Major Research Grants

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.

What is the likely size of a major grant?

In this round for major grants, we will expect to award 6 grants at approximately £300,000 each.

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.

Can staff of the World Bank and other IFIs apply for grants?

In accordance with DFID policy, grant funds cannot be used to support core activities of the IFIs. This means that IFI staff may not buy out time, and IFIs will not be able to charge overheads in the major grant programme.

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, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Dem Rep. 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, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda 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:
a) identify the potential users of your project, i.e. government departments, individuals who will benefit from your research, etc.
b) identify how the above-mentioned users will use the results of your research, and what policies you aim to influence.
c) identify the planned outreach methods, i.e. how you aim to communicate your findings to the potential users of your research.
d) identify the methods you will use for disseminating your research i.e. papers, reports, events, etc.
e) 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.

Does it make sense to propose line items for student dissertation research closely tied to what I am doing?

Yes, if it is an integral part of the project. One of the aims of PEDL is to increase the pool of researchers working on issues related to private sector development in LICs. One way to do that is to draw more good PhD students into the area, and support for dissertation work in an MRG would fit into that goal.

What is the usual number of years for major grants?

There is not "usual" term, but grants can extend through 2019, or for up to 36 months in the current call.

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