Since its inception, Uber’s Policy Research team has partnered with the academic community to rigorously examine challenging topics like surge pricinglabor marketsgender and earnings, and many others. We’ve shared aggregated data and/or collaborated as co-authors on published academic papers, but ultimately the conclusions and framing of the results have been driven by the academics themselves. We believe independent and objective research like this is crucial for understanding emerging mobility options (and ensuring they have the greatest positive impact on the world).

Following input from the research community, we are thrilled to announce our latest pilot initiative: the Mobility Research Grant Fund. Through this program, awardees will receive matching funds (up to a dollar-for-dollar basis) to supplement their competitive research grants from governments, nonprofits and other sources. We hope this will not only enable more research on ride-sharing, but also help unlock government grants that specifically encourage or require third-party contributions.

For this pilot, we will focus on research on how improved mobility and emerging technologies such as self-driving vehicles can facilitate access to economic opportunity and essential services for low-income households. To maintain the independence of the research, we have built the following features into the program:

  • External vetting. In order to be eligible, researchers must have (or be applying for) funding through another competitive process. This ensures that the funded research has been vetted by the academic community, not just Uber.
  • In-kind support. Awards will be made available as Uber vouchers or discounts for study participants (and further support in the form of aggregated data or Uber FTE time may also be negotiated, depending on the needs of the project). No direct funding will be provided.
  • Researchers own the pen. As with all of our research collaborations, the awardees will have the final say in how the results and conclusions are framed. Consistent with past approaches to academic research, Uber will not censor or veto results (beyond the removal of confidential company data, if applicable and as agreed to in advance).

We are excited about the opportunity to provide greater support to the research community, and look forward to reading your proposals! For more details, please take a look at the application form.

Original source: MEDIUM