2019–2020 Call for Proposals
The University of Minnesota’s Resilient Communities Project (RCP) is now accepting proposals from cities, counties, tribal governments, special districts, and regional government agencies or partnerships in Minnesota to be an RCP partner for the 2019–2020 academic year. Successful applicants will benefit from approximately 20,000 to 50,000 hours of work by University of Minnesota students and faculty, from a variety of disciplines, to provide research and technical assistance with projects that advance community resiliency. The partner must support the effort through dedicated staff time and a local financial contribution. The selection process is competitive. The deadline for applications is Friday, February 15, 2019. The selected partner(s) will be announced in March 2019. Prior partners have included Minnetonka, North St. Paul, Rosemount, Carver County, Brooklyn Park, Ramsey, Scott County, and Ramsey County.
About RCP Partnerships
RCP facilitates 15- to 18-month partnerships between the U of MN and communities in Minnesota. Through the program, students and faculty from across the University collaborate with local government partners to address the partner’s self-defined research and technical assistance needs through course-based projects. The collaboration results in on-the-ground impact and momentum for a community working toward a more livable, resilient, and sustainable future.
RCP provides the partner community with efficient access to the broad base of sustainability and resiliency expertise at the University of Minnesota by matching community-identified projects with graduate and upper-level undergraduate courses that can address their needs. Participating students and faculty represent a wide range of disciplines, from architecture, planning, and engineering to business, environmental sciences, and the humanities. Most projects combine multiple disciplines to address problems from diverse perspectives.
RCP has the capacity to address 10–25 local projects during the partnership, matching each project with one or more courses or individual students to complete the necessary work. Project work will be completed primarily by graduate students, with oversight by faculty members and RCP staff. Student work will be performed during the fall, spring, and summer terms (September 2019 to August 2020).
Assistance is available related to all aspects of community resiliency and sustainability (e.g., environmental health, economic opportunity, social equity, and community livability), at all project stages (analysis, planning, design, implementation, and evaluation), and across all departments in the organization (administration, human resources, corrections, police and fire, planning, environmental management, public works, engineering, communications, parks and recreation, finance, and more).
How to Apply
Application Information for the 2019–2020 academic year is now available. Cities, counties, tribal governments, special districts, and regional government agencies or partnerships in Minnesota are eligible to apply. As part of their proposal, applicants are required to identify and describe specific projects, the staff who will lead them, and the participation of external community partners for the 15- to 18-month partnership with RCP.
Applications are due Friday, February 15, 2019, by 11:59 pm. The selected partner community will be announced in March 2019 and partnership preparation begins in April 2019.
If you have questions about RCP or the application process, or would like to arrange an informational presentation to your organization's staff or elected officials, contact Mike Greco, RCP Director, firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-625-7501.
Example Applications (note that these applications were submitted in response to an RFP that included different requirements and guidelines, so be sure to follow the guidelines and requirements in the 2019-2020 RFP)
- References from Past Partnerships (these individuals have agreed to be contacted about their experience partnering with RCP)
What Past Partners Have to Say about RCP
“This entire RCP process. . .is such a well-oiled machine. It’s a true testament to [RCP’s] vision for connecting education with the real world. Introducing fresh ideas into our innovation efforts has ignited a spark for me and the Innovation Leadership Team. We are grateful to have been a part of this journey. . . It’s been a ride I’ll never forget!”
—Lorraine Brady, IT Project Manager, Carver County
"Most of the projects were known priority needs prior to the city’s participation in the RCP program. Were it not for RCP, North St. Paul would not have been able to address those issues in a timely and cost effective manner. In our view, the RCP program was a vehicle by which the city could tap the numerous resources of the university for the betterment of our residents' future."
—Paul Ammerman, Community Development Director, North St. Paul
"In our most conservative estimate of the value of that consultation with the students and faculty of the University of Minnesota [through the Resilient Communities Project], we estimated—and again, this is the most conservative estimate—around $400,000 in value. . . . What’s the value to the county in human terms, in terms of human wellbeing? In the words of the old ad, ‘it’s priceless.’ Because each project elevated our knowlege base, elevated our principles, our standards. We’re going to be working on the results of this [partnership] for months and years to come.”
—Tom Vellenga, Assistant County Administrator, Carver County
“We are now in the process of working on implementation plans for many of the study recommendations [that emerged from our partnership with RCP]. . . . [T]he City of Rosemount has found the RCP process to be a rewarding process and appreciated the opportunity to partner with the University of Minnesota on the project.
—Kim Lindquist, Community Development Director
“What we received ultimately was very high quality, and it was great information for us as a City Council to look at, plan, and figure out how to utilize. . .going forward in a positive way for the citizens in our community.”
—Rosemount Mayor William Droste
"I think it really elevates the community’s opinion of the city because we have partnered with someone with a good reputation to do the work of the city. I think people can see that as both an efficient way to do business but also a smart way to do the city’s business. I wouldn’t underestimate the goodwill and the good PR that comes from participating in the RCP program.”
—Julie Wischnack, Community Development Director, City of Minnetonka
“Not only did we get fantastic work, but I think it’s really reinvigorated city staff. . .to be around students [and] faculty who have different ways of thinking and different ways of approaching an idea. So it has been an absolutely wonderful experience.”
—Susan Thomas, Principal Planner, City of Minnetonka