6th Call for MRG Proposals, Deadline: August 31, 2018 - CLOSED

Sixth Call for Major Research Grant Proposals


Deadline: 31 August 2018, 11.59pm GMT


The sixth call for PEDL Major Research Grants (MRGs) is now closed.


About PEDL: The Private Enterprise Development in Low-Income Countries (PEDL) programme pursues a research agenda that aims to better understand what determines the strength of market forces driving efficiency in lower-income countries. The Initiative supports research related to firms, enterprises, and markets and gives priority to approaches that promise to produce credible research results relevant for policy-making in targeted countries. Projects carried out partly or entirely in non-focus countries will be considered if a convincing case is made that the results are applicable to the focus countries. See the list of DfID focus countries here. NOTE: At the present moment, we are unable to fund projects located in Myanmar and Palestine.


Topics: We welcome proposals in any area related to private sector development in focus countries. We expect that many of the funded proposals will relate to one of PEDL’s four main research themes:

  • Market frictions, management and organizations.
  • Trade and macro models – agglomeration and spatial location of firms.
  • High growth entrepreneurship.
  • Social compliance and the environment.

PEDL also encourages proposals that address three cross-cutting issues: Gender; Fragile and Conflict-Affected States; and Unlocking Data for Understanding Markets and Firms. We also encourage projects that consider the exclusions/ barriers faced by people with disabilities as a component of the research. Applicants are encouraged to consider these cross-cutting issues in their projects. Projects that unlock or create data on firms in LICs that can be used by other researchers may be able to make a case for substantially more than average funding. 


For a more comprehensive description of the new research agenda, please click here.


Major Research Grants:

The call has a lower limit of £100,000. While there is no upper limit, cost effectiveness and value for money are important evaluation criteria. Grants can be used to fund research assistance, data collection and new surveys in low-income countries, and teaching buyouts for the principal investigator. Proposals funded in this call may have a term of up to three years.


To date, PEDL has awarded 34 MRGs, with an average value of around £300,000. You can view the descriptions of these projects here.


Optional Expressions of Interest: Researchers are invited to submit a one or two-page description of their project in advance of the full proposal. We will aim to provide feedback on the fit of the proposal with the PEDL program within a week of submission.  We will not provide any feedback on the EOI with regard to the quality of the proposal or the likelihood of funding. The optional submission of an expression of interest is intended to reduce the initial effort required for those researchers who are unsure of their project’s alignment with PEDL’s themes. Expressions of interest should be submitted to [email protected].


The deadline for submissions was 31 August 2018. For more information on the submission requirement and procedure, please see the How to Apply for a Major Grant page. For more details regarding eligibility and full project details please see the PEDL Guide for Applicants. Please, send an email to [email protected] confirming that you have submitted a proposal. In this way, a member of the PEDL Team will be able to assist you with your application if some relevant detail were missing.


David Atkin will chair the review panel for this MRG call.