Cambridge Systematics is driven to improve society through our objective leadership in transportation. One way we achieve this is by grounding our work in the distinct principles and purpose that drive us to meet the challenges of advancing an equitable future through transportation. We have an unwavering commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within our company and in our communities. We acknowledge past wrongs in transportation planning and implementation and recognize that we need to lead the industry in creating a more equitable and inclusive transportation system for all the people it serves.

That’s why we are going beyond our paid client work to offer in-kind grants so we can partner with select nonprofit and grassroots community-based organizations to advance their equity goals by providing Equity-In-Action through access to our proprietary data and to our experts.

Below is information regarding the grant purpose and qualifications for 2021 and a link to the grant application.

We will support projects for:

  • Studying travel made by residents of communities with historically disadvantaged populations for the purpose of helping better understand trip making in and around their communities and working collaboratively to compare trip patterns to existing mobility options;

  • Studying access to job centers, education (colleges, universities and job training), health care, and/or other social determinants of health and of healthy communities including fresh food and social networks;

  • Conducting research that addresses inequities in our transportation systems;

  • Strengthening grant applications to advance equitable transportation access to—and/or equitable impact of transportation investments in—health care, health outcomes, education, jobs, job training, fresh food, and other key determinants of health and economic security, by showcasing travel and traffic conditions; and/or

  • Advancing equitable recovery from COVID-19.

All grants will include data set(s), and may also include limited consultation to help interpret and apply the data.

Types of data provided may include—but are not necessarily limited to—either or both of the following:​

  • Trip flows (from our LOCUS location based services dataset)—show travel patterns using anonymized cell phone data, by time of day, day of week, trip distance, travel purpose. View a sample trip flow.

  • Census equity-focused demographic information, via access to a tool developed by CS

Types of consulting provided may include—but are not necessarily limited to—any or all of the following:​

  • Transportation/infrastructure grant application expertise

  • Transit planning and operations expertise

  • Stakeholder outreach/engagement expertise

  • Data visualization

  • Data analysis (of data supplied by CS or data from the grantee)

  • Knowledge transfer to build skills in independent data analysis

The project description must include the sections defined in the table below. The maximum number of points that judges can award for each section is indicated. The total maximum number of points that judges can award for all sections combined is 100. Applicant(s) meeting all criteria and attaining the highest total points will be awarded grant(s).


Maximum Points Possible

Project objectives including but not limited to: (a) specific transportation-related objectives; (b) specific equity objectives; and (c) criteria for evaluating the project against each objective (please refer to the section above, “We will support projects for,” as a guideline for developing project objectives)


Demonstrated need for this project to help address the objectives


Communities served by this project, including specific equity populations, and the level of community engagement in the project


Data and/or consultation requested from Cambridge Systematics and its expected impact on the success of this project (please refer to the sections above, on “types of data” and “types of consulting,” as a guideline for the types of data and/or consultant that may be requested)


High level project schedule with dates for key milestones





We will provide in-kind grants to:

  • Nonprofit 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), and/or 501(c)(6) nonprofit organizations* that require data to advance their work toward improving equity in their communities and are:

    • Local/grassroots organizations;

    • Community colleges, historically black colleges and universities (HCBUs), community-based job training schools, or other educational institutions serving historically disadvantaged or underserved populations; or

    • Local business leagues, business improvement districts, or chambers of commerce in communities with historically disadvantaged populations.

  • Multiple organizations may collaborate on a single grant application and project, providing one organization is identified as the lead applicant and all collaborating organizations meet the requirements for types of organizations that may apply.

* The panel may, at its sole discretion, consider another form of organization if the purpose of the organization and its project objectives and components meet the requirements of the grant. However, the organization may not be a for-profit entity.

Process and Other Requirements

Grant Limitations Include:

  • We intend to award between one (1) and three (3) grants in this grant cycle, at our sole discretion, limited by item #3 in this list.

  • Each application must include a request for data as part of the project. Each grant request may include up to 80 hours of consultation, but consulting is not a required component.

