HTRI Competitive Research Fund

Silvia Weninger

1) Objective

Effective with the release of this announcement, the Human Trafficking Research Initiative (HTRI) invites researchers, policymakers, and implementing organizations to submit Expressions of Interest (EOI) to measure the impact of counter-trafficking programs. HTRI welcomes proposals to assess counter-trafficking interventions across the “4 Ps” of trafficking (prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership). Applicants can request full funding for randomized control trials (RCTs), partial funding for RCTs, or funding for new arms of existing RCTs.

All research grants must focus on one or both forms of trafficking in persons as defined by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (as amended):

  • Sex Trafficking – when a trafficker uses force, fraud, or coercion to compel a person to engage in a commercial sex act or when a trafficker causes a child who has not attained 18 years of age to engage in a commercial sex act.
  • Forced Labor – when a trafficker recruits, harbors, transports, provides, or obtains a person for labor or services by using force, fraud, or coercion.

2) Eligibility

Researchers must be affiliated with a research institution or a university and either hold a PhD or be currently pursuing a PhD in a relevant social science discipline. They must also demonstrate experience in field research and randomized evaluations. HTRI encourages applications from historically excluded researchers in the field, including women, junior scholars, first-generation college graduates, and citizens of lower- or middle-income countries.

3) Location

All projects must benefit people and communities in/from lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs). All intervention sites are subject to review by the US State Department. HTRI is especially interested in applications proposing to evaluate programs in countries with PEMS (Program to End Modern Slavery)-funded projects: Brazil, Costa Rica, Guinea, India, Kenya, Morocco, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, and Senegal.

4) Budget

Awards are between $50,000 and $450,000.

5) Application

All EOIs must be submitted through IPA’s online portal by 11:59 pm US Eastern time on October 15, 2021. EOIs will be reviewed by a rotating group of academic researchers and assessed against the evaluation criteria noted in the HTRI EOI Application Guidelines. Successful EOIs will be invited by the selection committee to submit a full proposal. HTRI plans to make up to six awards in this funding round.