PhD Research Grants

First Call for Proposals for STEG PhD Research Grants

Deadline: 13 September 2021, 23:59 GMT+1


Funding category

  • PhD Research Grants

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STEG invites applications for the first round of STEG PhD Research Grants.

While PhD students are eligible to apply to any SRG funding round, we are issuing a special call exclusively for PhD students in order to encourage broader participation in the programme. Applicants must be currently enrolled in a PhD programme to be eligible for this call. Applicants will require a letter of support from their PhD supervisor.  Please ensure that we receive this letter from your supervisor no later than two weeks after the deadline.  A PDF of the letter will need to be sent to the STEG grants team at [email protected].

Research may focus on:

  1. Broad systemic patterns and processes of structural transformation and growth for low- and middle-income countries, in a comparative sense across time or space.
  2. More narrowly defined topics related to one or more of the following related research themes: 
    • Data, measurement, and conceptual framing;
    • Firms, frictions and spillovers, and industrial policy;
    • Labour, home production, and structural transformation at the level of households;
    • Agricultural productivity and sectoral gaps;
    • Trade and spatial frictions;
    • Political economy and public investment.
  3. We note that these are not exclusive lists of themes and topics. Other issues of strong relevance to structural transformation and growth will also be welcome; for example, the effects of demographic change, the role of skills and human capital, the growing relevance of the digital economy, public finance and its relation to long-term growth, and the importance of infrastructure investments and management.

We also encourage all proposals additionally to consider addressing one or more of the cross-cutting issues that are central to STEG’s research objectives. Research speaking to these issues will receive particular consideration:

  • Gender;
  • Climate change and the environment;
  • Inequality and inclusion.

PhD Research Grants are up to £15,000. These grants will fund research assistance, data collection and/or purchase, and stipends. Stipends should only be requested if they allow the researcher(s) to reduce teaching/administrative duties and therefore free up time for research. Stipends are capped at £12,000 for PhD students in programmes located in high-income countries and the PPP equivalent for PhD students in programmes located in low- and middle-income countries. Grants will also support travel to field sites, even when secondary data is utilised. We view this kind of travel (with the possibilities for field visits and conversations with policy makers) as particularly important for researchers who lack prior experience in the countries that they intend to study. Please note that cost effectiveness and value for money are important evaluation criteria and submitted budgets will have to adhere to the STEG Budget Guidelines.

A STEG PhD Research Grant is intended to be completed within a 12-month period. Please note that contracts should be signed within one month of the outcome notification, which is also the expected start date for the projects.


23:59 GMT+1, 13 September 2021. Applications received after this time will be considered for the next regular PhD round.

PhD Research Grants are similar to SRGs. Therefore, we strongly recommend that prospective applicants read the SRG documentation about eligibility, country criteria, preparing an application, how to apply online and the SRG Frequently Asked Questions before applying. All of this and more can be found in the SRG Applicant Guide.


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