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Psychology and Economics of Poverty (PEP) Seed Funding

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The Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) is pleased to announce the 2019 Psychology and Economics of Poverty (PEP) Seed Funding competition. Grant funding is supported by CEGA’s Psychology and Economics of Poverty (PEP) Initiative, bringing together psychologists and economists to better understand how poverty affects cognition, mental health, and early childhood development.

CEGA will offer $1,000-$5,000 awards to support original research led by UC Berkeley PhD students or PhD students working at CEGA-affiliated institutions.*

Priority will be given to exploratory research that is related, but not limited, to the following areas of focus:

  • How poverty impacts cognitive load, decision-making, social cognition, mental health, aspirations, or economic and/or health outcomes
  • Belief formation, the relevance of belief-based utility, affective adaptations to poverty, and the role of the “psychological immune system”
  • The psychological consequences of resource stability or volatility
  • The influence of cultural context and social norms on outcomes related to the above topics

We encourage interdisciplinary projects and welcome pairs/teams of students to apply for funding together.

Priority will be given to projects with a focus on low- and middle- income countries, although proposals focused on the US and other high-income countries will be considered. Grants may be used for scoping and/or short-term fieldwork, with funds being used to cover travel and lodging, data collection, or data analysis. Grant funds may not be used for student stipends.

* Institutions with at least one CEGA-affiliated faculty member.

Deadline: October 25, 2019

Eligibility Criteria:

Doctoral students at UC Berkeley or any other CEGA-affiliated campus* are eligible to apply.

Each application must include a nomination from a faculty sponsor. The nomination should be emailed to Kristina Hallez ( by the submission deadline (simply stating “I have reviewed the proposed research and agree to nominate the applicant for this award”).

Application Process:

Please complete the Application Form.  Applications should be no more than two pages, describe the research to be conducted, and include a budget. All materials should be submitted in a single PDF file using the online platform “Submittable”:

Please email Kristina Hallez ( with any inquiries.

Scientific Directors: Supreet Kaur (Economics, UC Berkeley) and Mahesh Srinivasan (Psychology, UC Berkeley)

Psychology and Economics of Poverty Seed Funding Grants are made possible by a generous contribution from an anonymous donor.

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