Note: 2019 submissions are no longer being accepted.

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) is accepting proposals for its 2019 International Research Seed Funding – culminating with an award of $20,000 to be recognized at the CTBUH 2019 World Congress, held in Chicago, from 28 October to 02 November 2019. The goal of the seed funding is to assist talented researchers in developing projects/ideas to a level that would 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. The proposals should have the potential to improve tall buildings and cities from a wide perspective. 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 2019 CTBUH Research Seed Funding is to produce an official CTBUH Research Report publication, much like those available here.

Submission Deadline

Proposals (via the online survey, accessed here) are due by Friday, 31 May 2019 (12:00 pm Chicago time). 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 contact: [email protected]. 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.

Key Dates

  • 20 March – Initiative Formally Launched
  • 31 May (12:00 pm Chicago Time) – Submission deadline
  • 22 July – Winning Team Announcement
  • 28 October–02 November – Winning Proposal Recognized at the CTBUH 10th World Congress
  • November 2019 to April 2020 (approx.) – Research project undertaken

Selection Committee & Criteria

The evaluation of proposals will be guided by the CTBUH Expert Peer Review Committee, with guidance from the funding 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 and CTBUH representatives. The CTBUH reserves the right to reject all applications and make no awards.

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.

Past Research Seed Funding Projects

2018 International Research Seed Funding

Funding Sponsor: Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Ye Yu, Tongji University

Awarded to Dr. Ye Yu, an Assistant Professor at Tongji University to research the health and social impacts of public spaces around tall buildings, with the goal of identifying urban design strategies that enable healthy lifestyles.

Research project currently in progress.
2017 International Research Seed Funding

Funding Sponsor: Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd.
Principal Investigator: Michael Spearpoint, Olsson Fire & Risk

Awarded to Michael Spearpoint, a Research Leader at Olsson Fire & Risk, to develop a database of high-rise fires that could be applied to the field of machine-learning, which may lead to new and innovative fire solutions.

Read the Research Paper
2016 International Research Seed Funding

Funding Sponsor: Taipei Financial Center Corporation
Principal Investigator: Brent Stephens, Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT)

Awarded to Brent Stephens, an associate professor of architectural engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Chicago, to conduct research on variations in indoor exposures to outdoor pollutants in tall buildings.

Read the Research Paper
2015 International Research Seed Funding

Funding Sponsor: Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd.
Principal Investigator: Jason Barr, Rutgers University

Awarded to Jason Barr, an economics professor at Rutgers University, to investigate the determinants of skyscraper heights and completion rates from an economic perspective across 62 Chinese cities from 1978 to 2014.

See the Research Report