Humanitarian Protection Initiative Request for Proposals

HPI woman walking in a refugee camp carrying items on her head
A woman walking home through the heavily guarded Bentiu camp for people fleeing conflict in South Sudan.
Photo by Anouk Delafortrie, © European Union, 2018 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (


The Humanitarian Protection Initiative (HPI) is pleased to announce its first Request for Proposals (RFP). HPI funds research to design, pilot, and evaluate solutions to effectively improve protection outcomes by keeping those who are affected by armed conflict safe from violence, coercion and deliberate deprivation while ensuring their dignity and rights. More detail on the initiative’s scope and research and learning priorities is provided in the RFP document.

Please carefully review the RFP as well as the information below to gain a full understanding of scope, grant types, eligibility criteria, the application process, and the application instructions.


HPI aims to generate rigorous evidence to inform policies and programs that shield conflict-affected populations from physical, psychological, social, and legal harm and mitigate the effects of conflict where harm has occurred. As such, HPI will provide funding to develop context-sensitive research on the impact of interventions that seek to ensure the safety, dignity and rights of people affected by armed conflict and keeping people safe from violence, coercion and deliberate deprivation.


Research Team Eligibility

One researcher per project must be a J-PAL affiliate, an invited researcher to HPI or the J-PAL Europe office, or a J-PAL postdoc. PhD candidates supervised by J-PAL affiliates or eligible invited researchers are also eligible.

In addition, HPI is invested in creating more opportunities for researchers based in or from low- or middle- income countries (LMIC). Please refer to the website on the HPI Scholars Program for more information about eligibility and resources to support proposal development if you are interested in this funding opportunity, are based in or from an LMIC, but don’t meet the conditions outlined above.

Research teams that do not fit the J-PAL-specific eligibility criteria are encouraged to fill in this researcher interest form and send it to [email protected] in order to discuss possible options, including the possibility of being connected to eligible researchers.

All applicants (including affiliates and invited researchers) are limited to submitting three proposals, inclusive of all proposal types, per 12-month period per initiative either as main PIs or co-PIs. If an applicant is submitting a fourth proposal in a 12-month period, the proposal is ineligible for funding.

Geographic Eligibility and Focus

HPI can fund projects in ODA-eligible countries. In line with the initiative’s scope, HPI expects research projects to take place in fragile contexts, with a focus on acute conflict settings. While in principle ODA-eligible, the initiative’s strategic focus does not lie on Latin America and the Caribbean. Projects from that region will have to score particularly high on policy relevance and the potential to generate generalizable insights.

Grant Types

Competitive research funding will be available for travel/proposal development grants (up to US$10,000), pilot studies (up to US$75,000), and randomized impact evaluations ("full studies"; up to US$350,000). PhD candidates supervised by an eligible J-PAL affiliate or invited researcher can apply for funding of up to US$50,000.

Please carefully consult HPI’s RFP and the relevant application instructions linked below for more detail on the purpose of each of these grant types and choose the type that best fits the current stage of your research.

Application Steps and Deadlines

Accessing the Application Portal

J-PAL initiatives use an online portal for all proposal submissions. To submit an application, you will first need an account for the online portal. 

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. Afterwards, you should receive an email confirming that your account has been created. 

If you already have an account but do not remember the password or any other questions about your account, please contact [email protected] for help retrieving or resetting your password. Your J-PAL portal account credentials will allow you to apply to or review for any J-PAL initiative. Our portal works best in the latest version of Google Chrome.

Once your account has been created, login to the portal with your username. Once you are logged into the portal, please click this link in order to access HPI’s Letter of Interest form. 

Step 1: Submitting a Letter of Interest (LOI) 

Letters of Interest will help us determine research team eligibility, whether your proposed project fits HPI’s scope and addresses its research priorities, and whether the proposed project fits the selected grant type. We aim to respond to LOI submissions within three weeks to let applicants know whether they are invited to submit a full proposal.

Step 2: Submitting a Proposal

If you receive an invitation to submit a full proposal following the LOI stage, please follow the next steps outlined in the relevant application instructions linked below. We aim to share the outcomes from our review within the timelines outlined below.


HPI’s first round of funding opened in February 2024. Letters of Interest forms are due by April 5, 2024. These forms are required to be invited to submit a full proposal. Full proposals are due by May 17, 2024 at 12 p.m (noon) ET. Funding decisions will be announced in September 2024. 

Off-cycle Proposals

HPI welcomes off-cycle proposals to better align with the fast-paced nature of humanitarian programming. Off-cycle proposals must be submitted through the same application portal as regular proposals and motivate how following current or upcoming RFP cycles will undermine the project’s feasibility. Research teams interested in submitting an off-cycle proposal should reach out to [email protected] to discuss their proposal and a suitable timeline before starting their application.

Supporting Materials and Templates

1. Request for Proposals (RFP)

3. Submission Material Templates

Total Project Budget (overview over all costs required to complete the project)

Initiative Budget (budget requested from HPI)

Timeline: Project, Policy and Practice Influence Milestones

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