Major Research Grants FAQs

Does applying for an exploratory grant preclude someone from also applying for a major grant?

Applying for an exploratory grant does not preclude one from applying for a major grant. Indeed, one of the ideas of the exploratory grants is to generate projects that might be fundable in the large grant program.


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

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


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.


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

Countries that are listed in the most recent version of the World Bank's Country Classification. As of May 2018, there are 34 Low-Income Countries:

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


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:

Tier 1: 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


Can a researcher be a Principal Investigator on more than one Major Grant in a single round?

No. An individual can be the Principal Investigator on only one application for a given major grant call.


Can a researcher be a Co-Investigator on more than one Major Grant in a single round?

An individual can be included as a researcher in as many as two proposals in a given round of Major Grants. That is, she/he can be a Principal Investigator on one application and a Co-Investigator on another, or she/he can be a Co-Investigator on two proposals.

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.


What is the average contract length of a major grant?

Major grants are on average up to 36 months. Formal requests for extension can be submitted with sufficient justification, keeping in mind that the PEDL program will finish at the end of December 2023.