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Third Floor Research: Call for Proposals

Third Floor Research to invest $75,000 in new research projects

Call for research partners

Join us! Third Floor Research is seeking partners to conduct research on leadership and/or civic engagement activities.  Organizations with a leadership or civic engagement effort that are ripe to analyze with research are encouraged to apply. Third Floor Research will invest $25,000 into each research project. Research partnership proposals are due by January 15. Program information, background proposal criteria, and proposal requirements are outlined below. (Download a copy of Call for Proposals below).

Program key information

  • Title: Third Floor Research Projects
  • Purpose of research partnerships: Create original research findings to foster innovation in leadership and civic engagement
  • Anticipated start date: March 2022
  • Proposal submission deadline: 15 January, 2022
  • Estimated duration of project: 12 calendar months
  • Maximum proposed value in US$: $25,000 per research project
  • Lead organization: Third Floor Research at the Kansas Leadership Center
  • Partner eligibility: Organizations, companies, or civic groups that are involved in leadership or civic engagement activities

Third Floor Research

Third Floor Research is an applied research partnership between the Kansas Leadership Center and Kansas State University’s Staley School of Leadership Studies. Our research focuses on leadership and civic engagement that contributes to a global understanding of exercising leadership, adaptation and engagement. Findings address individual development, organizational impact, and community capacity. Contributors to the Third Floor Research team hail from Harvard’s Kennedy School, Budapest, Santiago, Tel Aviv, Tehran, and across the US.

Third Floor Research contributes directly to the strategies and outcomes of KLC’s logic model. Our research and application inform these strategies: 1) refine the KLC framework, 2) refine leadership development experiences and 3) contribute to the larger fields of leadership and civic engagement. These strategies help produce a leadership framework for Kansans and people across the globe to be more effective at addressing tough problems. KLC’s capacity to put into practice the useful findings from research is central to realizing this outcome.


Applicant’s submission of proposal and accompanying documents will be evaluated using the criteria below:

Table 1. Evaluation Rubrics

Criteria Score (%) Measure Details & Documents Required
Alignment 30 Aligns with KLC’s mission and vision Demonstrate how your organization’s goals align with KLC’s mission and vision.
Applicability 30 Useful findings and products provide value to different users Demonstrate and describe the organization’s current and/or future projects, products, or findings that are/will be widely used by users.
Resources 20 Partner contributes research funding, personnel, custom fit contracts, passive revenue, equipment etc.
  1. Provide list of resources available (now/future) to a research implement project.
  2. Provide details regarding personnel who can contribute to the research (applicable qualifications, education backgrounds, accomplishments, etc.)
Partnership 10 Deepens partner’s involvement with KLC
  1. Explain your purpose for this partnership.
  2. Provide strategies for a continued partnership.
Field 10 Contributes to the larger field of leadership/civic engagement via books, reports, assessments, etc. Provide list of published/future books, articles, papers and reports in the field of expertise.


Partner’s main activities

Partners’ main activities in KLC’s research projects revolve around:

  • Collaborating in the design, construction and implementation of an original research project.
  • Providing resources as mentioned in Table 1.
  • Disseminating useful findings.

Instructions to applicants

  • The proposal must include the details and documents requested in Table 1.
  • Proposals submitted by Jan 15th deadline will receive priority for selection.
  • Proposals and accompanying documents should be submitted to Director of Third Floor Research, Tim Steffensmeier.
  • Clarification queries and correspondences should also be sent to [email protected].
  • Applicant’s certificate of registration (organization’s legal status) is a prerequisite for considering the application.



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