Applying for an RCP Partnership

Collage of RCP members at work

The Resilient Communities Project (RCP) is currently accepting proposals for projects and partnerships for the 2023-2024 academic year (September 2023-August 2024). Cities, counties, tribal public entities, special districts, and regional government agencies or collaboratives located anywhere in the state of Minnesota are eligible for the program. *** Municipalities and counties in the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area may also be eligible for matching funds from the Metropolitan Council. ***

RCP seeks to partner with local government agencies on projects designed to advance community sustainability, equity, and resilience. Projects can address a broad range of local issues and needs and can involve any department or division in your agency. RCP especially encourages projects that address racial or other inequities and disparities in Minnesota. The selection process is competitive.

Agencies selected for an RCP partnership benefit from applied research and technical assistance, provided by graduate and professional students and faculty at the University of Minnesota from departments and disciplines relevant to your project needs. An RCP partnership can be a great way to

  • explore emerging opportunities or needs in your community
  • generate new ideas and perspectives on a challenging problem or issue
  • bring community voices and knowledge to the conversation
  • launch new initiatives or get "stuck" projects moving again

How to Apply

For complete information about how to apply to the program, download our 2023-2024 application packet

Who Is Eligible

  • Counties, cities, tribal public entities, special districts (e.g., watershed, transit, park, school), and regional government agencies or collaboratives anywhere in Minnesota are eligible to apply.
  • *** Municipalities and counties located in the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area and within the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Council are also eligible for matching funds from the Council for selected projects that build community resilience, advance equity, and implement elements of a locally adopted 2040 comprehensive plan. ***
  • Nonprofit, neighborhood, and community organizations are not eligible for RCP, but may seek assistance from CURA's Community Programs.

Program Cost

RCP partners must support the partnership through both dedicated staff time and a local financial contribution. For the 2023–2024 academic year, costs are as follows:

  • $6,000 per project for partnerships involving 1–4 projects (*** for projects that are selected for Metropolitan Council matching funds, the fee is $3,000 per project ***)
  • $5,000 per project for partnerships involving 5 or more projects
  • For large-scale partnerships involving 10 or more projects, please contact us for pricing

Deadline for Proposals

Proposals are accepted at any time. However, to ensure eligibility for assistance during the time periods indicated below, proposals must be received by the following dates:

  • April 30 for projects to begin fall academic term (September to December)
  • August 15 for projects to begin spring academic term (January to May)

RCP staff are available to help with development of your proposal at any stage—from introducing the RCP program and model to your staff, elected officials, and other stakeholders to helping brainstorm ideas for projects. Contact [email protected] to get started!

Download Application Packet

Benefits of an RCP Partnership

  • A high rate of return on investment, with hundreds of hours of concentrated student work on your projects
  • Data analysis, case studies, concept plans, and policy recommendations that can energize staff, spark community and staff discussions, and get “stuck” projects moving again
  • Expanded breadth of conversations around projects, issues, and solutions—students can explore and innovate in directions unavailable to staff or consultants due to constrained project budgets or political resistance
  • Access to an interdisciplinary group of faculty and students with knowledge of innovative and cutting-edge research and practice on sustainability, equity, and resilience
  • New opportunities for community residents and stakeholders to become involved in locally driven conversations
  • A network of students and faculty serving as informal ambassadors for your agency and community—sharing their experiences through conference presentations, community meetings, job interviews, and informal conversations
  • Opportunities to foster next-generation local government professionals by mentoring and collaborating with highly motivated and engaged students 

Application Resources

  • Want to learn more about how RCP works? Schedule an informational presentation. RCP staff are available to explain the program to your agency's staff or elected officials.

  • Have a question about RCP, or want to discuss a project idea? Contact us to schedule a one-on-one meeting via Zoom or in person.

  • Not sure how to choose appropriate projects? View our suggestions for identifying projects.

  • Need assistance developing your proposal? Schedule an RCP Proposal Development Workshop. The workshop is a good fit for agencies that would like focused, one-on-one assistance developing a proposal for RCP.

Contact Mike Greco, RCP Director, at [email protected] to learn more or discuss how we can customize our program to meet your needs!