Lincoln Institute of Land Policy Case Study Awards

Case Study Award Application Instructions

Submission Deadline: January 6, 2020, 6 PM (EST) - (Submission window is now closed)
Award Winners Announced: March 2020 - (Winners announced March 10, see list here)
Final Case Studies Due: August 31, 2020


Application Guidelines

To address the rising social, economic, and environmental challenges facing cities across the globe, planners need foundational knowledge and skills as well as opportunities to apply them in real world situations. The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (the “Institute”) and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) launched a digital case library at the ACSP 2017 Annual Conference. This Partnership has produced 27 cases about land policy issues in North America, South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. The completed cases are in the Institute’s digital case library and are free for anyone to use. To help grow the collection, authors are invited to submit a proposal to write a case study.

What is a case study? It is a story about a real situation. It includes sufficient information such as relevant people, groups, organizations, actions, and issues to give readers an immersive experience of the situation. The Institute’s case studies are teaching materials, not research publications. They are written to further the education of students and practitioners and are designed to make learning both engaging and effective. Through debates, group work, and continuous feedback from educators and peers, participants in classes and seminars that use cases develop analytical skills, empathy for opposing views, and ultimately a deep understanding of pertinent issues.

Ten proposals will be awarded $2,000 each for researching and writing a case. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a proposal for writing a teaching case study using the Institute’s case templates.

Thematic Areas

The topic of your case proposal must reflect at least one of the Institute’s six key issues:

  1. Low-carbon, Climate-Resilient Communities and Regions
  2. Efficient and Equitable Tax Systems
  3. Fiscally Healthy Communities and Regions
  4. Functional Land Markets and Reduced Informality
  5. Reduced Poverty and Spatial Inequality
  6. Sustainable Land and Water Management

Guidance and Support for Writing Cases

To ease the organizational burden for case writers and to provide a cohesive and unified learning experience for users, the Institute has created templates for two types of cases:  descriptive and inquiry.

  • A descriptive case presents essential facts about a real world situation, possible solutions, the chosen solution, its implementation, results, and expert commentary.
  • An inquiry case provides a fact base about a real world situation and asks readers to diagnose the problem and advocate for a solution or analyze a decision and argue which decision option should be adopted. In most cases, an inquiry case does not disclose the real world solution, specify theory or frameworks that apply to the situation, or give expert commentary. That information is included in teaching notes as supports for instructor leading the case discussion. 

Award recipients will receive guidance and support from the Institute, write a descriptive or inquiry case using the Institute’s case template, and agree to publish the case in the Institute’s digital library that is freely available to anyone. The writing process includes 3 drafts. In drafts 1 and 2, the author will receive feedback on essential elements of the case from an instructional designer and a case writing expert. In draft 3, the author will receive edits and feedback from a professional copy editor. 


Award Application

The case study proposal must be written in English and include the following:

  1. 11 point font, single spaced, with one-inch margins.
  2. A cover page that includes the title of the case study, which case study (descriptive or inquiry) is being proposed, an abstract not to exceed 150 words, an author biography of up to 150 words, the author’s name, affiliation, mailing address, phone number, and your email address.
  3. A case memo of up to two pages that includes:
  4. Up to a one-page list of resources the author can use to write the case. For example, articles, books, interviews, videos, website links, databases, maps, local contacts, experts, and organizations. The proposal should indicate what additional research is needed and the support required to complete it.
  5. Up to a half-page description of any prior experience writing and teaching with cases, if you have or plan to use the case for teaching, and your ability to complete the case study by the due date. Please indicate whether this case has been previously published. 

The author will receive the full amount of the award upon submitting a completed case study. The case study is considered completed when the author has reviewed and addressed all feedback from the copy editor in draft 3. Lincoln reserves the right not to publish the case in the Institute’s case library.

Resources (PDFs)


SUBMIT YOUR CASE STUDY HERE* - (Submission window is now closed)

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  • recognize diverse needs and interests in planning;
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