DIL Explore Travel Grant Application – Spring 2017

Updated December 22, 2016

Quick Reference



The Development Impact Lab (DIL) at UC Berkeley invites eligible researchers to apply for our Spring 2017 DIL Explore Travel Grant competition (up to US $5,000 in direct costs) to support:

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

The deadline to apply is Monday, February 20, 2017 at 11:59 pm US Pacific Time. If awarded, travel may occur as early as May 1, 2017 and must be completed by September 1, 2017.


The DIL Explore Grant is intended to allow researchers in engineering, computer science, natural science and the social sciences to incorporate lessons from other fields into the design or evaluation of a technological solution.

For example, an engineer or computer scientist could work with an economist to understand the market implications of their innovation in a developing country context. Or, a political scientist could seek a technology partner to guide an evaluation of a particular innovation. Interested applicants are encouraged to review past DIL Explore awarded projects.

Applicant Eligibility

This funding opportunity can be used to support graduate students, postdocs, and other researchers working with Faculty (Principal Investigators) at DIL-affiliated centers and institutions. The latter includes, but is not limited to, faculty affiliated with the University of California.

Applicants must have Principal Investigator (PI) status at a DIL-affiliated center or institute. Eligible PIs include those appointed with any of the University of California campuses; the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA); Technology and Infrastructure for Emerging Regions (TIER) and the Mezuri Group; the LBNL Institute for Globally Transformative Technologies (LIGTT); the Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas (CTARA) at IIT Bombay; the Global Change Programme at Jadavpur University; and Makerere University.

If you have questions regarding your eligibility to participate, please email dil-grants@berkeley.edu.

Geographic Focus Eligibility

Projects must focus on issues relevant to one or more eligible developing countries, including those listed below. Note that countries not included in this list may also be eligible. Please contact dil-grants@berkeley.edu to confirm by February 4, 2017.

Armenia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cameroon, Georgia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Laos, Malawi, Mexico, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Ukraine, Vietnam.

Additionally, when developing your application, please review the relevant USAID Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) . USAID has detailed country-specific development approaches and priorities that DIL-funded research should support. Research plans that align with USAID’s goals will be given additional consideration.

Questions? Read through the FAQs below or email dil-grants@berkeley.edu for additional help.


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. All principal investigators within the UC system and at the additional eligible 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. For questions on your PI’s eligibility please contact dil-grants@berkeley.edu.

When can I propose to travel?

Travel may be conducted as early as May 1, 2017 and must be completed by September 1, 2017. Please note, to begin travel, all award activation steps must be completed (travel approval, IRB, etc).

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 using the online submission system. 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 PI’s name as the PI applicant on the actual application. 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 very little 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 spending is in compliance with campus rules. For these small grants ($5k), we do not anticipate a need for particularly complex transactions. Contact dil-finance@berkeley.edu for reimbursement or purchasing questions.

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.

A country I am interested in is not included in the list of approved countries, what should I do?

Additional countries not included in this list may also be allowable but require pre-approval from donor agency. If there is a country not listed that you would like to travel to, contact  dil-grants@berkeley.edu as soon as possible and before February 6, 2016. We cannot guarantee travel to countries outside of the above list.

Can I request more than $5,000?

No, the maximum award is $5,000.