King Climate Action Initiative Request for Proposals

Taking a two-track approach to informing climate policy, the King Climate Action Initiative (K-CAI) at J-PAL funds proposals to design, pilot, evaluate, and scale innovations at the nexus of climate change and poverty. The Initiative has two regular funding cycles per year. 

  • K-CAI research awards fund full randomized evaluations, pilot research projects, and travel/proposal development projects to identify potentially high impact innovations and evaluate their effectiveness and cost-effectiveness.
  • K-CAI scaling awards fund technical assistance to governments, firms, and NGOs to adapt, pilot, and scale evidence-based climate change solutions with demonstrated impact.


J-PAL affiliates and K-CAI invited researchers are eligible to apply for all categories of research and scaling funding in collaboration with their implementing, policy, and/or other research partners. J-PAL postdoctoral fellows are eligible to apply for all types of research funding. Graduate students who have a J-PAL affiliate or K-CAI invited researcher on their thesis committee are eligible to apply for travel/proposal development grants or up to $50,000 in pilot or full-scale funding. J-PAL and IPA offices are eligible to apply for scaling funding with a J-PAL affiliate or K-CAI invited researcher as a collaborator. To be considered for K-CAI funding, all proposals are required to have submitted an expression of interest by Tuesday September 8, 2020.

Four Focus Areas

Working across developing countries that will be hardest hit by climate change and high-emitting developed countries, K-CAI supports research and scaling projects across four outcome areas, prioritizing projects that have the potential to benefit people experiencing poverty:

  • Climate change mitigation: Reducing carbon and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to slow the pace of climate change and its damaging effects
  • Pollution reduction: Reducing harmful carbon co-pollutants and thereby improving public health, without reducing critical access to energy
  • Climate change adaptation: Building people and communities’ ability to adapt to the economic, social, and environmental impacts of climate change, particularly in low- and middle-income countries
  • Energy access: Increasing access to affordable, reliable energy for people experiencing poverty and encouraging shifts in energy systems towards cleaner sources 

To speed up the path from research to policy action, K-CAI will prioritize evaluations that use administrative and remote sensing data to generate results more quickly and collaborations with policy partners that can scale effective solutions.

Members of K-CAI’s Review Board include Kelsey Jack, Michael Greenstone, Iqbal Dhaliwal, (and other board members forthcoming). 

Proposal Timeline

K-CAI is currently accepting proposals for its inaugural RFP, with full applications due at 11:59 PM ET on Tuesday, October 20. Please note that all applications are required to have submitted an expression of interest by the September 8 deadline. Funding decisions will be announced in the first half of December. We will launch our second RFP in Q1 2021.

For research and scaling projects facing a significant external time constraint or a time limited policy window, K-CAI can also accept off-cycle applications for up to $75,000 on a rolling basis. Interested applicants should email [email protected] explaining their time constraint to determine whether their project could qualify for off-cycle support. 

Application Documents

Expression of interest: K-CAI's expression of interest form was due on Tuesday, September 8, 2020 at 11:59 PM ET, and is now closed. Please note that we will accept late submissions from teams who plan to submit scaling proposals, but are closed to additional submissions for research awards. We thank teams that submitted, as this allows K-CAI staff to check that your planned proposal submission meets the most basic requirements and coordinate the peer and board review process, and it streamlines the submission, review, and award process for everyone. As a reminder, you will not be held to, or scored on, the details of what you submitted. The K-CAI team will not follow up on your submission unless we have clarifying questions related to eligibility or proposal type. Please proceed with developing your application materials unless you hear otherwise.

Full proposals: Full proposals should be submitted via email to [email protected] by 11:59 PM ET on Tuesday, October 20. All application materials and submission instructions for our Fall 2020 RFP can be found in the application documents hosted below.

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


Am I eligible to apply to K-CAI?

You are eligible to apply for K-CAI if you are a J-PAL affiliate, a J-PAL postdoc, a K-CAI invited researcher, a PhD student who has a J-PAL affiliate or K-CAI invited researcher on their thesis committee, or a J-PAL or IPA office working in collaboration with a J-PAL affiliate or K-CAI invited researcher.

I am a policymaker or implementing organization interested in evaluating an innovation. How can I connect with an eligible researcher in the J-PAL network?

Our team is glad to facilitate connections between potential partners and J-PAL’s network of researchers. We would be interested in hearing more about your organization and the program or policy you are interested in evaluating so we can identify if there are researchers in our network who may be available and interested. Please contact our team at

Page Content