. The employment costs of researchers hired for the project are fully covered, calculated with real employer’s costs (e.g. not with multipliers of “the full cost model”). A fixed 18% overhead is accepted in the funded part of the project. The funder accepts the use of funding as salaries and grants, as well as data and travel costs. The research projects are required to begin during 2018, and to finish by the end of 2019. The City of Turku will nominate a steering group for each project.
The Turku Urban Research Programme provides funding for academically relevant research, which is expected to deliver also policy advice. The evaluation of applications (a research plan) will focus on the scientific merit, feasibility, applicability, topicality, and originality of the contributions. The desired applicability is insights into options for influencing urban development or improving governance – with future orientation, but acknowledging the importance of understanding historical perspectives, too. The funded empirical research does not have concern Turku, if the applicability of the results for developing Turku is otherwise justified.
The call is arranged in two stages. The City of Turku will inform applicants selected for the second round how their research plans should be developed. The final plans are not expected to be much longer than the initial versions.