Application Guidelines | Human Trafficking Research Initiative Request for Expressions of Interest | Fall 2021

Application Guidelines | Human Trafficking Research Initiative Request for Expressions of Interest | Fall 2021

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IPA’s Human Trafficking Research Initiative (HTRI) has launched its first Call for Expressions of Interest for full randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to assess the impact of countertrafficking programs. Proposals are due by 11:59 pm US Eastern time on October 15, 2021.

HTRI welcomes proposals to assess counter-trafficking interventions across the “4 Ps” of trafficking (prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership). Applicants should review HTRI’s Learning and Research Agenda, which outlines key learning questions and priority areas of research. Research should be designed to directly measure impact within specific sectors of counter-trafficking and respond to one or more of HTRI’s learning questions. 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 natural experiments will be considered in exceptional cases when an RCT 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 long-run follow-ups 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. Projects 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 October 15, 2021. 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.

Although all applications and research products must be submitted in English, HTRI does have a limited capacity to offer translations of application documents to aid in understanding of the requirements. If you are interested in translated application materials, please contact the HTRI team and we will accommodate you if possible. 

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

September 13, 2021