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PEP research support program

High-quality research  -  Policy engagement   -  Capacity building 

PEP is a world-leading source of expertise in building and promoting local capacity for the conduct of high quality and policy-engaged research in developing countries.

Indeed, PEP has developed a unique research support and capacity building mechanism that enables local researchers and government officers in developing countries to:

  • define and achieve their own research agenda
  • meet the highest standards of scientific research quality
  • engage and communicate effectively with policy stakeholders
  • ensure broad dissemination and accessibility of findings


PEP "Grant Plus" mechanism

Following a "learning by doing approach", the PEP research "Grant Plus" program consists in a multi-stage evaluation, training/mentoring and peer-review process, from project design to publication and dissemination

Implemented with the continued support of renowned international experts in development policy and economics, the program is designed to strengthen capacities for scientific research and policy outreach/communication simultaneously.

Linking promising researchers with international scientific and policy experts for customized training, mentorship and support Providing a comprehensive support package to strengthen expertise in policy analysis and advanced methodologies Fostering engagement with policy stakeholders and supporting dissemination throughout the research process


Developing scientific capacity

The program supports research projects led by teams of local researchers and/or government officers in developing countries. Projects are selected through competitive calls for proposals, with priority given to fragile and low-capacity contexts.

In addition to receiving detailed comments from PEP experts to help improve their proposals, all shortlisted applicant team members are asked to complete the PEP online courses relevant to their project's analytical approach.

When selected for support, research teams are assigned a scientific mentor, who will monitor and advise the team's research work, providing ongoing technical support throughout the project cycle.

Developing capacity for policy engagement and communication

All project teams must develop a detailed policy context and stakeholder analysis, and receive training in best practices for policy outreach and communication.

When selected, PEP appoints regionally-based experts to provide guidance in the design and implementation of effective policy engagement strategy, to maximize chances of research uptake. Find out more about PEP's approach to policy engagement for development research.

And more



In addition to funding and mentoring, PEP grant recipients also benefit from:

  • resources to ensure that researchers carry out their analysis in the best possible research environment
    • E.g. recommended readings, updated training material, software tools, online journals and international databases, etc.
  • professional development grants and opportunities, including funding for one or two team members to: 
    • participate in an international study visit, to work on PEP project with international experts, at an institution of their choice
    • present research at high-level international conferences
  • support in publication and dissemination of findings, including:

PEP toolbox and quality seal

The progress of each project’s research work is carefully monitored through ongoing interactions with PEP resource persons, as well as periodic research and technical progress reports. Thanks to this ongoing support and review mechanism, the evidence produced in the context of PEP-supported research is guaranteed to meet the highest international standards of scientific rigor and quality – with the unique trait of systematically providing a locally-based analytical perspective.

Among several peerless features of PEP is the breadth of policy issues and analytical perspectives - including tools and techniques in which PEP-affiliated experts and resource persons specialize – and that granted researchers can choose to be trained in the use/analysis of via PEP support. PEP currently has four global thematic research groups, each promoting a different analytical approach:

Through these various approaches, PEP research can explore a broad range of policy issues related to poverty reduction and sustainable development - from education and employment to agriculture, food security, fiscal policies, inclusive growth, gender equity, health, income, migration, etc. - while producing comprehensive and disaggregated analyses to address specific knowledge gaps and needs to inform policy.

In several cases, the development of PEP’s distinctive set of research tools and techniques – acknowledged worldwide as some of the most valuable tools in the field – has been stimulated by their application in research projects supported by PEP, through innovations introduced by PEP’s teams of international experts - such as the CBMS, DAD/DASP software and PEP CGE standard models.

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