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Applicant Resources
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Can PEER grant recipients use the funding to support a visiting scientist from the United States, including for workshops? 

Yes. Travel expenses for visiting scientists from the United States can be covered using PEER funds in Cycle 9.

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Please click this link to download a complete copy of the PEER Cycle 9 Request for Applications, which includes all the background information, eligibility guidelines, and other information included on these web pages.

PEER proposal submission now has two phases:
  • Phase 1: A brief pre-proposal is required for all applicants. The deadline for submission of pre-proposals is February 10, 2020. Details for pre-proposal submission are provided below. If invited to submit a full proposal, applicants will be notified by the National Academies around April 3, 2020
  • Phase 2: If invited to submit a full proposal, applicants will be notified by the National Academies around April 3, 2019. The deadline for submission of full proposals is set for June 2, 2020.


November 11, 2019PEER solicitation posted on National Academies website
February 10, 2020Pre-proposals due to National Academies
April 3, 2020Selected applicants are invited by National Academies to submit a full proposal, all others are notified of declination
June 2, 2020Full proposals due to National Academies
October 2020PEER awardees announced

Pre-Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions

Pre-proposal applications are required for the PEER program. Pre-proposal submissions will be reviewed to ensure that invited full applications meet the eligibility criteria and focus area requirements. The deadline for submission of pre-proposals is February 10, 2020.  For general information on the PEER program, visit the About PEER page

When drafting a pre-proposal, applicants should convey the development impact of their proposed research for the focus area to which they are applying. Successful pre-proposals will include a clear statement of the project goals and explanations of how these goals will be achieved. Successful pre-proposals will also highlight the collaborative nature of the U.S. Government (USG)-funded partner and how the partnership will contribute to successful completion of the project. 

Applicants are required to complete the pre-proposal form through the PEER online system, completed in English. Paper and e-mail submissions are not accepted. Applicants are encouraged to review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for additional details. Please see a PDF version of the PEER pre-proposal template for a full list of questions and sections that will need to be completed when submitting the pre-proposal.

Budget Information

Most projects are anticipated to run for one or two years, unless a duration of up to three years is specified in a particular focus area call. If circumstances require and the project is otherwise in good standing, projects may request and receive a no-cost extension at the discretion of their PEER grant managers.

Awards involving support for only one institution (single institution awards) are anticipated to range from $40,000 to $80,000 (USD) per year. Awards involving support for more than one institution (multiple institution awards), with one of them serving as the lead, may receive up to $100,000 (USD) per year. To qualify for multi-institutional award status, PEER applicants must plan to provide part of the PEER funds to another PEER-eligible institution as part of their proposed project.

Only a total estimated budget figure is required at the pre-proposal stage. Detailed budget requests and further justification will be requested from applicants invited to submit a full proposal. Total estimated budget numbers should be developed commensurate with the support needed to achieve the project goals. A budget template (16KB, .xls) is available on the PEER website to help applicants better estimate anticipated total budget costs.

For questions regarding budget estimates for pre-proposals, applicants may contact PEER staff (

The first year’s funds will be released to the recipient institution after the award agreement is signed, and funds for subsequent years will be released dependent on the principal investigator’s compliance with financial and technical reporting requirements.

Pre-Proposal Review Criteria

The pre-proposal review process will be managed by the National Academies. Pre-proposals will be evaluated by USAID and the National Academies based on the following criteria:
  • PEER applicant compliance with eligibility requirements
  • Participation of USG-supported partner, including verification of active research award or eligibility status, and degree of alignment with his or her expertise with the proposed project goals
  • Alignment with research priorities outlined in corresponding “Focus Areas” section and USAID country-specific development objectives
  • Development impact of proposed research
  • Degree to which the project brings a new or underrepresented voice to the field, pushes the boundaries of our current understanding of a development challenge, or provides a novel approach to such a challenge
  • (If a prior PEER awardee) Demonstration by the applicant of how the proposed work is distinct from their prior PEER award and /or how the proposed work significantly builds off the previous PEER award to achieve broader development impact
Applicants are required to submit a pre-proposal form through the PEER online system, completed in English. Paper and e-mail submissions are not accepted. Applicants are encouraged to check the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section of the program website for additional details. After the pre-proposals are reviewed, applicants will receive notification from National Academies program staff that indicates one of the following:
  • Pre-proposal has been deemed eligible and relevant, with an invitation to submit a full proposal
  • Minor issues with eligibility and relevance, with an invitation to submit with issues addressed
  • Pre-proposal deemed ineligible or insufficiently relevant to USAID objectives - not invited to submit full proposal
Policy on Fraudulent or Plagiarized Data and Documents in Grant Submissions

Applicants to PEER are advised that the program has a zero-tolerance policy regarding the submission of fraudulent or plagiarized data and documents as part of award pre-proposals and proposals. Any such cases discovered by PEER staff or brought to their attention by program sponsors, review panelists, partners, or members of the public will be investigated immediately. If the presence of fraudulent or plagiarized materials in a submission is verified, the following actions will be taken:
  • The pre-proposal or proposal will be removed from further consideration for funding.
  • The applicant will be notified of the findings of the investigation and will be placed on a debarment list prohibiting him or her from submitting any future pre-proposals or proposals to PEER.
  • An appropriate official at the applicant’s institution will be advised of the case and provided with copies of the fraudulent or plagiarized materials for use in any further investigations or actions in accordance with that institution’s policies.
  • The USAID Agreement Officer’s Technical Representative assigned to PEER will be notified so that information may be forwarded to the USAID Office of Inspector General to assist them in determining the applicant’s eligibility for any future support from USAID directly or through other implementing partners.

About the Pre-Proposal Application Template

The pre-proposal submission template, which may be accessed by clicking the "Ready to Apply" button on the PEER website, includes the following sections:

  1. PEER applicant information
  2. USG-supported partner information, including the partner’s USG-funded grant title, number, funding agency, program officer and contact information
  3. Project description (approximately 2 pages of text total), in which the following must be addressed:
    • Project aims and objectives
    • Significance of the research as it relates to a particular focus area and development impact to local, regional or national community
    • A description of how the expertise of the USG-supported partner will complement the proposed project and how the partner will utilize travel funds requested in the estimated PEER budget
    • Other potential partners with whom the applicant will collaborate on the project (for example, government agencies, USAID Missions, co-PIs, research networks, laboratories, and other implementing partners) and the nature of the planned collaborations
  4. Estimated total budget figure and intention to apply for a single or multiple institution award. The budget for PEER projects varies depending on the proposed research scope, and the duration of projects may be up to two years, except for those focus areas allowing for projects of up to three years. Typical projects fall within the following ranges:
    • Single institution: U.S. $40,000 - $80,000/year (maximum for Bangladesh/Clean Energy focus area is $70,000/year)
    • Multiple institutions: U.S. $80,000 - $100,000/year (maximum for Bangladesh/Clean Energy focus area is $70,000/year) 
  5. Appendices:
    • A brief CV of no more than two pages for the PEER applicant. Please use this standard format for CVs (DOC). The CV should provide citations for no more than 5-10 recent and relevant publications.
    • A brief letter of support written by the USG-supported partner explaining his or her intention to collaborate on the proposed PEER project and how the PEER partnership will contribute to the partner’s USG-supported research. The letter should also include the partner’s USG-funded award title, number, funding agency, program officer and contact information for his or her active USG award.