Request for Proposals

Our Work of the Future Request for Proposals (RFP) aims to spur randomized evaluations of strategies that aim to alleviate the challenges experienced by workers across North America. J-PAL North America’s Work of the Future RFP supports randomized evaluations of strategies and innovations that address the changing nature of work in North America. These strategies and innovations may be related to:

  • Re-training or re-skilling workers; 
  • Improving traditional and non-traditional educational institutions; 
  • Assessing innovative apprenticeship and sectoral employment programs; 
  • Developing alternative approaches for certifying skills and for vouching for worker quality; 
  • Facilitating worker transitions between occupations and industries; 
  • Deploying innovative organizational/business practices that improve worker productivity, skills, earnings, or employment prospects; 
  • Evaluating opportunities in alternative work arrangements and ‘gig economy’ jobs; 
  • Exploring the impact/opportunity of changing transportation modalities (vehicle hailing services, autonomous vehicles) for enabling access to jobs.

This list is not exhaustive: any proposal that explores forward-looking mechanisms for facilitating skills acquisition, job finding, employment stability, earnings and productivity growth, or work-life balance is potentially in scope. We are accepting applications for full research projects, pilot studies, and travel/proposal development grants.

If you have questions about the scope of the RFP, please contact Initiative Manager Toby Chaiken ([email protected]).

Work of the Future RFP Application Documents - LAST UPDATED 07/23/2019

Who will review applications?

The Review Board for the special Work of the Future RFP includes David Autor, Matthew Notowidigdo, and Lawrence Katz. Each proposal will be peer reviewed by one member of the Review Board and two researchers and/or policy experts not on the Review Board. The Review Board will meet to agree on final funding decisions.

Who may apply?

For all proposals, the pool of eligible applicants includes J-PAL affiliates, J-PAL post-docs, and invited researchers to the Work of the Future Initiative. For travel/proposal development grants, the pool of eligible applicants is extended to include graduate students who have a J-PAL affiliate on their thesis committee at their host university. All proposals may include collaborators outside of this network, but the principal investigator (PI) must be an eligible applicant.


  • July 29, 2019 – RFP is issued
  • October 11, 2019 – Proposal Submission Deadline
  • Week of December 16, 2019 – Awards Announced

Proposals for the Work of the Future RFP are due to [email protected] at 5 PM EST on October 11, 2019.