3rd Special Call for PhD Students, Deadline: June 5, 2015 - CLOSED

The 3rd Special Call for Exploratory Research Grants from PhD Students is now closed.  All proposals should have been submitted by 11:59 p.m. GMT on June 5, 2015 in order to receive consideration for funding. 


Third Special Call for Exploratory Research Grants from PhD Students

Deadline: 5 June 2015


The Private Enterprise Development in Low-Income countries (PEDL) research initiative invites applications from PhD students to a Special Call for Proposals of its Exploratory Research Grants (ERG) programme. The deadline for submissions is 5 June 2015

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. 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.


The past two Special Calls for PhD students in 2013 and 2014 received 47 and 56 applications respectively. A total of eighteen proposals were selected over the two rounds and each year the students were invited to participate in a four-day workshop in Warwick and a two-day conference in London as part of PEDL’s annual December Conference.  The workshop gives 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. As feedback from the event has been highly positive, we will plan another workshop in December 2015 for winners of the third Special Call.


Eligible projects will address one or more of the PEDL research themes:

·         Modelling market frictions in LICs using newly available data

·         Micro-foundations of aggregate private sector performance

·         The dynamics of SMEs: Informality and entrepreneurship

·         The role of export-oriented industries in driving growth


PEDL also encourages proposals that address three cross-cutting issues: Fragile and conflict affected states; Gender; and 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
  • Please keep the proposal length to 3 pages


How to apply for a Special Exploratory Grant

Application Template (NEW)

Budget Template