Professor Constantine Kontokosta received a $250,000 grant from the prestigious foundation to fund a fellowship program for recent graduates to work on high-priority data projects with city agencies

New York, NY – New York University’s Center for Urban Science & Progress (CUSP) announced today that Professor Constantine Kontokosta, who also serves as Deputy Director for Academics, has received a $250,000 grant award from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The grant will fund a new pilot program to award three postgraduate fellowships to work on high-impact, high-priority urban analytics projects.

Today’s urban data sources provide a vast amount of information, giving policy makers the chance to identify areas of improvement in a city’s operations and services. However, translating data into insights takes personnel with specific training and deep expertise. Working alongside city experts, CUSP’s new fellowship program aims to address this challenge, delivering value to city agencies by creating a dedicated urban data science team to focus on city-identified problems and work toward measurable solutions.

“The Civic Analytics Fellowship program will deliver impact for the city agencies with which we work, help to establish a field-tested talent pipeline for urban science and informatics, and demonstrate how data can be used to support operational and policy decisions in city government.” said Kontokosta. “We hope that this program will serve as a model of collaborative engagement between universities and city agencies for data analytics projects that could be adapted to other cities.”

The Civic Analytics Postgraduate Fellowship Program builds on the structure and experience of CUSP’s existing Urban Science Intensive Capstone Program. Currently, small teams of students have the opportunity to work directly with city agencies to use analytics to tackle a range of urban challenges as part of the CUSP MS in Applied Urban Science and Informatics program. The new fellowship program will allow recent MS and PhD graduates to expand that work, providing continuity for ongoing city collaborations and giving the fellows real-world training, experience and opportunities for structured professional development in the emerging field of urban informatics.

“The Civic Analytics Fellowship Program is the type of collaboration between cities and universities that is critical as we find solutions to complex urban challenges,” said Ben Levine, Interim Director, MetroLab Network. “These types of programs will enhance our understanding of urban science while supporting cities’ efforts to improve the quality of life for their residents.” -more-

“Our ongoing collaborations with NYU CUSP help bolster the talent we need to expand the impact of data analytics in City government,” said Amen Ra Mashariki, Chief Analytics Office for the City of New York. “The Civic Analytics Fellowship program is another important mechanism to demonstrate the value of analytics and data-driven approaches to public-sector operational and policy decisions.”

Applications are currently being accepted for the nine-month fellowship positions. 

About New York University’s Center for Urban Science & Progress

CUSP is a university-wide center whose research and education programs are focused on urban informatics. Using NYC as its lab, and building from its home in the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, it integrates and applies NYU strengths in the natural, data, and social sciences to understand and improve cities throughout the world. CUSP offers a one-year MS degree in Applied Urban Science & Informatics. For more news and information on CUSP, please visit Follow NYU CUSP on Twitter @NYU_CUSP.

About the MacArthur Foundation

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. MacArthur is placing a few big bets that truly significant progress is possible on some of the world’s most pressing social challenges, including over-incarceration, global climate change, nuclear risk, and significantly increasing capital for the social sector. In addition to the MacArthur Fellows Program, the Foundation continues its historic commitments to the role of journalism in a responsible and responsive democracy; the strength and vitality of our headquarters city, Chicago; and generating new knowledge about critical issues.


Kim Alfred, CUSP

Patrice Kugler, The Marino Organization