Application Guidelines | Human Trafficking Research Initiative Request for Expressions of Interest | Full Research Funding Round 2 (Summer 2022)

Application Guidelines | Human Trafficking Research Initiative Request for Expressions of Interest | Full Research Funding Round 2 (Summer 2022)

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IPA’s Human Trafficking Research Initiative (HTRI) has launched its second Call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for full randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and other rigorous impact evaluations to assess the impact of counter-trafficking programs. Proposals are due by 11:59 pm US Eastern time on Friday, August 5, 2022.

HTRI welcomes proposals to assess counter-trafficking interventions that fall into any or all of the "4P’s” (prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership). Funding priorities are guided by HTRI’s Research and Learning Agenda, which outlines key research gaps under the 4P’s. Applicants are instructed to read the Research and Learning Agenda and refer to one or more of HTRI’s priority research questions that their research project intends to address. Research that is primarily qualitative or descriptive will NOT be considered for funding under HTRI. Applicants can request full funding for RCTs, partial funding for RCTs, or funding for new arms of existing RCTs, as described below:

  • Full rigorous studies to assess the impact of a counter-trafficking program. These grants are for research projects with a clear research question, committed implementing partner(s), well-defined research designs, and statistical power estimates. While most of the impact evaluations funded will be RCTs, studies that use high-quality quasi-experimental and/or natural experiments will be considered in exceptional cases when a randomized experiment is not possible. Grants can also fund the continuation or completion of RCTs that have already started without HTRI funding (including those for which data collection is complete). This includes midline and endline surveys, long-run follow-up surveys from previously published evaluations, as well as "downstream studies" that use an already-completed randomized trial to answer a human trafficking-relevant question. The expectation is that this work will result in a paper publishable in a top economic, political science, or science journal. Awards are between $50,000 and $450,000. Applicants should apply for the funds needed to yield the best research, but (all other things equal) lower budgets have a higher probability of being funded.
  • Adding a human trafficking-targeted treatment arm to an existing study. These are grants that will support expanding a study by adding a treatment arm explicitly focused on reducing human trafficking to an existing randomized evaluation. Applicants can request funding for the costs of expanding the study sample and survey as well as the human trafficking-focused intervention. Awards are between $100,000 and $250,000.
  • Adding human trafficking-focused survey modules or survey rounds to existing studies. These are smaller grants that would fund the cost of adding human trafficking survey modules to upcoming data collection rounds for existing studies or add a new survey round to an existing study. They are intended for research studies that are likely to have an impact on trafficking but are not currently collecting human trafficking data. Awards are between $50,000 and $125,000.

Application Instructions

A completed expression of interest must be submitted in IPA’s online portal, which can be found here, by 11:59 pm US Eastern time on Friday, August 5, 2022. All applications and research products must be submitted in English. EOIs will be reviewed by an expert group of researchers and assessed against the evaluation criteria noted below. Successful EOIs will be invited by the selection committee to submit a full proposal and will receive detailed application instructions at that time.

To learn more about the HTRI Competitive Fund, please read our Frequently Asked Questions document. A Question & Answer session for this EOI will be held at 9:30 am EDT on June 30, 2022. If your team is interested in attending the session, please register here. A recording of the session will be posted here afterwards for those unable to attend the live session.

Please note that with sufficient notice, HTRI is available to consult with potential applicants on proposal development, research design and partnership formation. If you are interested in connecting with HTRI in advance of submitting your EOI, please email us at

Please click the orange "Download" button on the right-hand side of this page to review the entire Application Guidelines.

June 08, 2022