$11+ Billion

Money the US spends on academic research is not spent effectively.

Research disconnected from civic priorities

The civic sector doesn’t have a good connector between innovation and reality.

Millions spent on irrelevant research

Top-down research funding can fund irrelevant or outdated issues and technology.

Meanwhile, Important Research Needs are Left Unmet

In 2010, city employees submitted a research needs statement highlighting the urgent need to research bicycle safety at intersections

Since then, hundreds of cyclists have been killed or seriously injured in the streets of Seattle each year and many more nationwide.

Despite the critical nature of this research, it has remained unfunded and on the shelf. Unfortunately this is not uncommon. Why?

Costly to contract

Contracting with universities can cost a lot of time and money. It can cost $20,000 to get a $30,000 contract signed.

Years to get contracting done

It can take up to two years to contract with a university to conduct research – far too long to make the research results relevant to upcoming policy and design decisions.

Hard to find the right expert

It can be difficult to find the best expert for the subject matter at hand that has time and availability to conduct research. They might not be at your local state university.


ResearcHQ is a marketplace that connects civic practitioners directly with researchers cheaply, quickly, and effectively. ResearcHQ will collect a small fee from each successful match in order to support its ongoing operations.

As a result, we will

  • save society millions of dollars each year that can be put to better use;
  • focus research efforts on issues that matter; and
  • get research results quick enough to have an effect on policy and design.
Our impact is policy and design that can save lives and improve livelihoods

[ and we are committed to measuring it ]

Step 1 - Secure access to quality researchers


Execute master contract agreements in advance between ResearcHQ and academic institutions using the pooled demand to leverage favorable terms and conditions for open research.

Step 2 - Match civic practitioners' questions with qualified researchers


When a civic practitioner has a research need, it will be distributed through the ResearcHQ community to appropriate researchers who can indicate their interest and ideas. The researcHQ platform will also make it easy to find collaborators, take suggestions, and even learn about existing research that may obviate their need.

Step 3 - Execute the successful match


Once matched with a research team, researcHQ will help the civic practitioner produce the needed paperwork, payment processing, and backup data required of public institutions and will provide a seamless transition to making the research data, methods, and results publicly available.

Measuring Ourselves


We have identified the following goals and are committed to measuring them:

  • Reduce transaction costs for research for civic good by over 25%, which would potentially save $5m of philanthropic funding and $100m in government funding per year.
  • Increase the number of the 4.1 million graduate students in the U.S. who receive research funding, particularly for applied research on civic and social impact issues. A simple reinvestment of the savings would result in 2,000 more students receiving full funding for socially important research and tuition per year rather than driving them to industry-subsidized research areas.
  • Decrease the turn-around time between research needs identification and policy-ready answers from approximately 5-10 years to 1-2 years, which will save governments millions of dollars in implementing less efficient solutions.
  • Increased research partnerships and better matchmaking between researchers and practitioners will make each research dollar more effective and relevant.


Market Research and Landscape Analysis confirmed that there was tremendous demand for this solution and nobody else effectively solving this problem.

Fundraise $50,000 We are currently trying to raise $50,000 to fund our proof of concept work.

Proof of Concept We will be completing a proof of concept contracting exercise [ in all likelihood with University of Washington ] in order to work out the kinks before we scale.

Fundraise $500,000 We anticipate needing $500,000 over two years to fund the user experience development, the lawyers for pre-contracting, and community management.

Conduct Pre-Contracting with Universities in order to be ready when they are needed.

Develop User Experience Develop the online user experience and backend technology to be accessible and transparent to practitioners.

Launch! [ 2016 ]

Iterate and Expand While we are starting in the fields of Urban issues and Transportation, we hope to expand to other civic fields soon.


Elizabeth Sall Executive Director

The ResearcHQ.org team is led by Elizabeth Sall, the former Deputy Director for Technology, Data, and Analysis at the S.F. County Transportation Authority. Elizabeth decided to start ResearcHQ.org after being consistently frustrated by the difficulties of executing small contracts with Academic institutions while working in government.

Elizabeth has experience in multiple sectors: government, non-profit, and academia. She holds several appointments to committees of the Transportation Research Board, has served on the department-level advisory board at her alma-mater N.C. State University, and is a frequent lecturer at universities. Elizabeth is a frequent presenter and organizer of civic technology conferences, has pioneered an academic research program at the SFCTA and continues to lead government-funded research projects with cross-sector teams. In the non-profit sector, she has experience as both a funder and oversight board-member in working with academic researchers.


Zabe Bent (Chair)

Zabe serves as the ResearcHQ.org board chair. Zabe has over ten years of experience in civic service and is currently a principal at Nelson/Nygaard consulting.

Alison Conway, Ph.D.

Alison is a professor at the City University of New York and is an ex-officio member the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board Executive Committee (part of the National Academy of Sciences).

Jason Haggins, C.P.A., M.B.A.

Jason is a senior director at Alvarez and Marsal and has extensive expertise in accounting, contracting, and management.

Special Thanks

Chris Beer
Ironmark Law Group

Dr. Mark Hallenbeck
Prof. Thaisa Way

University of Washington

Join Us

Keep in Touch
Let's exchange ideas

Become a partner
We are a collegial organization and seek to partner rather than re-create when possible. We are looking for: organizations interested in sharing their technology platforms or insight into contracting, academic institutions interested in being early partners, and cross-promotional opportunities.

Contribute resources.
We are currently raising $50,000 to fund our proof of concept. Get in on the ground floor by writing a check to our fiscal sponsor, The Philanthropy Workshop, Attn: ResearcHQ.org. Checks can be sent to 6 West 48th Street, 10th Floor New York, New York 10036 United States.

Spread the word.
Tell your friends and colleagues about us.