This RFP is currently closed.

WorkRise is pleased to announce its 2023 request for proposals (RFP) for research projects and pilots that build actionable insights for improving US labor market practices and policies. WorkRise anticipates that up to $3 million in awards will be made pursuant to this RFP.

WorkRise funds scholars and practitioners on the frontiers of understanding and improving economic mobility in the US labor force, particularly for Black workers and other historically disadvantaged segments of the labor force.

We strongly encourage projects that build meaningful engagements and partnerships with diverse stakeholder groups—workers, employers, organizers, community organizations and institutions, and public agencies at a local, state, and national level—to inform research designs, test approaches, disseminate findings, and build trust and consensus around findings. Collaborations that build the capacities of diverse scholars from less-resourced and traditionally underrepresented institutions will be received with particular interest.

Letters of inquiry will be accepted via the WorkRise grants portal between March 17, 2023 and no later than 6:00pm Eastern, April 7, 2023. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

Questions about this RFP should be directed to workrise@urban.org.

Eligible Applicants

Applying teams should be led by a principal investigator(s) with experience conducting research and an affiliation with an eligible organization, such as an academic institution, public entity, private nonprofit organization, state or local government agency, or a for-profit organization. All organizations must be based in the United States or its territories.

RFP Timeline

March 14, 2023: WorkRise will open the grant portal to applications.

March 14, 2023: Informational webinar and Q+A

April 7, 2023, 6:00pm Eastern: Deadline for submitting intake questionnaire and LOI

Late May 2023: Selected finalists will be invited to meet virtually with the WorkRise team and submit a full proposal providing additional details or revisions to their project and a revised budget.

Early July 2023: Full proposals for invited finalists will be submitted to WorkRise for final decisions.

August 2023: WorkRise will notify finalists of funding decisions and work to scope final awards.

Application Materials and Guidance

Full RFP Announcement

Online Portal Application Guidance

Project Narrative/Letter of Inquiry Guidance

Project Budget Guidance 

Apply Now

Applicants must fill out an intake questionnaire and upload a letter of inquiry (LOI) to the WorkRise grants portal by the application deadline. Full instructions for submitting a grant application can be found on the portal. The grants portal will open on this webpage by March 14, 2023.

About WorkRise Funding

WorkRise’s founding funders are the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Mastercard Impact Fund in collaboration with the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. We also receive funding support from several corporate and family foundations. Our full list of funders can be viewed on our website. We are grateful to all of our funders, who collectively make it possible for WorkRise to advance its mission. Funders do not determine research findings or the insights and recommendations of WorkRise experts, including our grantees. Further information on funding principles of the Urban Institute, WorkRise’s parent organization, is available here.