Population Change and Lifecourse

Request for Proposal for Research Brief, Synthesis Paper, and Policy Brief

Knowledge mobilization (KM) is a dynamic process that involves exchanges among researchers and between researchers and research users, with the objective of informing further research, policies, and/or practices.

Research briefs, synthesis papers, and policy briefs are three media that the Cluster promotes to reach a wider readership and to inform policies and practice based on research of its Cluster members. This is a call for proposals that would contribute to these objectives.


This request for proposal is open to members of the cluster.

Eligible projects could include:

  1. Synthesis project aimed at summarizing findings and discussing their implications on a topic or theme relevant to the Cluster’s interest from: (a) several studies by different authors; or (b) a body of research from a single researcher or team of researchers. The output from the projects would be:
    1. Synthesis Paper (journal length article) to be posted in a Working Paper Series of the Cluster
    2. Policy Brief – a 4-page article based on the synthesis paper that focuses on key findings and implications for policy and practice
    3. Press Release – a 1-page summary ready for release to the press and media relations offices.
    Total funding for synthesis projects would be in the range of $3,000 to $18,000.

  2. Research brief project aimed at summarizing one research study that has undergone a review process. This could be based on a study for which a journal article has been accepted for publication, or on a report prepared for and accepted by a government agency. The output from this project would be:
    1. Research Brief – a 4-page article to be published (posted in the website) in the Cluster’s Research Brief Series.

      For purposes of this call a Research Brief is a summary of a larger document such as a synthesis, a discussion paper, or research that has been peer reviewed or a product accepted by an agency. Policy Briefs would also normally be based on a larger document, but they can also be stand-alone statements written in policy direction.

    2. Press Release – a 1-page summary of the research or policy brief. Total funding for research brief projects would be in the range of $500 to $1,000.

Application Guidelines

The application of no more than 5 pages should address the following:

  1. Project Proponent or Team – Provide identity and affiliations of the project proponent, or in case of a project team, identity and affiliations of the team leader and members. If the project involves a graduate student, the team should include a faculty who is a Cluster member.

  2. Project Description - Describe the synthesis or research brief project, including the thematic focus, and the ways by which the outputs will be produced. It is possible that a synthesis project is better done in two parts: the first could be the synthesis of various materials; the second could be the production of policy brief and press release, with each of the parts to be done by different persons. The second part could be done, for example, by professional or student journalists in close consultation with the authors of the synthesis paper. Should the proponent prefer not to deal with the second part, the Cluster will find the person(s) who would produce the policy brief and press release based on the synthesis paper. In similar way, the Research Brief and accompanying press release could be done by person other than the author(s). In this case, the proponent(s) need only submit the paper (or report) on which the Research Brief is based. For examples of research briefs and press releases done by journalists, see: MAKE LINK WHEN SECTION COMPLETE http://sociology.uwo.ca/cluster/en/ResearchBriefs.html

  3. Project Relevance – Describe the importance of the project to the Cluster including how the project fits in with the theme of population change and lifecourse, how it relates to the mission statement of the cluster, and how the project contributes to the goals of the cluster.

  4. Project Timeline – Provide the dates of start and end of the project, and the time when final output (as outlined above) will be submitted.

  5. Project Budget - Provide the project budget and justification, with specification of parts of budget that will be covered by other sources. If a professional writer (for example, a journalist) is involved, the fee should be included within the stipulated budget.

Submission of Proposals

Proposals are to be sent to the PCLC Executive Committee c/o ravanera@uwo.ca. The deadlines for receipt of proposals are 15 January, 15 April, 15 June and 15 October. Applicants are encouraged to communicate in advance with regard to their intention to submit a proposal.


Applications will be considered by the Executive Committee of the PCLC cluster on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. Relevance to Cluster
  2. Breadth and depth of potential KM impacts
  3. Suitability of participants and partnerships (including training component)
  4. Cost effectiveness


A final report that includes the output (described above) and a budgetary accounting should be submitted within 3 months of the end of the project. An electronic version of the report is to be sent to ravanera@uwo.caand to rbeaujot@uwo.ca with paper copy of financial documents sent to:

Rod Beaujot,
Department of Sociology
University of Western Ontario,
London, ON N6A 5C2.

Synthesis, Research Brief and Policy Brief Projects Granted Funds

Synthesis, Research Briefs, and Policy Brief Projects are included in Knowledge Mobilization Projects as follows: