DIL Explore Application

Release Date: February 1, 2014

Deadline: March 20, 2014 at 11:59 pm Pacific Time

DIL Explore grants support preliminary research and international travel to develop a new idea or establish partnerships.

Full Call for Applications: DIL Explore Call for Applications

Click here to apply to DIL Explore – Spring 2014


The Development Impact Lab (DIL) invites affiliates to submit applications for small grants (up to US $5,000) for support of:

  • Early-stage exploratory research that combines technology innovation with social and economic insights to solve international development challenges (i.e. the emerging field of development engineering); and/or
  • International travel to developing countries that supports development engineering projects through research, fact-finding or new partnerships.

Researcher Eligibility

This funding opportunity is open only to Principal Investigators (PIs) at DIL-affiliated institutes and centers. Actual travel may be completed by the PIs research group members, including graduate students, postdocs, and staff, but a lead PI must endorse the proposal.

PIs are researchers, including faculty, who are allowed to receive and manage grants. This includes nearly all faculty at UC Berkeley. If you are a graduate student interesting in traveling, coordinate with your faculty mentor or the lead researcher of your lab or group. Funds may be used to support graduate students or outside collaborators.

Applicants must have Principal Investigator (PI) status at a DIL-affiliated center or institute. Eligible PIs include those appointed at the University of California, Berkeley; the Blum Center for Developing Economies (with sites across the University of California); the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA); Technology and Infrastructure for Emerging Regions (TIER) and the Mezuri Group; Policy Design and Evaluation Lab (PDEL) at the University of California, San Diego; the LBNL Institute for Globally Transformative Technologies (LIGTT); Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas (CTARA) at IIT Bombay; Global Change Programme at Jadavpur University; and select Colleges at Makerere University. Select non-affiliated researchers who have been notified of their eligibility may also submit applications. Note that funds may be used to support faculty-mentored students or collaborators beyond the immediate DIL network.

In this call for applications, we expect to fund approximately 5 awards. Travel must be completed by January 30, 2015. Another  round of grants will be offered in Fall 2014. If you have questions regarding your eligibility to participate, please email dil-grants [at] berkeley [dot] edu.

Eligible Countries

Projects must focus on issues relevant to one or more eligible developing countries. Below is a list of eligible countries where DIL or its partner organizations have previously supported projects. Additional focus regions that are not included in this list may in many cases also be allowable, but please contact dil-grants@berkeley.edu to confirm eligibility as soon as possible and before submitting an application for an unlisted country.

Afghanistan, Armenia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.


  • Applications are due March 20, 2014 at 11:59 pm Pacific Time
  • Applicants will be notified by April 30, 2014

Click here to apply to DIL Explore – Spring 2014

Questions? Read through the FAQs below and email dil-grants [at] berkeley [dot] edu for additional help.

Downloadable Application


What is a PI? Do I have to be directly affiliated with DIL?

A PI is a principal investigator; ie researchers, including faculty, who are allowed to receive and manage grants. For example, this includes nearly all faculty at UC Berkeley.   You do not have to be directly affiliated specifically with DIL. All principal investigators at UC Berkeley and at the additional centers and institutions listed above are eligible to apply, regardless of department. While each proposal has to include a lead PI, the travel proposed can be by graduate students, postdocs, staff and other team members and collaborators.

When can I propose to travel?

Travel must be completed by January 30, 2015.

I am a UC Berkeley researcher. Can I submit my application directly or does it have to go through the Sponsored Projects Office (SPO)?

You must submit your application directly to DIL. Do not submit your application to SPO.

I am currently a postdoctoral scholar/student/or other non-PI team member. Should I submit the application, or must it be submitted by my PI?

Either the traveler or the PI can submit the proposal but the PI must ultimately endorse and support any funded project. If anyone other than the PI submits the proposal, it should still have your PIs name as the PI applicant on the actual application, and any future correspondence will include your PI.

My research advisor is able to serve as a PI but does not wish to be burdened with administrative responsibilities.

There is practically no administrative burden for the PI. We do expect grad student research to be mentored by the PI, but PIs are not required to provide financial oversight. Funds are disbursed a) directly to students as reimbursements (e.g., for travel expenses) or b) for purchases of supplies, via our online procurement system (BearBuy). No new accounts are established; awards are administered directly through UC Berkeley and DIL staff ensures that spending is in compliance with campus rules. For these small grants ($5k), we do not anticipate a need for particularly complex transactions.

Will submitting a proposal for DIL Explore affect my consideration for other DIL funding?

No it will not. You are encouraged to apply for other DIL funding opportunities.

Have any countries been approved since the RFA was released on February 1st?

Yes, the following countries have been approved and added to the original list of eligible developing countries: Honduras, Malawi, Nicaragua, Zimbabwe.