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Call for Research Proposals: San Gabriel Valley Greenway Network

**This RFP is now closed.**

The Los Angeles Sustainability Collaborative (LASC) seeks a qualified undergraduate or graduate candidate to research and write a report on assessing the impact and benefits of existing greenways. The researcher selected will be provided with a $1,000 Fellowship, a Technical Advisory Committee of subject experts, and an opportunity to present their work to interested stakeholders. Applications are due Monday, September 21st.
Background
The San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG) is currently studying the feasibility of transforming Los Angeles County flood control channels, utility rows, abandoned rail lines and complete streets corridors into a viable network of community greenways that serve as Class-I & IV bike paths, linear parks and urban trails. Click here for a fact sheet with additional background information.
To advance this effort, LASC has teamed up with the First Supervisorial District of Los Angeles County (LAC1) and the SGVCOG to assess the impact and benefits of existing greenways in an effort to inform the development of an equitable, greenway investment program through the forthcoming parks and transportation ballot measures in 2016.
In advancing this concept, the LASC will support a graduate student to research and write a report detailing the SGV greenway concept, and examining the concept in the context of important policy issues, e.g., the potential for greenways to improve environmental, community, and health outcomes in the San Gabriel Valley. Fellows are expected to produce a unique report but engage and collaborate with stakeholders and the resources available to them to ensure a robust and informative research document.
Recommended Approach/Outline

  1. Background on SGV Greenway Proposal
  2. Best practices and examples of large greenway projects in other regions. (Overview of benefits of the Greenway proposal; Public health benefits; Public safety benefits; Reduction of GHG)
  3. Benefits associated with improved access to open/recreation space (Identify potential partners and funding sources; Cap n Trade; Parks tax measure; Transportation tax measure’ Attachment D in the following MTA report related to the Westwood Greenway http://libraryarchives.metro.net/DB_Attachments/150807_Westwood_Greenway_Project_Update_boardbox.pdf)
  4. Reivew of the options/opportunities/constraints of various governance/implementations models (ie-JPA vs non-profit)
  5. Recommendations and opportunities for advancing the proposal forward.

Specific deliverables include

  1. Draft table of contents (prior to release of first draft).
  2. First and final draft of report.
  3. Info-graphic summarizing the project and highlighting key findings.
  4. Executive Summary and Blog to be published on LASC websites.

Fellowship Benefits

  1. Direct interaction with key stakeholders including leaders in the Southern California water industry, staff from the Metropolitan Water District and other water utilities, and Los Angeles City Hall Staff.
  2. Ability to work on and receive resume-building credit for a professional-quality report that will lead directly to implementation on the ground, and will garner attention from many parties.
  3. Networking opportunities associated with the promotion and presentation of the report.
  4. $1000 Fellowship (additional fellowship awards may be made available for team applications).

Selection Criteria
The Fellowship will be awarded based on but not limited to the following criteria:

  1. Experience with this or a similar research topic preferred.
  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 preferred.

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.
Important Milestones/Dates:

  • Applications Due: September 21, 2015
  • Interviews (either a call or in person): Week of October 5th
  • Fellows Selected and Notified: Week of October 19th
  • Draft Table of Contents: October 30th
  • First draft submitted: November 23rd
  • Final report submitted: December 11th
  • Executive Summary and Blog Article: December 18th
  • Presentation of findings: TBD

Expectations
The Fellowship Recipient 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.

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.