Applying online for an Exploratory Research Grant

You can access the online application form for an exploratory grant from any PEDL webpage.

From the site menu, select "FUNDING", then "EXPLORATORY RESEARCH GRANTS".

Next, select the link "How to apply for an Exploratory Grant".  Here you will have the option to login or create an account.  Once you are logged in, this page provides links to all of the detailed information you will need to prepare and complete your application. Please read this information carefully before beginning your application - we may change the requirements from time to time.

If you are already logged in, this page will contain a link to "Apply online for an Exploratory Grant". Select this link to begin the application process.

If you are not logged in, you will first need to either login or create an account. You can find details on how to create an account here.

Saving Your Application

The PEDL Exploratory Grant application form allows you to save a partial application and return to complete it at a later date. To save your application, please click the "Save my draft application, I will make further changes later" button at the bottom of any page of the application form. You may save any number of applications at any time and there is no time limit as to how long an application will remain in our system.

Retrieving a saved Exploratory Grant application

When returning to complete an application you must first login to the site. Once logged in, you will find a box in the right hand column entitled "Your Account". Select the link Your Saved Exploratory Grant Applications to list any applications you have previously saved.


Submitting a Completed Exploratory Grant Application

When you have completed the online application form, please ensure that all required fields are completed and that all of the information you have provided and attachments you have uploaded are correct.

You may submit the final version of your online application by clicking on the "Please submit my application" button, which can be found at the bottom of any of the online application web pages.

We will verify all the required information has been provided. If no errors are found, a confirmation of your submission will be displayed. You will also receive an email messages with your submission reference number.

If any errors are displayed, the form will highlight the fields which require amendment along with a guide of the changes you will need to make to each field.

Completing the Exploratory Grant Application Form

There are 5 steps to apply for an exploratory grant:

  1. Project Information
  2. People
  3. Relevance to PEDL
  4. Budget
  5. Verification

Detailed information regarding each step of the application process is given below.

Step 1: Project Information

In this step you will need to provide the overall details of the project.

a) Application Type

This is a mandatory field. Please select which type of Grant you are applying for. 

b) Project Title

This is a mandatory field. Please insert the title of your project. 

c) Abstract

In this text box, please insert a brief paragraph describing your proposal.  Be advised that we would not recommend that this paragraph exceed 250 words.

If your text extends past the capacity of the text box, a scroll bar will appear on the right hand side of the box to allow you to scroll down to see all of the text.  Alternatively, you can click and drag on the gray line along the bottom of the text box, and drag down, extending the text box to your preferred size.

d) Keywords

You must insert a minimum of 1 keyword for your proposal.  Please note there is a maximum of 50 characters for each word.  If you would like to add an additional key word, click on the “Add another item” button at the bottom of the table. 

e) Proposal
You will also be required to upload a PDF version of your Proposal.  You can do this by clicking on the “Choose file” button and selecting the correct document for upload.  (For additional step-by-step information on how to upload a file, see instructions in Step 2 under section (a))

Only PDF (.pdf) documents will be accepted and files cannot exceed 4 MB in size.  If you would like to change the document you have uploaded, you can click on "Remove" and go through the process again.  Please note: only the most recent docuement you have uploaded will be submitted.

f) Resubmissions

This section is to be completely ONLY by those who have been invited by the PEDL Evaluation Committee to resubmit an application. If you are making a re-submission, please tick the “This application is a resubmission” and provide additional details about the re-submission in the box below.


Click on the “Next page” button to go to the next page to complete the second step of the application, People.


Step 2: People

In Step 2, you are required to provide information about the people who will be involved in the project:

a) Principal Investigator

Here you will need to enter the details of the Principal Investigator who will carry out the research tasks in the project.  If you will not have any co-investigators, this will be yourself.   In the provided fields, please enter the following information:

  • Principle Investigator Name
  • Principle Investigator Affiliation
  • Principle Investigator Email Address
  • Principle Investigator Mailing Address

Please note that each field requires a minimum of 10 characters.

You will then be required to upload a PDF (pdf) version of your CV.  You can do this by clicking on the “Choose file” button and selecting the correct document for upload.  


Once the address of your document shows, click “Upload”.

Once this is done, you may check to see if you uploaded the correct document by clicking on the blue link.


b) Co-Investigator(s)

Please indicate if there are co-investigators for this project by indicating how many there are (Number of Co-investigators drop-down option). In the provided fields, please enter the following information

  • Co-Investigator Name
  • Co-Investigator Affiliation
  • Co-Investigator CV (upload their CV(s) by following the steps used to upload your own CV, outlined above.)

Please note it is not required to have any additional investigators beyond a principle investigator, but you are only able to include a maximum of 3 co-investigators.

Once you are done, click on the “Next page” button to go to the next page to complete the third step of the application, Relevance to PEDL.


Step 3: Relevance to PEDL

To help you complete this step, it is recommended that you read the PEDL Project Overview.

a) Relevant Themes

The PEDL project aims to address a variety of themes, which are listed here.  Under each of the following headings, please tick the box(es) which best relate to your proposed project with regards to:

  • PEDL Themes
  • Cross-Cutting Themes

b) Further Details

For the remaining 5 text boxes, please provide your perspective on how your project aligns with each of the criteria below (2-5 sentences per response, minimum 20 characters per text box). 

  1. Fit with Initiative
  2. Policy Relevance (should be a summary of that included under the same heading in written proposal - if applicable)
  3. Academic Innovation
  4. Methodological Rigour
  5. Cost Effectiveness

Once you have filled in all the text boxes, click on the “Next page” button to go to the next page to complete the fourth step of the application, Budget.


Step 4: Budget

Step 4 will require you to have completed the Budget Template provided in the “Before you go online” section and underneath the upload button (see section b below)

The first five boxes require the total overall budget allocation for each of the five sections outlined in the Budget Template:

  1. Data Acquisition*
  2. Research Stipend*
  3. Research Assistance*
  4. Travel
  5. Other costs**

Note: All exploratory grants will be administered by CEPR. There is no need to include overhead in your budget.

* If you have not allocated a budget to these categories, you may leave a ‘0’ in the box.  “Travel” and “Other costs” are mandatory fields and require a budget.

** For equipment costing more than £500, please consult with CEPR prior to its purchase.

Please note that the budget should be completed and reported in Great British Pounds, GBP (£).


a) Partners & Other Funders

Please indicate in this text box, any other partnering institutions or other sources of funding you are, or may be, receiving for this proposed research. Please include the following details:

  • Name of the partner institution
  • Amount of funding requested
  • The period the funding will cover

b) Budget

Please upload your full proposed Budget here, just as you did with your CV in Step 2.  It is important to ensure that you use the Budget Template provided, which is available by clicking on the blue underlined linked “this template” (as below). Please note only .pdf files will be allowed.


Once you have filled in all the text boxes, click on the “Next page” button to go to the next page to complete the fifth step of the application, Verification.


Step 5: Verification

This is the fifth and final step of your online application form. After completing all the required fields for this page, you can either “Save” or “Submit”.

a) PhD Students

Note: We encourage applications from PhD students planning to work on private sector development issues in their dissertation work. If you are a PhD student, please identify yourself by ticking the “I am a PhD Student” check box.


You will be required to provide your supervisor’s full name and contact email address in the boxes provided.

For the advisor: Please discuss the feasibility of the research proposal, the intellectual support which the student will receive from advisors and others, an assessment of the student's ability to carry out the research and of the student's longer-term potential as a researcher. When submitting this letter, please include the student’s PEDL reference number in the subject of the email, as well as at the top of your letter. (They will receive this reference number upon confirmation of their registration on the PEDL website.)


b)  Human Subjects tick box

Please tick this box if your project requires Human Subjects approval. Human Subjects approval should be obtained through your university and proof of approval from your Institutional Review Board will be required before any funds can be dispersed from CEPR.  Human subject research is defined as the collection and analysis of data from living persons.  This can include interviews, ethnographic observations, review of existing records and experimental medical procedures.   

c) Additional Information

In this text box, please provide any additional information that will help to further your application.


When you have completed the online application form

When you have completed the online application form, please ensure that all required fields are filled in and that all of the information you have provided, and attachments you have uploaded, are correct. 

You may submit the final version of your online application by clicking on the "Please submit my application" button, which can be found at the bottom of any of the online application web pages.

Your application will be validated to ensure all fields have been completed correctly. If you recieve an error, please review the text in the red box which will appear at the top of the page and ensure that all mentioned fields are complete and meet the minimum content requirement.

If no errors are found, your application will be submitted. You will no longer be able to make changes to your application after this point.


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