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Major Research Grants

The Private Enterprise Development in Low-Income Countries (PEDL) programme pursues a research agenda that aims to better understand what determines the strength of market forces driving efficiency in Low-Income Countries (LICs). Existing research suggests that the private sector in LICs faces a multitude of constraints that act upon each other. What is needed is research that allows us to understand how these constraints interact.

PEDL will support approaches that promise to produce credible research results that will be relevant for policy-making. It will promote research related to private enterprises of all sizes. PEDL will initially focus on four research themes, and research proposals should focus on one or more of these themes:

  • Market frictions, management and organizations
  • Trade and macro models - agglomeration and spatial location of firms
  • High growth entrepreneurship
  • Social compliance and the environment


Major Research Grants have an average grant size of £300,000.  Note however that whilst there is a lower limit of £100,000 for each Major Grant, there is no upper limit.  Cost effectiveness and value for money will also be important evaluation criteria.

These grants will fund research assistance, data collection and new surveys in low-income countries, and (if necessary) teaching buyouts for the principal investigator.

Please note that an important criterion for funding of proposals is the relevance to policy in Low-Income Countries and other eligible countries as defined by the PEDL Programme. See the list of Low-Income Countries here, DFID bilateral programme countries here and additional information on our FAQ page. Note also that, at this stage, we are unable to fund projects located in Myanmar or Palestine.

Grant Set-Up:

Major Research Grants (MRGs) can run up to 36 months.

Please note that contracts should be signed within 6 months of the successful notification. Contract start dates should be within 1 year of the application deadline.

MRGs are designed to be contracted with institutions. While we try to remain as flexible as possible, the contracts were approved with DfID and therefore are non-negotiable. Please look at our contract templates before applying.


The deadline for the 7th round of MRG proposals is 15 June 2019, 11.59pm GMT. Please click here for more information.


Project Overview (For more information about PEDL and its themes)

How to Apply for a Major Grant.

Budget Guidelines - these guidelines are applicable for all applications made on or after the 15th of February 2019

Application Templates:

Budget Template

Proposal Template

MRG Contract Template