Jobs and Opportunity Initiative RFP


J-PAL’s Jobs and Opportunity Initiative (JOI) funds randomized evaluations of strategies to address pressing labor markets challenges. JOI has two regular funding cycles per year. J-PAL affiliates, J-PAL postdocs, and JOI invited researchers are eligible to apply for full research projects, pilot studies, travel/proposal development grants, and policy outreach support grants. PhD students, with support from an advisor who is a J-PAL affiliate or JOI-invited researcher, are also eligible to apply.

JOI also offers off-cycle funding outside of the regular RFPs. These grants are intended for research projects that face a significant time constraint and need to receive funding before the end of a regular funding round to make use of an unanticipated opportunity. Proposals must clearly justify the need to receive a decision on an expedited schedule. The maximum amount awarded to off-cycle proposals is $75,000. 

Please note that PhD students, with support from an advisor who is a J-PAL affiliate or JOI-invited researcher, are now also eligible to apply for JOI off-cycle funding.


The proposal deadline for JOI’s Spring 2021 RFP has passed, and the RFP is now closed.

JOI has two regular funding cycles per year for full research projects, pilot studies, and travel/proposal development grants that address open questions outlined in the JOI RFP Overview document available below.

Priority Themes

This initiative will provide competitive funding to generate policy-relevant rigorous research that addresses pressing labor market challenges. The Jobs and Opportunity Initiative will focus on evaluating the impact of programs related to:

  • Supply and matching
  • Job creation
  • The future of jobs

See the RFP Overview for more details on the set of priority research questions.

Regional Focus

Projects in sub-Saharan Africa will be strongly prioritized, with a special interest in projects in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa. Projects in other countries in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and especially in the Middle East and North Africa will also be considered, but funding for projects in these geographies is extremely limited. The Jobs and Opportunity Initiative is unable to fund work in Europe, Canada, or the United States.

Application Instructions

J-PAL initiatives, including JOI, are transitioning to using an online portal for all proposal submissions, proposal reviews, invoice submissions, and grantee reporting. To apply to JOI’s Spring 2021 RFP, you will first need to register via our online portal. Please navigate to the portal and follow the instructions to complete your registration.

If you receive an error message stating that you already have an account, please contact [email protected] Our staff will create an account for you internally that is linked to your existing Salesforce contact information within 24 hours of receiving your email. This will only be necessary once, thank you for your patience as we transition to a new system.

Letter of interest: All applications were required to submit a letter of interest (LOI) by Monday, March 29 at 11:59 PM ET. 

Full proposals: The JOI 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 find below reference application documents that outline in detail all required information that applicants will be asked when submitting a full proposal to JOI via our online portal system. You are welcome to begin drafting your proposal materials using these templates. Please, however, do not send these documents to JOI's email as in past rounds, but rather, please submit them via our online portal.

Please note that proposals for this spring should discuss any Covid-related risks to the feasibility of the project and share how the team will prepare for and mitigate these risks.

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