PEER Graduate Student Research Grants for Developing Countries 2020

PEER Graduate Student Research Grants are open to university-based research mentors from developing countries. The award supports research teams of graduate students and/or postdoctoral fellows. Research projects proposed can pull from a variety of datasets, as well as secondary and primary sources, but must be sufficiently rigorous (i.e., have a low risk of bias) and must incorporate previously-generated USAID impact evaluation data to fill critical knowledge gaps on land and resource governance.

PEER is a competitive awards program that invites researchers in developing countries with a USAID presence to apply for funds to support research and capacity building activities on topics of importance to USAID

Deadline: April 3, 2020


Applicants may request between US $5,000 and US $15,000 for their projects, which are not to exceed one year in duration, with the possibility of a no-cost extension of 6-12 months if justified. Awards will be issued and funds disbursed to the university where the research mentor is employed, not directly to individual mentors, student or postdoc participants. Funds can cover the following expenses:

  • Travel, living expenses, and supplies for field work by students or postdocs to supplement existing datasets;
  • Student or postdoc stipends during the research project;
  • Minimal equipment required for data gathering and analysis; and
  • Publication costs.


Eligible Countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Tanzania, Zambia

Eligibility Criteria:

The proposal review process is managed by the National Academies, which will also disburse the awarded funds and collect and monitor recipients’ quarterly and final reports. Pre-proposals will be evaluated by USAID and National Academies staff based on the following criteria:

  • Skills: Applicant demonstrates a sufficient understanding of the local land tenure context, as well as the skills necessary to conduct rigorous, quantitative or mixed methods research.
  • Objective: Applicant clearly describes the research objective, including a focused research question that can be addressed rigorously within one year.
  • Methodology: Applicant’s methods are clear, well thought out, and sufficiently rigorous, with a low risk of bias, and successfully incorporates already-generated USAID impact evaluation data as well as other datasets as needed.
  • Relevance: Applicant describes why the proposed topic is relevant for policy and/or USAID programs. In addition, applicant demonstrates a thorough understanding of the proposed topic, including citations of relevant literature and supporting documents.
  • Timetable and Budget: Research can be completed within one year with the funding requested. 


Applications must be submitted online, in English, via the program’s application portal.

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