  • The total hours of consulting services provided among all grants in this grant cycle will not exceed 120 hours, and the number of hours requested in the top-scoring grant applications may be a limiting factor in the number of grants awarded.

We reserve the right to develop and publish additional grant limitations, so long as they are not applied to materially and adversely impact a project previously approved to receive a grant.

Grantees that Cambridge Systematics selects for the same grant cycle may collaborate with each other in such a manner that the collaboration provides mutual benefit to the grantees’ projects, but they are not required to do so.

Each grantee must submit a brief report at the conclusion of the awarded project, no later than one month after the end date of the project, that summarizes activities and results based on the original project description, including how the Cambridge Systematics data and (if included) consultation impacted the process and outcomes.

Each grantee must agree to collaborate with Cambridge Systematics for shared thought leadership after the grant project concludes, including but not limited to at least one of the following: case study, while paper, webinar, blog, vlog, podcast, and/or conference presentation, the choice and/or combination of these to be determined mutually by the grantee and Cambridge Systematics at the close of the project.

Our Grant Schedule in This Cycle Is:

Tuesday, June 1, 2021 - 8:30 am EDT

Grant period opens

Thursday, July 15, 2021 - 5:30 pm EDT.

Grant applications due

Tuesday, August 17 through Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Project kick-off period

Wednesday, September 1, 2021 through Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Project period*

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Thought leadership collaboration begins

* project period shall be no longer than one year, and may be of shorter duration

Our Selection Process Includes:

  • A simple application form, available here for electronic submission beginning June 1, 2021, 8:30 am EDT and due no later than July 15, 2021, 5:30 pm EDT;

  • Review and scoring by a panel of judges including but not limited to:

    • Cambridge Systematics data and consulting experts

    • Cambridge Systematics Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Council members

    • Representatives from other industry organization(s)

You may download a pdf of the grant application here to review it in advance of submission, but only electronic submission using this form will be accepted.

The top-scoring application(s) that meet all requirements will receive the grant. There will be no more than three awards. Grant recipients will be required to sign a contract (to be supplied by Cambridge Systematics upon grant award) setting forth the terms and conditions of the grant as well as a data license and/or nondisclosure agreement governing each party’s rights in and use of the data.

Additional Terms:


Any submitted information that is considered trade secret or confidential to the Applicant must be so labeled.

Cambridge Systematics and its agents will hold the submitted application and any related materials in confidence if so requested by the Applicant, throughout the evaluation process, unless ordered to be disclosed by a court of competent jurisdiction, or any other applicable law or regulation. Any information therein will not be made available to any other party unless precluded by law. No debriefings or scoring sheets will be released before final recommendation.

All application material supplied, including supporting material and information disclosed during the application process, will become the property of Cambridge Systematics and will be retained for internal use. Cambridge Systematics reserves the right to retain all applications submitted and to use any ideas in an application regardless of whether that application is selected.

Submission of a proposal indicates acceptance by the Applicant of the conditions contained in this request for grant applications, unless clearly and specifically noted in the application submitted and confirmed in the contract between Cambridge Systematics and the Applicant selected.

Once under contract, the Applicant may have access to information that is confidential. The Applicant will be required to maintain that confidentiality under the terms of its contract with Cambridge Systematics.

Cambridge Systematics’ Rights

  • Reject any and all applications that are not submitted in accordance with the required format described in the application instructions;

  • Reject any and all applications submitted;

  • Waive what we deem to be a minor irregularity in an applicant’s submission;

  • Request additional information;

  • Remedy errors in this document;

  • Cancel the entire grant program;

  • Issue subsequent requests for grant applications;

  • Negotiate with any, all or none of the applicants. If Cambridge Systematics and an applicant are unable to negotiate final contract terms and conditions that are acceptable to Cambridge Systematics, we reserve the right to award the grant to another applicant;

  • Award a grant to one or more applicants.

Cambridge Systematics is not responsible for any of applicants’ costs incurred as part of the application preparation and submittal, even in the event the grant program is cancelled.

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Anurag Komanduri

Vice President