Larger Research Grants (LRGs) are awarded up to the value of £100,000. They are designed to fund research that cannot be covered by our Small Research Grants (SRGs). Applicants must justify the additional time and resources that they are requesting relative to the smaller SRGs, which are STEG’s primary research funding vehicle.
LRGs can fund research assistance, data collection and/or purchase, and teaching buyouts, or relevant remuneration practices, for the principal investigator and co-investigators from partner institutions. Grants 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 must adhere to the LRG Budget Guidelines, available at the bottom of this page.
Research may focus on broad systemic patterns and processes of structural transformation and growth for low-income countries in a comparative sense across time or space, or more narrowly defined topics related to one or more of our research themes. Other areas of interest may not fit cleanly into any of the themes but are centrally relevant to STEG and are also encouraged. Research in middle-income countries will be considered if it informs growth processes or policies for low-income countries.
STEG is also focused around three cross-cutting issues that are simultaneously relevant to many areas of structural transformation, including the six research themes: gender, climate change and the environment, and inequality and inclusion. Research proposals speaking to these issues will receive particular consideration.
More information on research themes and cross-cutting issues can be found in upcoming Research Strategy, available at the bottom of this page.
In principle, LRGs cover the same substantive areas, questions, and methodologies as SRGs. However, they are meant for projects, which have greater financial needs due to, for example, greater time requirements, data or research assistance costs. Commensurate with these greater budgets, they are expected to produce either multiple outputs or more fundamental contributions.
Country and Policy Relevance
Please note that an important criterion for funding of proposals is the relevance to policy in low-income countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Proposals focused on middle- and/or high-income countries need to make a clear case for the relevance of the research to policy in specific low-income countries. Proposals are also evaluated on the extent to which the research findings (including those from comparative work or from studies in other geographies) might be relevant to policy in specific sub-Saharan countries.
All funded projects, regardless of location, will have to discuss within their final report and research note (see LRG Applicant Guide, available at the bottom of this page) the potential lessons for policymakers in low-income and sub-Saharan countries.
We welcome applications to our LRG calls from researchers all over the world. There are currently no restrictions based upon nationality or where researchers are employed.
Principal investigators applying to LRG calls should currently have a PhD or be enrolled in a PhD programme. Although there are no formal qualification requirements for co-investigators, co-investigators on STEG-funded projects usually have a PhD or are enrolled in a PhD programme. The knowledge, expertise, and qualifications of the entire research team will be taken into account when evaluating the proposal.
We welcome submissions from PhD students/candidates to our regular LRG calls, however, we anticipate that PhD students applying on their own for LRGs may struggle to compete with more established researchers. We recommend and encourage PhD students to apply as part of a team alongside more senior co-investigators. For all PhD students acting as principal investigators, we require a letter of support from your PhD supervisor no later than two weeks after the deadline. A PDF of the letter can be sent to the STEG Team at [email protected].
For the advisor: Please discuss the feasibility of the research proposal, the intellectual support which the student will receive from advisors and others, an assessment of the student’s ability to carry out the research, and of the student’s longer-term potential as a researcher.
Researchers whose proposals rely on face-to-face surveys or interactions should clearly discuss the implications for the project of potential delays, and the alternatives to face-to-face fieldwork, in the event that the fieldwork is delayed by COVID-19. This can be included in the methodology section of the proposal template. Any fieldwork will need to be cleared by the researcher’s university and, where possible, in-country IRBs. Decisions on fieldwork should follow the advice of governments. Finally, any proposal that includes face-to-face interaction should also briefly make clear how the researchers intend to ensure the safety of researchers and any participants involved in the study. If you have questions on this, please contact the STEG Team at [email protected].
LRGs are designed to be contracted directly with an institution. The principal investigator for the project can select the institution; this does not need to be their 'home' institution.
Proposals may be submitted by ‘eligible’ institutions and organisations. An eligible institution:
- is a legally registered entity in its home country;
- is not bankrupt or being wound up, is not having its affairs administered by the courts, has not entered into an arrangement with creditors, has not suspended business activities, is not the subject of proceedings concerning those matters, and is not in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure provided for in national legislation or regulations;
- has not been convicted by a judgement for fraud, corruption, involvement in criminal organisations, or any other criminal activity or breach of relevant law;
- has fulfilled its tax obligations, obligations relating to the payment of social security contributions, or obligations relating to the treatment of employees.
Joint proposals from consortia of institutions are accepted provided that they have an appropriate legal arrangement via an MOU or sub-contractual agreements between parties, with only one lead institution and one principal investigator. Partners are expected to sign a Consortium Agreement before the start of the project. CEPR is not a party to Consortium Agreements and does not establish the terms and conditions of such agreements.
In some (exceptional) circumstances, it may also be appropriate for CEPR to administer the project on behalf of the researcher, i.e. for CEPR to act as the host institution, for example, where a host institution is unable to satisfy the necessary eligibility or evaluation criteria, whilst the researchers’ credentials and expertise are considered of sufficiently high quality to undertake the research.
While we try to remain as flexible as possible, the grant contracts were approved with the FCDO and therefore are non-negotiable. Please look at our contract template, available at the bottom of this webpage, before applying.
Call and Grant Timeline
We aim to issue funding decisions within five months of the deadline for receipt of proposals. Successful proposals are then announced on the STEG website, together with a description of the work supported, no later than one month after contract signature.
An LRG is intended to be completed within 24 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.
More detailed information on the call and grant timeline can be found in the LRG Applicant Guide, available at the bottom of this page.
Evaluation and Selection
Evaluation and selection are based on the following criteria:
- Quality of the proposed research
- Relevance to policy
- Feasibility and credibility of the proposal
- Value for money
- Contributions to expanding the field
More detailed information on the weighting of these categories and the evaluation and selection process can be found in the LRG Applicant Guide, available at the bottom of this page.
If you wish to read more about the structure of our LRG programme, please consult our LRG Applicant Guide, LRG Budget Guidelines and LRG FAQs through the links below, or alternatively, contact the STEG Team at [email protected].