Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I apply for both individual and program grants?
- Will the SRP accept impact evaluation proposals?
- For individual grants, can the proposal amount exceed USD 200k?
- If I receive my director’s endorsement, does it mean I have been shortlisted, and can go ahead to prepare the full proposal?
- For program grants, can the proposal amount be less than USD 1 million? More than USD 1 million?
- Does it fund staff costs?
- I am not in the AFR, SAR or MENA regions. Can I apply?
- What is the maximum duration of individual grants?
- What is the maximum duration of program grants?
- What happens if there has not been activity in my research project after approval?
- If I get funding from the Research Support Budget (RSB), can I apply for SRP funding?
- After my proposal is endorsed by my Director, what is the next step?
- Does the SRP fund “Global” or “World” projects?
- I am a World Bank Task Team Leader (TTL) submitting a Concept Note (CN). Who will endorse it?
- Is a World Bank Short Term Consultant (STC)/Extended Term Consultant (ETC) eligible to apply for funding?
- If it is a joint proposal from World Bank operations and DEC, who should endorse my concept note?
- Can I submit a proposal with a theme not included in the Call for Proposals (CFP)?
- My proposal is covered by one of the themes covered in the CFP, but the specific research question is not included in the CFP. Can I apply?
- I am a World Bank operations staff, and would like to work with DEC researchers on a proposal that covers one of the seven themes but I do not know anyone in the research department. How do I get in touch with DEC researchers?
- I am from outside of the World Bank, how can I find a World Bank partner?
- Are there pre-allocated amounts per theme?
- What are the thematic areas which the SRP currently funds?
- What are the geographic focus of the SRP?
- Is DFID the only donor and partner of the SRP?
- What attachments are required in the full proposal (Grant Funding Request)?
- Who decides on the funding proposals for the SRP?
- Which group in the World Bank is responsible for administering the SRP?
- What evidence is needed in order to get the 20% premium for the collaboration?
- What are the criteria for approving research proposals under the SRP?
- Is the SRP open to fund World Bank research only?
- What type of project code is required (in the full proposal stage)?
- What is the typical size of an SRP grant?
- What are the objectives of the SRP?
- What are the main differences between the SRP and the Knowledge for Change Program (KCP)?
- Why was the Bank-DFID research partnership established?
Yes, as long as they are for different research activities.
No. There is a multi-donor program “Impact Evaluation to Impact Development (i2i)” for impact evaluation projects.
No, it cannot.
No. As mentioned above, the SRP PAU will collate all the fully endorsed CNs (PDF copy) and send to the relevant Directors/Regional and Global Practice Chief Economists for shortlisting. Please do not proceed to prepare the full proposal until you receive a notification email from the SRP PAU about the shortlisting results. If your CN is approved, you will receive further instructions on the preparation of the full proposal using the Grant Funding Request (GFR) module.
Yes, it can be less or greater than USD 1 million.
Yes. In developing the budget for your proposal, please remember to factor in the 17% indirect rate on personnel -staff , consultants and temporaries ( applicable to World Bank applicants)
AFR, SAR or MENA are the SRP’s priority regions. But the SRP will also fund global studies, research in low income countries (LIC) and countries with high levels of extreme poverty in other regions. SRP-funded research should generate new knowledge with significant potential to benefit the lives of poor people in developing countries.
Ideally, the duration is one year with a possibility of extension for another year, i.e. a maximum of two years. Extension requests will be reviewed and approved on an exceptional basis.
Three years. If the initial term is less than 3 years, extension is possible with strong justification.
If there is no project activity within six months after approval, the Program Manager reserves the right to cancel the project, and to claw back the project funds.
Yes, as long as the proposal is not for the same activity. TTLs should declare all sources of funds approved and being sought for the proposed project in the proposal, whether internal or external sources. Any misrepresentation or willful omission will be dealt with and penalties imposed, including withdrawal of the SRP funds.
Applicable to World Bank applicants: Please PDF the fully endorsed Concept Note and forward by email to the SRP Program Administration Unit (type “SRP PAU” in the “TO:” field for internal WBG users) who will collate all the CNs for shortlisting by the relevant Directors/Regional and Global Practice Chief Economists.
For external candidates, you may send your CNs to SRP@worldbankgroup.org
Although the focus of the SRP is on AFR, SAR, and MNA regions, it encourages "world' or "global" research proposals, especially those that have potential for replicability across a wide range of regions and countries. These research proposals should still focus on any one of the 7 themes.
The Concept Note should be endorsed first by the Line Manager, then by the relevant Director (applicable to World Bank applicants).
No. For World Bank applicants, to be qualified as a trust fund Task Team Leader (TTL), s/he has to be Bank staff (regular, open-ended, term) with GF or higher level position, hence, STC/ETC cannot apply.
Bank systems allow one primary TTL only; hence the CN should be endorsed by the primary TTL’s Line Manager and Director.
No. The SRP will not fund any proposal that falls outside of the themes stated in the CFP.
