Special Call for Proposals from PhD Students #2

Special Call for Proposals from PhD Students #2

Application deadline has now passed.

PEDL invites applications from PhD students to the second special call of its Exploratory Research Grants (ERG) programme. A key goal of the ERG programme is to encourage research on issues related to private enterprise development in low-income countries by young scholars. To date, the ERG programme has funded 92 projects, many of which have involved research carried out by PhD students and LIC based researchers.

While students are eligible to apply to any ERG funding round, we are issuing a special call exclusively for PhD students in order to encourage broader participation in the programme. Our first Special Call for PhD students in 2013 received over 45 applications. Ten proposals were selected and the students invited to participate in a two-day workshop in Warwick and a two-day conference in London in December 2013. The workshop gave all the awardees a chance to present and receive feedback on their projects or proposals, as well as to network with PEDL grant holders and other researchers working on firms in LICs. Feedback from the event was highly positive and we are planning another workshop in December 2014 for the winners of the second Special Call.

Applicants must be currently enrolled in a PhD programme to be eligible for this Special Call. The proposed research should form at least part of the student’s planned doctoral dissertation.

PEDL invites applications in any aspect of private sector development, with a particular emphasis on PEDL’s priority research areas:

1) Modelling market frictions in LICs using newly available data

2) Micro-foundations of aggregate private sector performance

3) The dynamics of SMEs: Informality and entrepreneurship

4) The role of export-oriented industries in driving growth

We also particularly encourage proposals that address one or more of PEDL’s three cross-cutting themes – (1) gender; (2) fragile and conflict-affected states; and (3) climate, environment and social compliance.

The objective of PEDL is to fund cutting-edge, policy-oriented research that could be published in leading academic journals and be relevant to the policy dialogue in low-income countries. Applications will be assessed on the basis of these criteria.

The upper limit of funding for ERG proposals is £35,000. However, proposals will also be judged on the basis of ‘value for money’, so we encourage applicants to fully explain and justify all expenditures. Research stipends that are considered to be unreasonable may result in a lower proposal rating.


  • As part of the application process, applicants will need to submit a letter of support from an academic advisor / supervisor
  • All applicants are required to use the templates listed below under "Resources"
  • Please note that at the beginning of your online submission, you will need to select "I am applying for a Special Exploratory Grant"
  • All members of the research team (Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator(s)) have to be currently enrolled in a PhD programme

Application deadline: closed.


How to apply for a Special Exploratory Grant

Application Template (NEW)

Budget Template