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Request for Proposals

Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Developing Economies Awards (I-Awards) Program

The Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies (SEED) is very pleased to announce a new round of funding for Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Developing Economies Awards (I-Awards).

Currently, much of what is known about the creation, management, and growth of businesses is based on research conducted in developed economies. Similarly, our understanding of how to stimulate and diffuse product and service innovations is primarily based on studies conducted in industrialized contexts. Substantially less is known about these areas of study in developing economies, and about the extent to which our existing conceptual tools are applicable. Continuing to build our knowledge base is instrumental in guiding effective interventions aimed at spurring entrepreneurship and innovation in developing economies.

In an effort to build this knowledge base, SEED’s research goal is to advance key theories and concepts underlying various disciplines through the study of entrepreneurship, product and service innovations that serve the poor, and growth-oriented businesses in developing economies.

In pursuit of this goal, the I-Awards program offers several funding opportunities for novel faculty and PhD student research projects. If you have questions about the I-Awards program, contact Lesley Sept.

I-Award Type

Eligible to Apply

Award Amount

Due Dates

Request for Proposals & Online Application Submission Form

I-Award for larger-scale projects

Members of Stanford Academic Council

Up to $150,000
for a two-year period

December 1, 2014


I-Award for exploratory and smaller-scale projects

Members of Stanford Academic Council

Up to $35,000
for a one-year period

October, 24 2014 (autumn review)

March 13, 2015 (spring review).



Stanford PhD candidates

Up to $15,000
for a one-year period

October 24, 2014 (autumn review)

March 13, 2015 (spring review)




Stanford PhD candidates with TGR status or expecting TGR status during fellowship period

Provides graduate stipend; 
Covers TGR tuition fees and full cardinal care subsidy for 1 academic year

December 1, 2014 


SEED Discovery Awards Program

Would the theory or concept underlying your research play out differently in a developing economy context, potentially informing existing theoretical constructs? Could the structure of certain developing economies provide unique opportunities to study a phenomenon? Can you imagine interesting intersections between your research and entrepreneurship, innovation, and growth of businesses in developing economies? Discovery Awards provide opportunities to explore these possibilities--to discover how to advance theories and concepts in your discipline while creating knowledge that could make a difference in improving the lives of the poor around the world. Discovery Awards offer funding for faculty-led activities (e.g., events, working groups, study trips, training sessions) intended to stimulate the discovery of novel research ideas around entrepreneurship, innovation, and the growth of businesses in developing economies.  

» Discovery Awards Program RFP & Application
» For more information, contact Lesley Sept

Field Research & Poverty Alleviation Working Groups

Faculty and PhD students meet bi-weekly to: 1) discuss challenges and opportunities associated with conducting field research in developing economies, and 2) to share and discuss their work in-progress related to poverty alleviation and development research projects. 

» For more information, contact Lesley Sept

Stanford Global Development and Poverty Initiative (GDP): Capacity-Building and Exploratory Awards

GDP is a university-wide initiative of SEED in partnership with the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI). The goals are to:

  • Transform Stanford's capacity for top-notch research and action relevant to improving the lives of people living in poverty around the world
  • Advance global development
  • Complement SEED's mission of stimulation innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development in developing economies

A new round of funding to support both exploratory and capacity-building projects was announced on September 17, 2014.

To access  the RFP and for more details about the award process, please visit the GDP website. Submission deadline is October 31, 2014.