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Call for Research Proposals: Electric Carsharing Pilot Program

**This RFP is now closed.**

Electric Carsharing Pilot Program – 2015-16 LASC Graduate Research Fellowship

The Los Angeles Sustainability Collaborative (LASC) is now accepting proposals and applications for two Research Fellows for a Research Fellowship opportunity in conjunction with Los Angeles’ newly launched electric carsharing pilot program serving disadvantaged communities. The proposed approach and outline below would be completed by two fellows who are expected to work both independently on their specified focus, and collaboratively in order to ensure the overall project’s objectives are met.

Background

The Shared-Use Mobility Center (SUMC) – a national public-interest organization working to foster collaboration in shared transportation – is partnering with the City of LA to launch a first-of-its kind carsharing pilot project focused on serving low-income households. The goal of the three-year pilot, funded with $1.6 million from the California Air Resources Board, is to reduce carbon emissions by introducing electric carsharing fleets into disadvantaged communities.

SUMC and the City will work with car sharing operator(s) to build a base of 7,000+ members in Central Los Angeles, with potential for the program to expand to South and East Los Angeles. Critical to both this membership outreach process and the design of the project itself is a Steering Committee comprised of several community-based organizations and guided by local leaders from the Natural Resources Defense Council, LA Thrives, and Move LA.

More background on these research topics: reports from Greenlining Institute, Buffalo CarShare For coverage of this exciting project, see CityLab, the Huffington Post, and CleanTechnica

Recommended Approach/Outline

This Steering Committee seeks the support of two LASC research fellows in helping to answer questions that will be critical to the success of this project. The research fellow would explore:

  • How can this project learn from other examples in industries like healthcare, housing, and energy where non-profit community organizations partner with businesses to provide education about a service that offers positive social/economic/environmental outcomes?
  • What role (if any) can/should consumer incentives play in creating a successful program?
  • What methods of outreach and advertising will be most effective in Central LA, based on the demographics and culture(s) of potential members of this service?
  • What attributes and skillsets will make for an effective ‘street team’ to conduct outreach? Are there key elements to include or avoid in creating this team’s work plan?
  • What is the appeal of this service for central LA neighborhoods? How can the difference that the service makes in people’s lives translate into effective, honest advertising?

The two fellows would also explore and analyze relevant literature and data addressing considerations of access to banking, smartphones, internet access and smart cards in low income communities as it relates to this project.

Selection Criteria

LASC and the project team seek fellowship candidates who are committed to social and environmental justice and enrolled in a graduate school. Some areas of study that may be a good fit for this fellowship are social work, marketing, environmental studies, and urban planning.

Additional criteria for awarding the Fellowship will be based on but not limited to the following:

  1. Experience with this or a similar research topic.
  2. Communication skills, both written and oral. Demonstrated ability to write powerfully and succinctly.
  3. Ability to meet the milestones.
  4. Completion of the application process.
  5. Use of research for academic credit.

 

Application Process
Each applicant is asked to submit the following:

  1. Completed Application Form (Appendix A) – submit your brief application to nora@lasustainability.org.
  2. Resume, including GPA.

Interview: Finalists will be interviewed by members of the LASC Executive Committee and members of the project team.

 

Important Milestones/Dates:

Applications Due October 30, 2015
Interviews (either a call or in person) Week of November 9th
Fellows Selected and Notified Week of November 16th
Draft Table of Contents December 4th
First draft submitted January 15th
Final report submitted February 12th
Executive Summary and Blog Article February 12th
Presentation of findings TBD

 

Expectations

The Fellowship recipients will be expected to communicate regularly with the LASC by email and occasionally by either phone or in-person.

 

Technical Advisory Committee (TAC):

The awarded applicant will check in and/or meet with the TAC on a regular basis to discuss their research progress and findings.

 

Draft/Final Report:

Fellows are expected to produce a draft and final report, no more than 50 pages in length, outlining the findings from the research.

 

Presentation of Findings:

LASC Fellows are expected to present their research to stakeholders. This presentation must include a visual component.

 

About

The Los Angeles Sustainability Collaborative is non-profit organization that sponsors research to raise awareness on environmental issues and inform policy decisions in the Los Angeles region. www.lasustainability.org

 

Assumptions and Agreements

The following should be considered when submitting your proposal:

  • This is not a contract; it is a request for applications only. It in no way obligates LASC to select any applicant. Any costs incurred by an applicant in preparing their response to this bid are the sole responsibility of the applicant.
  • LASC reserves the right to accept or reject a portion or all of each proposal received.
  • Ownership of the researcher findings and report shall be vested in both the researcher and LASC. LASC has the right to use the research how we see fit.
  • Final fellowship amounts are subject to the approval of the Board of Directors based on the research projects proposed scope, and may be modified by the LASC.
  • Any changes to the task/job/policy data during the project will be discussed and mutually agreed upon by the researcher(s) and LASC.
  • Fellowship Payments will be made in two stages: 1) upon submission of draft research and 2) when the final research is deemed completed by LASC.

 

Email questions to info@lasustainability.org.

 

Appendix A: Application Form