Major Research Grant FAQs

Does applying for an Exploratory Research Grant preclude someone from also applying for a Major Research Grant?

Applying for an ERG does not preclude one from applying for an MRG. Indeed, one of the ideas of the ERGs is to generate projects that might be fundable as part of the MRG programme.


Who can apply for a Major Research Grant?

While researchers apply for MRGs, the grants will be issued through a contract between CEPR and a coordinating institution. Please also note that due to local Indian regulations regarding the return of foreign funds, any contract with an Indian institution will be invoice based with no funds paid up front.

PEDL invites applications from researchers located anywhere in the world. PhD students are eligible to apply but should note that research team experience and ability to conduct a large scale project are considered during the evaluation process.


How can I apply for a Major Research Grant?

Applications for an MRG should be submitted through the website here. Please first read How to apply for a Major Research Grant.


Is there a deadline for proposal submission?

Deadlines are usually placed once every year and so it is best to submit proposals in the weeks/months leading up to the deadline. The deadlines for upcoming calls will be available via the PEDL website and newsletter.


When will applicants be notified of the call's results?

The aim is to notify applicants within five months of the proposal deadline


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 amendments and/or improvements of proposals that the Evaluation Committee considers to have the potential to be funded.

There is no 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 in a round?

No person can be the principal investigator (PI) on two different proposals within the same MRG proposal round. However, it is permitted for a person to be PI for one proposal while only being a co-investigator (Co-I) for another.  If not listed as a PI, an individual can be included as a Co-I in as many as two proposals in a given round of MRGs.


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. However, the core of the approach should be related to the literature in economics and grounded primarily in economic issues.


Is the start date of the project negotiable? Is it possible to ask for 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.


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

Projects are expected to produce high-quality academic papers. However, a policy brief and impact report should also be produced, to highlight the policy-relevant results.


Does PEDL have criteria relating to in which countries research can take place?

A guide to PEDL's 2022 updated country criteria can be found here. PEDL's focus is on all LICs and any Tier 1 LMICs (i.e. LMICs in which FCDO has a bilateral programme).


Will PEDL fund any research in countries other than the low-income and lower-middle-income countries where FCDO has a programme?

PEDL will consider proposals for research in other LMICs but they should make a clear case for the relevance of the research to policy in LICs, and also justify why the research is only feasible in a non-focus country (e.g. because of exceptional data availability). Note that we are currently unable to fund projects located in Myanmar and Palestine.


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:


What information should be included in the Policy Impact Plan section?

Please specify the following information relating to the policy impact of your proposal:

  1. identify the potential users of your project, i.e. government departments, individuals who will benefit from your research, etc.
  2. identify how the above-mentioned users will use the results of your research, and what policies you aim to influence.
  3. identify the planned outreach methods, i.e. how you aim to communicate your findings to the potential users of your research.
  4. identify the methods you will use for disseminating your research i.e. papers, reports, events, etc.
  5. identify the measures you will use for assessing and evaluating the impact of your research on policy.

Should the country you aim to study not be an LIC, you must clearly explain the impact of your research on one or more LICs.


Can I include a payment for myself in the budget?

Yes, but proposals will be judged on a 'value for money' criteria, therefore any payment should be adequately justified. As per the MRG Budget Guidelines, research personnel are eligible costs under PEDL to the extent that the research staff are directly involved in providing services to the project. Budgets that include significant costs for research staff need to be able to justify these costs and demonstrate the research value. The total allocated to PIs, co-PIs and other senior experts must not exceed £20,000 per project year. All research personnel costs will be evaluated for their value for money, and may require further justification or amendments before being approved by CEPR.


What is the average contract length of a Major Research Grant?

MRGs typically run for between 24 and 36 months. Formal requests for extension can be submitted with sufficient justification, keeping in mind that there may be restrictions based on the end date of the PEDL programme.


What criteria should the project budget comply with?

Please refer to the MRG Budget Guidelines.