Call for Proposals (Exploratory Grants)

We are calling for research proposals for Exploratory Grants under the joint research initiative of CEPR and DFID, Private Enterprise Development in Low Income Countries (PEDL).

This research programme will pursue a research agenda focusing on private-sector development. It starts from the need to develop a better understanding of what determines the strength of market forces driving efficiency in LICs. Existing research suggests that the private sector in these countries faces a multitude of constraints. These constraints interact with one another. For example, the strategic interaction of firms with market power will be affected by the regulatory regime governing both new entrants and incumbent firms. What is needed is research which allows us to understand how these constraints interact.

Exploratory Research Grants will be awarded primarily to allow researchers to:

  • explore new approaches to the study of firms in low-income countries, and
  • to develop new (or to build on existing) sources of data on firms in low-income countries.

CEPR plans to award Exploratory Research Grants ranging in value from £10,000-£35,000 (value for money will be a guiding evaluation criteria). The grants are designed to provide financial support for the individuals undertaking the research and to cover reasonable associated costs that are directly related to the proposed research project.

Proposals for these grants can be submitted at any time.


Grants will be awarded on an individual basis primarily to researchers from academia, the non-profit sector, think-tanks and research centres, etc.

Applications are also welcome from advanced stage PhD students – in which case, CEPR will also request a letter from the student’s primary advisor that comments on both the proposed research project and the student’s ability to carry out the project.

Application and Evaluation

The application process will require applicants to submit through the PEDL website a high-level proposal not exceeding 3 single-spaced pages describing the project to be undertaken. An up-to-date CV for the individual should accompany the proposal, as well as a work plan and any other supporting materials that the applicant considers would help in the grant determination process.

A detailed budget should also be included.

Applicants will be informed whether the proposal has been approved within 3 month of submission. Further information in support of the application may also be requested during this period.

It will not be possible to provide written comments or feedback on unsuccessful applications. However, the Evaluation Committee may request a revision of the proposal along suggested lines should they consider the proposal has sufficient potential for funding.

Apply for an Exploratory Grant

Exploratory Grants FAQ