Yes. The details in the CFP for each theme are some examples only, and not all inclusive. However, the chances of approval may be higher for proposals that address the priority questions.
You can start with the focal points for each of the seven themes listed below. They will be able to refer you to the appropriate DEC researchers.
- “Private Sector Development” – Robert Cull
- “Financial Development” – Robert Cull
- “Education” – Adam Wagstaff
- “Trade and Globalization” – Aaditya Mattoo
- “Agricultural and Rural Development” – Francisco Ferreira
- “Transport” – Michael Toman
- “Energy” – Michael Toman
Once the concept note is approved, the SRP Program Administration Unit can help facilitating the external applicant to find internal partner(s) to collaborate on the full proposal.
As mentioned above, this year (2016) the SRP funds 7 thematic areas that include private sector development, financial development, education, trade and globalization, agriculture and rural development, transport, and energy.
The SRP will fund research that generates new knowledge with significant potential to benefit the lives of poor people in developing countries. Africa, South Asia and Middle East and North Africa regions are the priority regions. It will also fund global studies, and research in low income countries and countries with high levels of extreme poverty in other regions.
At the moment, DFID is the only donor and partner of the SRP.
- Approved Concept Note
- SRP Financing Plan
- Evidence of consultations between research and operational units, and
- If 20% premium is sought, evidence of collaboration between Bank operations and external institution(s)
You may also attach other documents such as consultant CVs, literature review, etc.
A selection committee (through the Bank’s Research Management Committee), with participation from operations as well as external researchers, will make funding allocation decisions. All proposals are subject to peer review (including external reviewers) before presentation to the selection committee. Successful proposals must pass quality standards and policy relevance as set out within the themes.
The Development Economics Vice Presidency (DEC) has overall responsibility for processing submissions, arranging for reviews, and monitoring progress.
For the collaboration between Bank operations and DEC, the P code needs to have co-TTLs from DEC and operations. The GFR automatically picks up all the co-TTLs from the project code. For collaboration between Bank operations and outside the Bank, the written agreement between the two organizations is required and needs to be attached in the full proposal.
Research Quality: Successful research proposals need to be assessed as being of high quality, meaning that the research will yield valid results and reliable evidence, and that they are sufficiently original to be adding to the body of knowledge. Proposals from World Bank staff other than DEC are encouraged to be prepared in coordination with DEC staff or reputable outside research institutions to assure research quality.
Research Relevance, Impact and Themes: Successful research proposals need to be assessed as being directly relevant to policy. Each proposal will also need to directly demonstrate alignment with the Bank’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity.
Exploiting Bank Comparative Advantage through Cooperation: The projects will gain additional weighting if they involve collaboration by DEC staff/reputable outside research institutions, and World Bank operational staff. This can be a deciding factor between competing proposals which are otherwise similar in quality and relevance.
Capacity Building: The projects will gain extra weight if they involve local researchers or institutions from developing countries and steps are taken to ensure the research program strengthens local research capacity.
Project Management: To ensure the success of the research program, the proposal needs to lay out a detailed project management plan and configuration of roles and responsibilities of each member of the team.
Extra weighting in the selection process will be given to teams who demonstrate strong research and operations linkage.
From 2016, the SRP is open to academics and research institutions that are outside the World Bank. However, applicants of selected proposals from outside of the Bank are required to team up with a World Bank staff to implement the project.
Since this is a research program, the project code should be created under the RF (research) product line. This RF project code is required to initiate a Grant Funding Request (GFR). It can be in Activity Initiation Summary (AIS) status at this point, i.e. it’s not necessary to have it in Activity Update Summary (AUS) status since it is not yet known if the proposal will be approved. If it’s approved by the committee, then it will have to be in AUS status to allow approval of the GFR.
An individual grant typically costs $200K or less while a program grant typically costs around $1 million.
Working together on research and data, the Bank-DFID Partnership aims to pursue a number of objectives:
- To generate high quality , policy relevant research
- To contribute to policy making in developing countries
- To enhance research and data capacity in developing countries
- To enable countries and stakeholders to access evidenced-based research.
The SRP is open to fund research that is undertaken in the Development Economics Vice Presidency (DEC) of the World Bank , the rest of the Bank, as well as outside research institutions through collaborations with a World Bank unit, whereas the Knowledge for Change Program (KCP) is only available for DEC. The SRP funds 7 thematic areas that include private sector development, financial development, education, trade and globalization, agriculture and rural development, transport, and energy whereas the KCP funds a broader set of themes.
Recognizing that the World Bank (or the Bank) continues to be the first point of call for research, data and policy advice for developing countries on issues associated with growth, poverty and economic development, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) entered into a strategic research partnership with the Bank in February 2014. The partnership builds on the Bank’s comparative advantage which lies on the coverage and depth of its country operations and which make it the first point of contact for policy advice for many developing countries; its research in which researchers are in close proximity to development practice and policy making and focuses resolutely on applied and policy oriented questions; and its access to a wide range of country data and information not necessarily available to other institutions.