Carnegie Mellon University

Future of Work Seed Fund

The Block Center’s Future of Work Initiative is dedicated to the rigorous scientific investigation of the impact of emerging technologies on workers, organizations and the communities they inhabit. Each year, the Initiative funds a portfolio of projects focused on producing public policy insights through high-quality research.

Fall 2023 Call for Proposals: Advancing Public Policy Insights through CMU Research

For the 2023 Future of Work fund, our objective is to fund projects that will produce policy-relevant insights in the Future of Work focus areas within a short time horizon. Our desired portfolio will consist of research projects that are either new concept or early-stage research, or new departures or expansions to existing projects, with the intention that these projects will lead to a larger grant proposal. Project teams who receive awards will be asked to produce brief updates to the Block Center staff after 6 months and a final report at the project completion.

Applications are open to individuals from any department at CMU, including cross-departmental teams. Junior faculty are encouraged to apply. PhD students may apply as co-PI alongside a faculty member.

Applicants may request up to $80,000 for project-related expenses (permissible funds listed below). Average award amounts in past years  for Block Center Seed Fund projects have been approximately $50,000.


  1. What is the scientific hypothesis or question your project will test or investigate?
  2. Briefly, what is the state of research in this area, and how does your project advance scientific understanding?  What novel data, technologies, or methods will you use?
  3. Please articulate the policy relevance of your work, particularly in relation to the research agenda of the Future of Work. How do you aim for social impact through your project? Is there a policy organization you think will be interested in your findings? Feel free to note whether you have any existing relationships with policymaking bodies. See our Block Method webpage for a framework on how our research projects can lead to real-world outcomes.
  4. Provide a 12 month research timeline that summarizes the main research steps and the expected outcomes at 12 months.
  5. How likely is this project to attract additional funding and from what source(s)?