PEDL’s Major Research Grant Program to address Cross-cutting Issues in Lower-Income Countries

Deadline: 15 June 2019

The Private Enterprise Development in Low-Income Countries (PEDL) is seeking applications for its Major Research Grant Program with an aim to better understand what determines the strength of market forces driving efficiency in Low-Income Countries (LICs).

The Initiative supports research related to firms, enterprises, and markets in LICs and gives priority to approaches that promise to produce credible research results relevant for policy-making in these countries.

PEDL also encourages proposals that address its three cross-cutting themes: Gender; Fragile and Conflict-Affected States; and Unlocking Data for Understanding Markets and Firms.


  • Market frictions, management and organizations: Well-functioning markets provide discipline for entrepreneurs, managers and investors. Competition increases incentives for efficiency and for innovation.
  • Trade and macro models – agglomeration and spatial location of firms: Few countries have enjoyed long periods of sustained growth without an active foreign trade sector. Evidence suggests that exporters play a role in aggregate growth which is disproportionate to their share in output.
  • High growth entrepreneurship: A majority of the labour force in LICs works in firms with fewer than five workers. But we know from both cross-country and time-series evidence that the process of development is associated with a decrease in the share of the labour force that is self-employed and an increase in average firm size.
  • Social compliance and the environment: Creation of wage jobs is an important outcome of a healthy private sector. But creation of desirable wage jobs should be the goal: jobs that are fairly remunerated with safe working conditions. There is evidence that export-oriented firms pay a wage premium in many countries.

Funding Information

The call has a lower limit of £100,000. While there is no upper limit, cost effectiveness and value for money are important evaluation criteria. Grants can be used to fund research assistance, data collection and new surveys in low-income countries, and teaching buyouts for the principal investigator. Proposals funded in this call may have a term of up to three years.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Proposals may be submitted by “eligible” institutions and organisations. An eligible institution is one that:
    • Is a legally registered entity in its home country;
    • Is not bankrupt or being wound up, is not having its affairs administered by the courts, has not entered into an arrangement with creditors, has not suspended business activities, is not the subject of proceedings concerning those matters, and is not in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure provided for in national legislation or regulations;
    • Has not been convicted by a judgement for fraud, corruption, involvement in criminal organizations or any other criminal activity or breach of relevant law;
    • Has fulfilled its tax obligations, obligations relating to the payment of social security contributions or obligations relating to the treatment of employees.
  • Joint proposals from consortia of institutions will be considered provided that they have an appropriate legal arrangement via an MOU or sub-contractual agreements between parties, with only one lead institution and one Principal Investigator.
  • Individual researchers might wish to apply for a Major Grant without being obliged to choose their home university as the host institution. In some (exceptional) circumstances it may also be appropriate for CEPR to administer the project on behalf of the researcher, i.e., for CEPR to act as the host institution – for example, where a host institution is unable to satisfy the necessary eligibility and/or evaluation criteria, whilst the researchers’ credentials and expertise are considered of sufficiently high quality to undertake the research.

How to Apply

In order to apply for a Major Grant, applicants must register and create an account in the given website.

For more information, please visit

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