Civic Research Contractor

Civic Research Contractor

Date: August 31, 2021


About MetroLab Network

MetroLab is a collaborative of cities and universities focused on advancing data and technology innovation in their communities. MetroLab is a DC-based non-profit that operates in a dynamic ecosystem of federal, philanthropic, and industry stakeholders. 


About the Civic Innovation Challenge

The Civic Innovation Challenge is a two-stage national research and action competition funded by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Homeland Security. It has funded ready-to-implement pilot projects that have the potential for scalable, sustainable, and transferable impact in two community-identified focus areas. The first focus area is: Communities and Mobility; Offering Better Mobility Options to Solve the Spatial Mismatch Between Housing Affordability and Jobs. The second focus area is: Resilience to Natural Disasters; Equipping Communities for Greater Preparedness and Resilience to Natural Disasters. 52 teams were funded in Stage 1 to further develop their proposals and strengthen relationships between civic and research partners. Stage 2 awardees will be announced later this fall, and will each receive $1 million to implement their proposals.


Who We Are Looking For

We’re looking for a contractor who knows how to:

  • Quickly assess briefing material, context, and potential next steps across a multitude of projects
  • Execute projects with attention to detail and intentionality with regard to participants and audience
  • Execute all aspects of event planning with ease


Our ideal candidate:

  • Understands the motivations and challenges of academics and local government employees
  • Can pivot in a pinch
  • Knows how to read the room


Project Scope

We have an eclectic mixture of civic research projects to get off the ground in the next several months, all related to the Civic Innovation Challenge:


(1) Civic Innovation Challenge: Non-Awardee Engagement

Not all of the CIVIC Stage 1 awardees were selected to move onto Stage 2. We are looking for someone who can:

  • Design and detail thoughtful ways to meaningfully engage this subsection of Stage 1 awardees as they continue their projects
  • Begin implementation

Deliverables: Detailed roadmap of aligned and meaningful engagement activities for CIVIC Stage 2 non-awardees; implementation of events that fall within the timeline (see below) of this contract.


(2) Civic Innovation Challenge: Stage 2 Execution

The CIVIC Stage 1 awardees who are selected to move onto Stage 2 will take part in a year-long “community of practice” that will help build meaningful relationships across the civic research ecosystem and support teams in their project implementation. We are looking for someone who can:

  • Contribute to the design of the Stage 2 Kickoff Event and following activities to support Stage 2 teams throughout the community of practice period
  • Develop the work plan for developing Stage 2 awardee podcasts that will highlight their work and amplify their impact across the MetroLab audience
    • Identify a partner organization for production of the podcasts
    • Create detailed timeline for interview schedule and release schedule of the podcasts
    • Oversee initial stages of podcast execution, including creation of a template and tone for podcasts

Deliverables: Active contribution toward Stage 2 activities that occur prior to Jan 31, 2022; detailed podcast timeline and work plan


(3) Civic Innovation Challenge: Supplemental Activity Implementation

We have been awarded additional funds to perform supplemental activities that help identify potential future iterations of CIVIC. 

  • Coordinate and implement all aspects of three CIVIC Supplemental workshops (tentatively scheduled: week of 10/13/21 – on How to Ask a Good Question, week of 11/16/21 – on Collaboration, and January 2022 – on Stakeholder Analysis). This includes:
    • Liaising as point person and coordinating with partner organizations for October and November workshops
    • Setting up Zoom registration
    • Managing and working with MLN Director of Strategy and Technology and MLN Civic Research Communications Manager to advertise to the appropriate audiences
    • Developing and disseminating tools related to each workshop
    • Running workshops

Deliverables: 3 workshops that support CIVIC Supplemental goals


(4) Align, design, and coordinate a comprehensive implementation calendar with all CIVIC Non-Awardee Engagement, CIVIC Stage 2 activities, as well as CIVIC Supplemental activities (including activities driven by other MLN staff)

Deliverables: Detailed calendar of events that span across CIVIC Non-Awardee Engagement, CIVIC 2.0, and CIVIC Supplemental Activities, including communications, internal deadlines, and ongoing activities



Contract period begins on September 6, 2021 and ends on January 31, 2022. There is potential for contract re-negotiation as the contract period ends.



  • Exceptional written and verbal communications skills. 
  • Experience in relationship management and stakeholder engagement.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Experience or interest in planning events and workshops.



Remote. The contractor will be remote until public health conditions improve; thereafter, the employee can continue to work remote or work out of MetroLab’s offices in downtown Washington, DC.



You must be authorized to work in the United States. 


Compensation and Benefits

This is a contract position and does not include benefits. We are happy to entertain hourly rates and fixed fees (total or by project). 


How to Submit a Bid

Send a resume, cover letter, and a document detailing benchmarks and compensation rate to; proposal window will close on September 3, 2021.