Major Research Grants

Private Enterprise Development in Low-Income Countries

Relevent Country: Myanmar (formerly Burma)

Type of work: Research and Survey

The Private Enterprise Development in Low-Income Countries (PEDL) is delighted to announce a call for proposals for the 9th Major Research Grant.

Objective: The objective of PEDL is to fund cutting-edge, policy-oriented research that could be published in leading academic journals and be relevant to the policy dialogue in LICs. They welcome proposals in any area related to private sector development in low-income countries.

The Private Enterprise Development in Low-Income Countries (PEDL) programme pursues a research agenda that aims to better understand what determines the strength of market forces driving efficiency in low-income countries (LICs). Existing research suggests that the private sector in LICs faces a multitude of constraints that act upon each other. What is needed is research that allows them to understand how these constraints interact.


PEDL expects that many of the funded proposals will relate to one of PEDL’s four main research themes:

  • Market frictions, management and organisations
  • Trade and macro models – agglomeration and spatial location of firms
  • High growth entrepreneurship
  • Social compliance, climate change and the environment

PEDL is particularly encourage proposals that address one or more of PEDL’s three cross-cutting themes. Applicants will be particularly encouraged to consider these three issues in their projects, and proposals addressing these themes have an increased chance of receiving funding.

  • Fragile and conflict affected states
  • Gender
  • Unlocking data for understanding markets and firms

Funding Information

  • Major Research Grants have an average grant size of £300,000. Note however that whilst there is a lower limit of £100,000 for each Major Grant, there is no upper limit. Cost effectiveness and value for money are important evaluation criteria.
  • MRGs typically run for between 24 and 36 months.

Eligible Countries

  • PEDL’s focus is on all LICs and any Tier 1 LMICs (i.e. LMICs in which FCDO has a bilateral programme). PEDL will consider proposals for research in other LMICs but they should make a clear case for the relevance of the research to policy in LICs, and also justify why the research is only feasible in a non-focus country (e.g. because of exceptional data availability). Note that they are currently unable to fund projects located in Myanmar and Palestine.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Researchers are invited to submit a one or two-page description of their project in advance of the full proposal. They will aim to provide feedback on the fit of the proposal with the PEDL program within a week of submission, but encourage researchers to submit this expression of interest well in advance of the full proposal submission deadline.
  • The optional submission of an expression of interest is intended to reduce the initial effort required for those researchers who are unsure of their project’s alignment with PEDL’s themes.
  • They are particularly interested in proposals addressing issues of climate resiliency and adaptation.