Ideas For Transformation (I4Ts)

Open I4T Funding Calls

Listed here are all open and upcoming calls for proposals for STEG funding and their respective deadlines.

Ideas for Transformation (I4Ts) are brief and largely non-technical essays (about 10-15 pages, double spaced), utilizing country-specific expertise, to describe a policy problem and identify opportunities for research. These might be specific and well-documented examples of a market failure or a policy problem – but ideally the cases should have broad relevance across developing countries. For instance, an example of a local problem or issue will be more compelling if it can be taken as ‘typical’ of some broader set of cases. Successful applicants to the I4T call will receive funding of £1,000.

We are interested in I4T studies that address each of the following:

  • Use of simple methods (using suggestive data, evidence, or narratives) to demonstrate the existence, relevance, and importance of a policy issue related to sustainable economic growth and structural transformation.
  • Suggest interesting issues that can benefit from high-level economic research and analysis. We hope for these essays to inspire further research (possibly collaborative, linking the authors of I4T submissions with other researchers or teams) that further evaluates the significance of the problem or opportunity that could assist in building the case for the proposed policy response.
  • Describe policy problems and propose solutions that have a measure of specificity (e.g. not merely “trade liberalisation” or “improved education”), but must also be sizable or scalable enough to impact a countries or regions economic growth in a systemic and sustained way (e.g., impact of poor transport connections on rural agricultural productivity and welfare, and opportunities for investment in road networks). The proposal should also take into account how the proposed policy might contribute to effects at the macro level. For instance, perhaps transport problems lead farmers to produce low-value non-perishable crops rather than higher value crops that are highly perishable. This might be a problem that affects other rural areas, and so this is an example of a case study that might be interesting to understand in detail.
  • By contrast, we are less interested in case studies that show positive effects from an intervention that benefits specific recipients but might have a zero-sum (or near-zero-sum) aggregate impact. Thus, a training programme that benefits some entrepreneurs might not make a good I4T case study, unless it appears to be operating at a sufficient scale to change the overall productivity of an entire sector.

Case studies may relate to one or more of our research themes, however, we also welcome and encourage proposals that focus on other areas of structural transformation and economic growth in low-income countries. Policies that positively address our cross-cutting issues of gender, climate change and the environment, or inequality and inclusion in the context of structural transformation are of particular interest.

Find our open and upcoming I4T funding calls here.

Country and Policy Relevance

Please note that a necessary criterion for funding of proposals is the relevance to policy in at least one low-income country, with a special interest in sub-Saharan Africa.


We welcome applications to our I4T calls from researchers all over the world.

Given the importance of local country-specific knowledge, we especially encourage applications from researchers based in low- and middle-income countries, including those in universities, think tanks, government agencies, and other institutions. STEG takes a particular interest in broadening the set of researchers interested in structural transformation and economic growth; in that spirit, we also particularly welcome submissions from early-career researchers and from women.

In view of the current political situation and the imposition of economic sanctions on various Russian entities by Western governments, we are not currently able to accept proposals for projects that include researchers or members of the research team who are based at Russian institutions.

Grant Contracts & Timelines

I4Ts are designed to be contracted directly with individuals, rather than with institutions.

We aim to issue funding decisions within two months of the deadline for receipt of proposals. An I4T is intended to be completed within 3 months. Please note that contracts should be signed within one month of the return of the final decision, which is also the expected project start date.

Further Information

If you wish to learn more about the application process for our I4T programme, please contact the STEG Team after reviewing all of the application material and guidance at [email protected].

Application Templates and Useful Documents