Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
2018 International Research Seed Funding Announcement
Download Award Brief

Download Submission Form

2018 Funding Sponsor
Submission Deadline: Thursday May 31, 2018 (12:00 p.m. Chicago time)

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat is pleased to announce the "Call for Proposals" for its 2018 International Research Seed Funding – culminating with an award of US$20,000 to be recognized at the CTBUH 2018 Conference to be held in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, UAE, from 20-25 October, 2018. This seed funding has been made possible with the kind support of Sun Hung Kai Properties through the CTBUH 2018 Conference Gold + Research Seed Funding Sponsorship Package.

Past Research Seed Funding Projects
2017 Winner 2016 Winner 2015 Winner

A Database of Façade Fires on Tall Buildings for Machine-Learning Assessment

Vertical Variations in Indoor Exposures to Outdoor Pollutants in Tall Buildings

Skyscrapers and Skylines: The Case of China

The goal of the seed funding is to assist researchers in developing projects/ideas to a level to secure additional, more significant, funding – in conjunction with the CTBUH. Research proposals should directly relate to the tall building typology and/or urban habitat, but can come from any topic/discipline – including but not limited to: architecture, construction, energy issues, energy harvesting, environmental engineering, facades, financial & cost issues, fire & life safety, geo-technics, humanities, infrastructure, interiors, maintenance & cleaning, materials, MEP engineering, policy making, resource management, seismic, social aspects, structural engineering, systems development, urban planning, vertical transportation, wind engineering etc. There are no institutional or geographic restrictions.  A non-exhaustive list of possible research topics is provided in the “Roadmap on the Future Research Needs of Tall Buildings”, produced by the CTBUH in conjunction with UNESCO and CIB, and available here.

The ideal final objective of the 2018 CTBUH Research Seed Funding is to produce an official CTBUH Research Report publication, much like those available here.
Recent CTBUH Research Reports on Economic Drivers and Vertical Greenery; an ideal final output of the research seed funding recipient.

Acceptance of the award obligates applicants to develop the research in conjunction with the CTBUH, including taking the research forward for more significant funding/development after the seed funding period, should that be appropriate based on the initial findings of the research.

Submission Deadline
Proposals (via the proposal template form, downloadable
here) are due by Thursday, May 31, 2018 (12:00 p.m. Chicago time) – submitted to

To express your interest in participating prior to this date, to discuss the suitability of your proposal in more detail, or to ask any questions, please also contact:

Please note: The Research Seed Funding initiative is open to research professionals, while the CTBUH Student Research Competition is aimed specifically at student applications. It is therefore not possible to submit a proposal to both programs. 
Amount: US$20,000, payable in two equal installments – US$10,000 at initiation and US$10,000 at project completion/delivery of final report. Please note: the grant budget should not be spent to attend the CTBUH conference and collect the award, nor to disseminate the findings at conferences, symposiums, etc.
Key Dates
•    March 21, 2018: Announcement formally launched
•    May 31, 2018 (12:00 p.m. Chicago Time): Submission deadline
•    August 27, 2018: Decision communicated to winning team
•    October 21-22, 2018: Winning proposal recognized at the CTBUH 2017 Conference
•    November 2018 to April 2019 (approx.) – Research project undertaken
Selection Committee
The evaluation of proposals will be guided by the CTBUH Expert Peer Review Committee, with guidance from the sponsor. The committee reflects a multi-disciplinary group of tall building/urban experts from around the world with established research and publication records as well as tall building experience in varying fields. After a first round evaluation by the Expert Peer Review Committee, the top five proposals will be reviewed by a jury representing the Seed Funding Sponsor, Sun Hung Kai Properties, and CTBUH representatives. CTBUH reserves the right to reject all applications and make no awards.
Jury – Final Selection
Mike Wong
Deputy Managing Director, Sun Hung Kai Properties
Peng Du
CTBUH China Office Director & Academic Coordinator / Visiting Assistant Professor, IIT

Steve Watts
CTBUH Chairman / Partner, alinea Consulting

Dario Trabucco
CTBUH Research Manager / Tenured Researcher, IUAV University of Venice
Antony Wood
CTBUH Executive Director / Professor, IIT / Professor, Tongji University
Selection Criteria
The criteria for selection include the following broad guidelines:
  1. Relevance, novelty, and suitability for the result to be published as a CTBUH Research Report (20 Points)
  2. Quality of the proposed methodology (20 points)
  3. Experience and aptitude of the researcher(s) to deliver the research (20 Points)
  4. Use of prior research to inform the project (10 points)
  5. Applicability for industrial or commercial use (10 points)
  6. Justification of project support expenses for which funds will be used (10 points)
  7. Awareness of research limitations (5 points)
  8. Clarity of the written proposal including proper use of grammar (5 points)
Total (100 points)
Submission Requirements / Criteria / Procedures
Full details of the Research Seed Funding initiative, including submission requirements, criteria, procedures, etc. can be found in the Award Brief document.