Research Announcement
Friday, May 21, 2021
The IBM Center for The Business of Government announces new research priorities for future studies that benefit government leaders.

The IBM Center for The Business of Government is pleased to release our new research announcement, which defines key challenges facing government and request proposals for future studies from experts in academia and the non-profit sectors.

The IBM Center connects research to practice, supporting work by scholars that benefits government through analysis of real-world experience that leads to practical, actionable recommendations. Center reports are intended to spark the imagination—crafting new ways to think about government by identifying trends, new ideas, and best practices in public management and innovation. Center reports help government executives respond more effectively to mission and management priorities. Center awards have gone to more than 400 leading researchers in public management, who have produced reports on improving the effectiveness of government. Our work assists public sector executives, managers, staff, and stakeholders in addressing real-world problems and improving government performance and effectiveness.

With this research announcement, the Center is pleased to solicit proposals that result in reports marked by practical, actionable recommendations for government leaders and public managers in the following eight research areas:

  • Restoring Public Trust in Government: Defining Strategies and Tools to Actively Engage the Public
  • Addressing Equity: Assessing Inclusion and Diversity in Government Services, Operations, and Management
  • Developing Actionable Insights: Using Data and Evidence to Inform Decision Making and Achieve Results
  • Attaining Effective Outcomes: Supporting Program Performance and Performance Management Strategies
  • Driving Agility: Enhancing Mission Support and Delivery
  • Accelerating Digital: Modernizing IT by Leveraging Innovation and Emerging Technologies
  • Fostering Resilient Institutions: Managing Risk and Building Resiliency
  • Reimagining the Government Workplace: Addressing the Importance of a Mission-Focused Workforce for the Future

The IBM Center shaped this agenda by collaborating with government, academic, and nonprofit leaders to identify key areas of need for expert perspectives on how the public sector can transform. Importantly, the areas address both individual trends influencing government, and topics that can be addressed with even greater impact if assessed in a way that integrates across trends—such as driving an agile approach to digital innovation that improves outcomes. This integrative approach is especially true for how different trends relate to equity across government programs and foster trust in government institutions, information, and services—two new areas that government leaders and stakeholders have highlighted as important topics for Center research.

Through research into these eight topics, the Center will continue to communicate what leading experts know about effective practices and lessons learned for government leaders and stakeholders. Such communications can promote public understanding of the benefits that a well-functioning government delivers, which can help to drive trust in government.

Center supported research can also help governments in the U.S. and across the world continue to focus on controlling costs while improving the performance of their operations, meeting the key challenge facing public sector executives to transform their organizations in an environment of constrained resources—a goal brought into clear focus from the response and recovery to the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, driving meaningful and sustained change in government requires a focus on innovative, effective, equitable, and efficient decision making and implementation to achieve positive, significant, and lasting outcomes.

We encourage applicants for Center awards to review our research areas closely in selecting a topic, or a cross-cutting set of topics, on which to prepare your proposal. We look forward to receiving proposals that address these topics and continuing to work with the world’s leading public management researchers. Our next deadlines are June 30 and December 1. Please visit our stipend section periodically to confirm the latest deadlines.