Exploratory Research Grants

In which language should I write my application for a Private Enterprise Development in Low-Income Countries (PEDL) Grant?

Individuals wishing to apply for a PEDL grant should write their full application in English. Applications received in other languages will not be taken into account for the evaluation.


Who can apply for a PEDL Grant?

Only individuals can apply for a PEDL Exploratory Grant. PEDL Exploratory Grants will be issued through a contract between CEPR and the successful applicant directly. No instiution can be signatory of PEDL contracts nor can institutions receive PEDL funds or take overheads.


How can I apply for Private Enterprise Development in Low-Income Countries (PEDL) Grant?

Applications for a PEDL Exploratory Grant should be submitted through the website here.


Can I apply as a team?

Yes you may apply as a team, but we do ask that only one researcher submits the proposal as the representative of the team. That individual will be the named individual on the contract and will have responsibility for the project implementation should it be successful.


When will CEPR announce their selections?

CEPR will announce their selection 3-4 months after the proposal deadline.


Is there a deadline for the proposals submission?

Proposals can be submitted at any time. This may change in subsequent years as the Initiative progresses.


Can a rejected proposal be resubmitted?

Only those who have been explicitly invited to do so may resubmit a previously unsuccessful proposal.

The purpose of the “by invitation” policy is to allow for the amendment and/or improvement of those proposals which the Evaluation Committee considers to have the potential to be funded.

CEPR cannot guarantee that a resubmitted proposal will be successful.

Proposals must be resubmitted through the PEDL online submission system, and must be accompanied by a letter stating and describing the revisions that have been applied.

Applications must be identified as resubmissions by ticking the appropriate “resubmission” box.


Can I submit more than one proposal?

No person can be the Principle Investigator in two different proposals within the same PEDL Exploratory Grant proposal round. However, it is permitted for a person to be Principle Investigator for one proposal while only being a team member for another.


Should PEDL research proposals be based on a purely economic and quantitative approach, or is there scope for applications involving other disciplines to be considered?

The programme is open to mixed / multi-disciplinary approaches. But the core of the approach should be related to the literature in economics and grounded primarily in economic issues.


What can be included under equipment?

Items of equipment costing £500 and under are allowable provided that explicit justification is given for each item.


If I cannot start work on the project on the date given in my application, would CEPR agree to a delayed start date?

Yes, with sufficient justification. However, consideration will be given to the extent of the delay, which may have a bearing on the decision.


If I am a Doctoral student and apply for an exploratory grant with support from my supervisor, will the grant be paid to my institution or will it be given to me directly, as an individual?

Exploratory Grant funding will be provided directly to the principal investigator. If this is not possible, reasons must be provided and the funds may alternatively be channelled through the university or affiliated institution. In such cases, however, it must be borne in mind that the Exploratory Grants budget cannot include any institutional overheads.


What are the preferred outputs for the exploratory research grants? Would it be in the form of a paper/report, policy briefing or academic journal article?

The primary criteria are that the project will lead to a rigorous, high-quality academic paper. But we also expect the policy-relevant results to be written up separately as a policy brief.


Are there specific affiliation requirements?

There are no particular affiliation requirements for individuals applying for PEDL Exploratory Research Grants. Please note, however, that these grants are intended to fund research rather than supporting programs.


Which countries qualify as low-income countries (LICs)?

We will define LICs using the most recent version World Bank’s Country Classification. As of July 2017, there are 31 low-income countries:

Afghanistan, Gambia, Guinea, Nepal, Benin, Guinea-Bissau, Niger, Burkina Faso, Haiti, Rwanda, Burundi, Sierra Leone, Dem Rep. Korea, Somalia, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Senegal, Chad, Liberia, Tanzania, Comoros, Madagascar, Togo, Dem Rep. Congo, Malawi, Uganda, Eritrea, Mali, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, and Mozambique.


Are there other groups of countries which are given special consideration?

The PEDL priority countries are those classified as low-income and those lower-middle income countries with a DFID bilateral programme. We will consider proposals from other lower-middle income countries, but only if a compelling case can be made that the research is relevant for policy in the priority countries and that there are reasons the research cannot be carried out in a priority country (e.g., because of exceptional data availability).This case must include concrete steps in the Policy Impact Plan to reach policymakers in LICs. The middle-income countries in which DFID currently has a programme are:

Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan), Myanmar, Nigeria, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Pakistan, Sudan, Tajikistan, Yemen and Zambia.

Tier 2: Republic of Congo, Cote D'Ivoire, Honduras, Lesotho, Mauritania and Papua New Guinea.

Will PEDL fund any research in countries other than LICs and the MICs where DFID has a program?

Yes, but a strong case must be made that the research is relevant for policy in LICs. This case must include concrete steps in the Policy Impact Plan to reach policymakers in LICs. In the case of MICs where DFID is not active, or higher-income countries, the case for relevance to LIC policy must be very strong.

Table of Low-Income Countries and DFID programme countries

Table of DFID bilateral programme countries


Does the research have to use data from a low-income country on the list?

No, but the research needs to be relevant to private enterprise development in low-income countries. If your project relates to another country, then you will need to justify why what we will learn is relevant for low income countries.


Which countries are classified as 'fragile and conflict affected'?

There is no unanimous agreement on classification of countries by these criteria. Some guidance can be found on the following sites:


Can I apply for funding to work on a theory paper?

It is possible, but you will need to very carefully justify why the project is relevant to policy in low-income countries.


Can I include a payment for myself in the budget?

Yes, but proposals will be judged on a 'value for money' criteria, so be sure that any such payments are justified as necessary.


How do I apply for an Exploratory Grant

Please read  How do I apply for an Exploratory Grant.


What criteria should the project budget comply with?

Please refer to the Budget Guidelines

Budget Guidelines - these guidelines are applicable for all applications made on or before 30th June 2017

New Budget Guidelines - these guidelines are applicable for all applications made on or after 1st July 2017


FAQ Reference: