Governance Initiative Request for Proposals


J-PAL’s Governance Initiative (GI) funds randomized evaluations of strategies to improve governance in low- and middle-income countries.

GI's Fall 2023 RFP is now closed. Results will be announced in mid-December. For further instructions on how to apply and eligibility criteria, please refer to the RFP Overview document, Multidisciplinary Research Application materials, and application templates under Application Documents below.

J-PAL affiliates, J-PAL post-docs, and invited researchers are eligible to apply for funding for full-scale evaluations (for a maximum of $400,000; typically up to $250,000), pilot studies (up to $75,000), travel/proposal development grants (up to $10,000), and multidisciplinary research grants (up to $30,000).

PhD students, with support from an adviser who is a J-PAL affiliate or GI invited researcher, are also eligible to apply for travel/proposal development grants, multidisciplinary research grants, and up to $50,000 for a pilot or full-scale study. 

By providing targeted funding for rigorous evaluations of the most promising programs to improve governance, GI aims to offer guidance for implementing organizations, governments, and donors, so that policies can be guided by scientific evidence to improve development outcomes.

Proposal Timeline

GI has two funding cycles per year for full research projects, pilot studies, and travel/proposal development grants that address open questions outlined in the Governance Initiative Review Paper. Our Fall 2023 timeline is as follows: 

  • Wednesday, August 2: RFP launch date
  • Thursday, September 7: LOI submission deadline
  • Thursday, October 5: Proposal submission deadline
  • (Tentative) December 11: Results announced

Application Instructions – Regular Call for Proposals

J-PAL initiatives, including the Governance Initiative, are transitioning to using an online portal for all proposal submissions, proposal reviews, invoice submissions, and grantee reporting. To apply to GI's Fall 2023 RFP, you will first need to register via our online portal. Please navigate to the portal and follow the instructions to complete your registration.

To request a new account for the J-PAL portal, please complete this form and specify that you want an applicant (“grantee”) account. Account creation normally takes no more than two business days; you will be asked to verify your email address and set a password. For further information and troubleshooting, please get in touch with [email protected]. Your J-PAL portal account credentials will allow you to apply to or review for any J-PAL initiative. Please verify your eligibility by thoroughly reading the initiative’s RFP overview. Ineligible applicants will be notified during LOI reviews and will not be invited to submit proposals.

Letter of Intent: GI's Letter of Intent (LOI) form is due on September 7, at 5:00 PM ET. All applications are required to have submitted an LOI by this deadline in order to submit a full proposal.

Full proposals: The GI team will notify you via the portal once we have reviewed your LOI and you are clear to begin your proposal. In the interim, to facilitate your proposal development, please feel free to review the sample application templates available online, which roughly detail information that applicants will be asked when submitting a full proposal to GI via our online portal system. Please, however, do not complete or submit these sample documents to GI for consideration. All proposals for full, pilot, and travel/proposal development grants are due by October 5, at 5:00 PM ET.

Application Instructions – Multidisciplinary Research Proposals

To apply for a multidisciplinary research grant, please follow the instructions in the GI Multidisciplinary Research Application document on this webpage and submit your proposal by email to [email protected].

For multidisciplinary grants, priority will be given to research teams that include a scholar from outside the applied economics space (this space includes PhD holders in economics as well as public policy, political science, or similar programs if their focus is on applied microeconomic methods).

Please note that multidisciplinary research proposals do not require an LOI, and will not be conducted through the online platform described above. Applications are due via email by October 5, at 5:00 PM ET.

Off-cycle proposals

GI is not accepting off-cycle proposals at this time. 

Policy Outreach Support

GI is not accepting proposals for policy outreach grants during this round.

Reporting Templates for Awardees

To access reporting templates for your GI-funded grant, please click here.