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Behavioral Science Cohort

January 29, 2018

Download full application guidelines here.


The Mayors Innovation Project has partnered with Harvard's Behavioral Insights Group to help member cities test behavioral science solutions to address city challenges. The partnership unites MIP's innovative city leaders with Harvard’s behavioral economists, decision research scholars, and behavioral scientists. By applying rigorous experimental design and data analysis to the ways in which local governments interact with their residents, and by sharing what we learn between cities, we believe we can improve outcomes for education, health, equity, the environment, city finances and more.


The first year-long cohort was accepted into the program in 2017 and included MIP member cities Burlington VT, Columbia SC, Golden CO, Grand Rapids MI, South Bend IN, and Tacoma WA. They tackled projects like increasing the amount donated to energy relief funds for low-income families at a local utility and reducing the number of chronic nuisance code violator properties in the city.


A new cohort of MIP cities will be selected through a competitive application process beginning in February 2018.


If you are interested in applying, register for our informational webinar on Monday, February 26th at 2 pm EST to hear from BIG and MIP staff, who will:

  • Describe behavioral science in more detail.
  • Talk about what makes a good project for this cohort.
  • Give you all the information you need to apply.

If accepted into the program, we will match your city to a BIG faculty member/student for the duration of the project, which is approximately one year (March 2018-March 2019). New cohort members will be invited to attend a one day workshop at Harvard University in Cambridge in Spring 2018 to kick off the cohort.


Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions in advance of the February webinar by calling 608.262.5831 or emailing Katya Szabados at knszabados@mayorsinnovation.org.