The National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) is one of India’s oldest and largest independent, non-profit, economic and social research institute. It does grant-funded research, and commissioned studies for governments and industry, and is one of the few think tanks globally that also collect primary data. NCAER with its consortium partners, the University of Maryland and University of Michigan, has set up a new National Data Innovation Centre (NDIC). Initial funding for NDIC is provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The main objective of NDIC is to serve as a laboratory for experiments in data collection, interfacing with partners in think tanks, Indian and international universities, and government. NDIC forms an important core of NCAER’s long-standing data collection activities.
Request for Proposal (RFP)
The focus of the current RFP is to seek for proposals on methodologies for data collection and analysis across the following domains: gender equity, health system, health insurance and healthcare expenditure, employment and unemployment, family planning, and financial inclusion.
The proposals should focus on innovative ideas to improve data quality pertaining to the following aspects:
Students pursuing their PhD degree or equivalent in any Indian academic or research institute are eligible to apply. We seek proposals from student–faculty teams in order to promote innovations, build skills, and foster collaborations between the researchers and senior faculty both during and after the grant implementation phase.
The Centre will support a budget of up to Rs 6 lakhs for a period of 12 months. The budget should clearly indicate the actual needs and modes of utilisation of the funding for the proposed project. There is provision for five such grants. Only one grant from each applicant will be considered for funding.
All applications must be emailed to Arpita Kayal, Programme Manager, NDIC (email@example.com), in a single PDF document (with the text in ‘Georgia’ font, point size 12), comprising the following components:
A) The proposal (not longer than four pages of text in single space) on research work falling under the Centre’s focus areas outlined above. The proposal should include the following sections:
1. Project Summary;
2. Specific Aim(s);
3. Research Strategy, which would further specify:
c. Approach and Implementation Plan, indicating how the proposed questions/innovations will be tested;
4. Expected Outcomes;
5. Potential Challenges and Alternative Strategies;
6. Timeline; and
(The page limit is inclusive of the first six components delineated above, while additional pages may be used, if needed, for detailing the budget.)
B) Curriculum Vitae of both the applicant and the respective research guide/faculty member.
C) Support letter from the research guide/faculty member.
The selection of students will be based on the merit of the proposal and the CV of the applicant. The merit of the proposal will be judged based on the following criteria:
The student and faculty should first check the institutional policies of their respective universities/institutes regarding such grants before applying.
It is mandatory that the selected students spend some time at NCAER to make themselves familiar with the activities undertaken by the Centre and also to discuss and present their research findings. Optionally, the selected students may wish to spend the entire project period (one year) at NCAER.
At the end of the grant, selected students will have to submit a research/working paper authored by the student. The research/working paper will be uploaded on NCAER-NDIC website after it has been peer-reviewed. All research outputs are expected to follow the open access policy of the Gates Foundation.
The selected students and their supervisors will also be encouraged to contribute to the NCAER-NDIC blogs based on their experiences of working on the grant.
Proposal submission due date: 1st August, 2019
Announcement of the successful candidates: 1st September, 2019
Contract signing: 1st October, 2019
Project period: 1st October, 2019 to 30th September, 2020