Please Note: As a result of the economic impacts of COVID-19, we are sorry to announce that the CTBUH 2020 International Research Seed Funding, has to be put on hold until the 2021 calendar year. Entries submitted in 2020 will therefore be carried forward to participate in the 2021 program. If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].

CTBUH 2020 International Research Seed Funding

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) is accepting proposals for its 2020 International Research Seed Funding—culminating with an award of $20,000 to be recognized at the CTBUH 2020 International Conference, held in Singapore & Kuala Lumpur, from October 19–23, 2020. 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 2020 CTBUH Research Seed Funding is to produce an official CTBUH Research Report publication, much like those available here.



Proposals are due by Saturday April 18, 2020 (12:00 p.m. CST). For any concerns or questions, please contact [email protected]


Please note: The Research Seed Funding initiative is open to research professionals, while the CTBUH Student Research Competition is intended specifically for student applications. It is therefore not possible to submit a proposal to both programs.


  • • February 18: Competition formally launched
  • • April 18: Submission deadline
  • • June 19: Winning team announcement
  • • October 19–23: Winners recognized at the 2020 Conference
  • • November 2020–April 2021: 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 grant 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

2019 International Research Seed Funding winner Sofia Dermisi.
2019 International Research Seed Funding
Funding Sponsor: 

Principal Investigator: Sofia Dermisi, University of Washington

Awarded to Sofia Dermisi, a Professor of Real Estate at the University of Washington to assess the ways energy efficient systems and sustainable energy supplies can address the unique demands of tall mixed-use building programs.
Research project currently in progress
Birds eye view of a city.
2018 International Research Seed Funding
Funding Sponsor:

Sun Hung Kai Properties logo
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.
Read the Research Paper
Image of a skyscraper with a fire in it.
2017 International Research Seed Funding
Funding Sponsor:

Sun Hung Kai Properties logo

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
Image of cars on a highway with heavy smog.
2016 International Research Seed Funding
Funding Sponsor:

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

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