Public Lectureship and White Paper Competition, 2023-2024

UC Center Sacramento, a systemwide public policy education and research dissemination center located one block from the State Capitol, is pleased to announce the UCCS 2023-24 Public Lectureship and White Paper Competition. The purpose of the competition is to stimulate multidisciplinary evidence synthesis and creative problem solving related to one of two major policy themes:

  • Promoting Environmental Justice. Projects related to this theme will document and address the unfair distribution of environmental burdens, remedies, or both across the state; or
  • Creating a More Functional Democracy. Projects related to this theme will highlight evidence-based approaches for enhancing voter participation, encouraging civic engagement, or removing legal and administrative impediments that interfere with our ability to meet policy challenges.

In addition, projects must be:

  • Synthetic – systematically assembling what is known about a policy problem, what can reasonably be concluded based on the evidence, what research gaps are most glaring, and what we can do to solve the problem while gap-filling is in progress. New empirical research is not expected, and if undertaken, should be designed to complement research synthesis.
  • Collaborative – involving joint work by a full-time UC faculty member and one or more post-doctoral scholars, graduate students, or professional students.
  • Practical – demonstrating real-world applications of scholarly work, thereby inspiring future generations of students to participate in scholarly activities and pursue academic careers.

The winning research team will deliver a Public Lecture at UCCS during Spring Quarter, 2024; prepare a short White Paper and Policy Synopsis that the Center will disseminate broadly; and receive travel support, editorial support, and a research stipend totaling up to $25,000.

Applicant teams must consist of one full-time faculty member and at least one postdoctoral scholar, graduate student, or professional school student. Proposals should describe how the applicant’s research will be translated into a lecture and white paper of demonstrable practical value to State decisionmakers. Secondarily, applicants should note how the white paper, public lecture, and associated dissemination activities may directly or indirectly inspire college undergraduates to pursue an academic career. Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria: 

  • To what degree is the proposed lecture and white paper focused on one of the themes highlighted above (environmental justice, functional democracy)?
  • Will the proposed lecture and white paper be timely and of high value to state leaders? 
  • How will the proposed work and associated dissemination plan inspire future college students to pursue academic careers?
  • Does the applicant team include at least one full-time faculty member PLUS at least one postdoctoral fellow, graduate student, or professional student, and are there explicit plans for how the senior and more junior member(s) of the team will share effort on the project and co-present the public lecture?
  • Does the applicant team demonstrate command of the proposed topic based on prior experience and accomplishments in the field? 

Proposals are due by midnight on Thursday, November 16, 2023.

Legislative and/or Executive Branch staff will participate in the Public Lecture as reactors. All full-time UC Faculty (Senate and Federation) are eligible to apply as lead investigators.

Please address any questions to

Download proposal guidelines and cover sheet.