Future Leaders in Policy (FLIP) Competition Application Instructions


Who should apply?

Undergraduate (two- or four-year programs) and graduate students currently enrolled in SUNY institutions are invited to submit applications for the competition. Teams of students may apply but all team members must be enrolled in a SUNY institution.

The submission of research by each individual/team must be sponsored by a faculty project advisor who agrees to support and advise as needed.

Topics of Interest

The Rockefeller Institute research portfolio covers an array of topics, including, but not limited to, climate change, environmental health, gun violence, the gig economy, marijuana policy, workforce development, healthcare, college access and affordability, K-12 education, restorative justice, broadband access, COVID-19 response, tax policy, and the opioid and overdose crisis. Research and policy analysis on all topics relevant to state and local leaders is welcome.

Nature of Research

This contest will recognize high-quality research products, such as capstone projects, senior or honor’s theses, independent studies, and graduate research. We also encourage applications that highlight and evaluate innovative applied policy projects developed by students as part of internships, co-ops, and volunteer or professional experiences. All work of value to policymakers will be considered.

Example Applicants

We encourage all SUNY students doing research or applied policy work to consider applying. Accepted applications are NOT limited to the examples provided below. If you are uncertain whether your research fits within the parameters of this RFP, please reach out to [email protected].

The winners of last year’s competition can be found here.

Other examples include:

  1. Findings from a pilot project designed to address housing insecurity for undergraduates and suggestions for scaling up across SUNY.
  2. An assessment of the impact of cannabis legalization on local communities and a review of policies municipalities could consider as New York legalizes sales.
  3. A review of the healthcare workforce and policy measures that will improve career pathways for the workers and address shortages.


Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated based on:

  • Rigor of the research project;
  • Effective communication of the project and its relevance; and
  • Relevance to New York’s state and local policymakers.

Participants should complete the application form by February 15, 2022. Any questions about the application process can be directed to [email protected].



After a review process, invitations to participate in the FLIP competition will be sent to selected applicants by March 8, 2022. Students who agree to participate will have the opportunity to work with Rockefeller Institute researchers to prepare and present their final research to a panel of judges in mid-April (final date to be determined). The winners of the competition will be announced at the conclusion of the event. More details on the event will be provided in the March 8 invitation to participate.

Questions should be directed to [email protected].