State and Local Innovation Request for Proposals

Please note that currently, we will not accept human subjects research requiring in-person interactions with subjects before June 30, 2020 (this date may be extended, so please check back frequently). If your project will feature in-person interactions with subjects at a later date, please note that J-PAL's policies on in-person interaction with subjects as part of funded projects are evolving; if funded, this could result in your project experiencing disruptions in the future. All applications must follow J-PAL’s COVID-19 response guidelines.  In addition to regular proposals submitted to this RFP, we are also accepting proposals for projects that will generate rapid, actionable insights that can help inform policy responses to the Covid-19 pandemic. Proposals will be reviewed under our standard evaluation review criteria and for their potential to produce informative and timely findings to address the current crisis.


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

  1. Full Research Projects: Full research projects are typically awarded between $150,000 and $250,000 with a maximum award size of $400,000.  Researchers must propose a clear and well-developed research question including detailed randomization design and power calculations according to relevant minimum detectable effect sizes. 
  2. Pilot Studies: Pilot studies are eligible for up to $50,000 in funding. However, if researchers apply to receive short-term research management (STReaM), pilot studies are eligible for funding of up to $75,000. Researchers should seek to answer a particular research question; however, the design and implementation require further testing and piloting. Random assignment does not necessarily need to occur during a pilot study. Proposals should explain how the pilot will lead to a randomized evaluation in the future.
  3. Travel/Proposal Development Grants: Travel/proposal development grants are eligible for funding up to $5,000. These grants are to be used for early stage activities with the goal of launching a randomized evaluation in North America.  


What is the timeline for this RFP cycle?

March 17: RFP opens
July 17: RFP closes
Week of August 24th: awards announced

Who may apply?

For all proposals, the pool of eligible applicants includes J-PAL affiliates, J-PAL post-docs, and invited researchers. For travel/proposal development grants and pilots, the pool of eligible applicants is extended to include graduate students who have a J-PAL affiliate on their thesis committee, or who are supervised by an affiliate if a student is pre-thesis. All proposals may include collaborators outside of this network, but the principal investigator (PI) must be an eligible applicant.

Eligible applicants can submit a maximum of three proposals per twelve-month period, per initiative. Note: PI and co-PI status are counted towards this limit.

Application Documents

Travel/Proposal Development Grant Application Materials

Page Content