COVID-19 off-cycle funding opportunities

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, several J-PAL initiatives have opened dedicated off-cycle rounds for proposals from J-PAL affiliates and invited researchers. The initiatives seek to fund rapid, useful, and responsible research that is relevant to COVID-19 response, mitigation, and recovery. Initiatives are accepting proposals through a common application here. Please note that funding is only available for J-PAL affiliates and invited researchers.

Examples of projects eligible for funding are for:

  • Evaluate interventions aimed at COVID-19 responses or the recovery from the pandemic.
  • Add-on modules to existing randomized evaluations to collect data on COVID-19.
  • Add a treatment arm to an existing study related to responses to COVID-19.
  • Conduct a survey following up on a completed randomized evaluation to measure the impacts of the intervention on interactions with COVID-19 responses.

Most of these initiatives will consider proposals for add-on funding to existing experimental studies in addition to stand-alone projects. These could include adding a phone survey about COVID-19 impacts and response into an existing RCT, even if the new survey is related to research questions about health, behavior, economic or other impacts of the pandemic, but the underlying RCT is not. For example, if you have an ongoing evaluation on improving learning outcomes in schools, you could apply to CVI (Crime and Violence Initiative) for funding to add a survey on how COVID-19 and social distancing affect crime and violence. 

If you are unsure whether your project would fit any of these initiative windows, you can contact the initiatives team ([email protected]).  

Across all of these initiatives, the following requirements apply: 

  • Applications must follow J-PAL’s COVID-19 response guidelines and must not increase in-person interactions.
  • All research and technical assistance must take place remotely via phone, email, video calls, etc. and have necessary IRB approvals for any research components.

Please refer to each initiative section below for specific eligibility criteria, funding caps, and additional information.

 

J-PAL South Asia’s Cash Transfers for Child Health initiative (CaTCH) is accepting off-cycle proposal submissions for research on the design and delivery of cash transfer and in-kind transfer programmes (including vouchers) and pay-for-performance programmes to improve child health outcomes, directly related to COVID-19. Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis till April 30th, 11:59 PM PT, must involve a government partnership in India, and demonstrate link to under-5 child health outcomes. Funding is capped at $67,500. This call is open to J-PAL affiliates, all invited researchers for J-PAL initiatives, and graduate students advised by J-PAL affiliates. Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis every 2 weeks.  Please direct any questions to [email protected]

The Crime and Violence Initiative (CVI) is now accepting off-cycle proposals for time-sensitive research that tests or supports strategies for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, including in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. The recommended cap for funding is $50,000, but proposals that demonstrate a clear need for additional funding will be considered. Proposals will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. Please direct any questions to [email protected].  

J-PAL Africa’s Digital Identification and Finance Initiative (DigiFI Africa): Only proposals that are add-ons to an existing RCT will be considered. It does not need to be an RCT funded by a J-PAL initiative. Applications are open on a rolling basis till April 30, 2020 and will be reviewed every week. This off-cycle call is open to J-PAL affiliates and invited researchers across all initiatives. Funding is capped at $250,000 per project. The research topics should fall within the scope of DigiFI as laid out in the DigiFI framing paper, and can be in partnership with a government, private sector or NGO with a focus on sub Saharan Africa. We recommend exploring the benefits or costs of digitization in a time of crisis. The proposed methodology should, of course, not include any person-to-person physical interaction. Please direct any questions to [email protected] 

Proposals for an off-cycle add-on to a full study or pilot funding consists of two stages:
Stage 1: Please fill out the pre-proposal form. We will respond to that within 24 hours and let you know if you should submit a proposal.
Stage 2: On receiving positive response to the pre-proposal form from the DigiFI team, please fill out the off-cycle common application. We anticipate fast turnaround times and will aim to respond to your proposal within 48-72 hours. 

Innovation in Government Initiative (IGI): IGI is accepting proposals for up to US$25,000 for short-term, quick-response technical assistance and/or analysis for government partners that has the potential to mitigate the spread and/or consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in low- and middle-income countries, particularly for low-income and other vulnerable communities. Application instructions can be found here. The IGI Co-Chairs will review applications on a rolling basis starting Friday March 27 and aim to issue funding decisions within 1-1.5 weeks. Please direct any questions to [email protected]

Jobs and Opportunity Initiative (JOI): JOI is accepting proposals for up to $50,000 for research on programs to offset the disruption of COVID-19 on people's jobs and livelihoods across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East. The Jobs and Opportunity Initiative is unable to fund work in Europe, Canada, or the United States. The JOI Co-Chairs will review applications on a rolling basis and aim to issue funding decisions within 1.5 weeks. Please direct any questions to [email protected]

Post-Primary Education Initiative (PPE): PPE is accepting proposals for up to $75,000 for time-sensitive research that tests or supports strategies for responding to COVID-19 and for add-on funding for descriptive data collection around COVID-19 using samples from existing evaluations. Please direct any questions to [email protected]

J-PAL North America Short Term Research Management Program (STReaM): Research projects may need to adapt quickly in the context of COVID-19. Our Short Term Research Management program (STReaM) makes experienced research management staff available to help researchers in the North America region navigate these challenges. STReaM will continue to accept requests for support through its regular application process (see here for details). Our team can offer hands-on support to help think through challenging obstacles, such as impacts to timelines, adapting to virtual research methods, and navigating difficult conversations with stakeholders. Researchers conducting projects in the North America region are invited to request this support, regardless of the project phase. Please direct any questions to [email protected]  

J-PAL North America US Health Care Delivery Initiative (HCDI): As always, HCDI is open to receiving off-cycle proposals on time-sensitive topics. HCDI welcomes proposals that focus on producing evidence that North America decision-makers can act upon promptly to respond to the current crisis. Please note that we will not accept human subjects research requiring in-person interactions with subjects. 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. Please direct any questions to [email protected]

We are prioritizing projects that can start promptly and would be willing to share preliminary results online in weeks—not months—so they can feed back to knowledge and decisions quickly in the fight against COVID-19. All applications must follow J-PAL’s COVID-19 response guidelines and must not increase in-person interactions. All research and technical assistance must take place remotely via phone, email, video calls, etc. and have necessary IRB approvals for any research components.