State and Local Innovation Request for Proposals
The Request for Proposals invites proposals from state and local governments that have partnered with a J-PAL affiliate or invited researcher. Selected governments and their research partners receive funding for pilot studies or full research projects.
Application materials from the latest RFP round are available below for reference. Future funding rounds typically take place twice per year with deadlines in early spring and early fall. In rare instances, J-PAL North America will consider off-cycle proposals for projects, including pilots, facing time constraints due to factors outside of their control. Decisions on these applications are typically made in about two weeks. We accept travel/proposal development grants at any time of the year.
Types of Proposals
Full Research Projects
Full research projects are typically awarded $150,000 to $250,000, with a maximum budget of $400,000. The award period may be up to three years. A full project proposal is one where applicants:
- Can propose a clear and well-developed research question
- Can provide detailed randomization design and power calculations (see below)
- Can indicate outcomes of interest
- Can provide proof of commitment from partner organizations (in the form of letters of support)
Full project proposals may be submitted for an ongoing study that has already begun without J-PAL North America funding.
Pilot studies may be awarded a maximum of $50,000. The award period may be up to three years. A pilot proposal is one where applicants:
- Seek to answer a particular research question but the design and implementation require further testing and development before a full project launches
- Can clearly explain how the pilot will lead to a randomized evaluation in the future, although random assignment does not necessarily need to occur during the pilot
- Pilot funds may also be used for activities intended to facilitate access to administrative data for designing or conducting an RCT.
Policy outreach grants
Policy outreach grants may be awarded between $500 to $20,000. The award period may be up to one year. Policy outreach grants are paid by direct reimbursement and cannot cover any activity that requires review by an IRB. A policy outreach proposal is one where applicants:
- Can clearly describe a plan for policy outreach activities such as an event and/or development and distribution of a written or recorded product.
- Can identify how these activities will be used to disseminate study results or other findings from one or more pilot or full studies funded by J-PAL North America and on which the applicant was a PI or co-PI. These studies may be ongoing.
- Policy outreach funds may also cover outreach in which a team reports study results or other findings back to the participants and/or frontline workers from the study.
To apply, please submit the J-PAL North America Policy Outreach Grant Application and email it to [email protected]. Applications may be submitted on a rolling basis.
Research Management Support
Researchers are strongly encouraged to apply for research management support (RMS, formerly known as STReaM) when submitting their proposals. RMS is a program that provides around six months of support from experienced J-PAL North America staff for either full studies or pilots. Support may include activities such as coordinating communication across stakeholders; refining randomization design and consent procedures; piloting design and implementation, and study implementation monitoring. More information can be found on the website, or by contacting [email protected].
Travel/proposal development grants
Researchers may be awarded a maximum of $5,000 for one year. Grants are to be used for early-stage research activities which may include travel, exploring access to administrative data, or other costs incurred while conducting fieldwork. Travel/proposal development grants are paid by direct reimbursement to the PI and cannot cover any activity that requires review by an IRB.All J-PAL NA travel/development grants are reviewed and funded by the Social Policy Research Initiative (SPRI). Please review the instructions under "Application Documents" section, and submit materials to [email protected].
J-PAL affiliates, J-PAL post-doctoral fellows, and researchers invited by J-PAL North America (invited researchers) to participate in the initiative are eligible to apply for funding of any type. Applicants may submit a maximum of three proposals per 12-month period to a single initiative. PI and co-PI status are counted towards this limit.
Graduate students may apply for all types of funding. To apply, graduate students must meet the following criteria:
- They have a J-PAL affiliate on their thesis committee. The affiliate does not need to be based at the same university as the student. Note: having an invited researcher on a student’s thesis committee does not satisfy this criterion.
- Pre-thesis PhD students may apply if they anticipate an affiliate will be on their thesis committee and the affiliate will supervise the proposed project.
- To apply for full funding, graduate students must have previously received a grant from J-PAL for the same evaluation or have documented evidence of successful piloting activities. Note, for graduate students the total amount of funding they may receive across time is capped at $50,000 per initiative, regardless of the number of projects funded.
- Proposals should discuss any COVID-related risks to the ethics and feasibility of the project, and share how the team will mitigate these risks in the proposal narrative. If significant amounts of the proposal budget include in-person activities (such as travel), please include a discussion of potential changes to how and when funds will be spent if the proposed project is paused, modified, or dissolved because of Covid-19 related disruptions.
- If funded, J-PAL expects PI to proactively consult and comply with all local, state, and federal guidelines to ensure the safety of study personnel and participants.
March 30, 2022 – RFP is issued
June 8, 2022– Proposal Submission Deadline
Week of August 8, 2022 – Awards Announced
Future rounds are expected to occur twice a year. In rare instances, J-PAL North America will consider off-cycle proposals for projects, including pilots, facing time constraints due to factors outside of their control. Decisions on these applications are typically made in about two weeks. We accept travel/proposal development grants at any time of the year.
Relevance to Public Policy and Issues of Poverty
- Does the proposal make the case for how answering the proposed research question and/or evaluating the proposed intervention has the potential to generate benefits for the following populations?
- People who are low-income or living in poverty
- People who have risk factors associated with falling into poverty
- People who identify as members of racial/ethnic groups who are at greater risk of living in or falling into poverty due to economic marginalization produced through structural racism in North America, such as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)
- Is the proposal addressing a pressing public policy issue in North America? How is this policy issue relevant to one or more of the populations described above?
- Policy issue has a significant or disproportionate impact on low-income and/or economically marginalized populations
- The intervention being studied is designed to improve or increase access to resources and choices for low-income and/or economically marginalized populations
- Policy issue is one that, if unaddressed, could lead people to fall into poverty
- Policy issue relates to issues of structural racism that economically marginalized specific racial/ethnic groups in the North America context. What information will the study provide to guide policymaking in this area?
- Will lessons learned from this study have broader relevance or applications for policy or decision-making beyond this test case?
You may find examples of evaluations previously funded by the State and Local Innovation Initiative here.