Small Research Grants (SRGs)

About SRG Applications

Find out which materials you will need to apply, download the templates and learn how applications are evaluated.

Small Research Grants (SRGs) of between £10,000 and £25,000 are our primary research funding vehicle. Although we expect to offer a few larger research grants (LRGs), we expect that most researchers (including less established researchers) will make use of the SRGs to support their work.

These grants will fund research assistance, data collection and/or purchase, and potentially teaching buyouts (if necessary).  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.

Research funded by SRGs may focus on: 

  • Broad systemic patterns and processes of structural transformation and growth for low- and middle-income countries, in a comparative sense across time or space. 
  • More narrowly defined topics related to one or more of the STEG research themes, including the cross-cutting themes. 


SRGs are designed to be contracted directly with individual researchers. The individual researcher will be responsible for receiving, spending and reporting on funds. However, where this raises significant complications, we will consider alternative mechanisms. These contracts are non-negotiable, and no overhead fees can be taken.

Doctoral Students

We welcome submissions from doctoral students, either in our general SRG calls or in subsequent calls specifically targeted to PhD students. For all PhD students (applying in either stream), we will require a letter of support from your 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.

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.

Country and Policy Relevance

Please note that an important criterion for funding of proposals will be the relevance to policy in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Proposals focused on middle and/or high-income countries will need to make a clear case for the relevance of the research to policy in specific low-income countries. Proposals will be 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.

Grant Timeline

A STEG SRG 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. We aim that funding decisions are issued within three months of the deadline for receipt of proposals. Successful proposals will be announced on the STEG website, together with a description of the work supported, no later than one month after contract signature.

A typical grant timeline:
SRG typical timeline

Useful SRG Documents