NSE-IFF Financial Deepening & Household Finance Research Initiative (2014-15) – Global Call for Proposals

 

NSE-IFF Financial Deepening & Household Finance Research Initiative (2014-15) – Global Call for Proposals

The NSE-IFF Financial Deepening & Household Finance Research Initiative is a joint venture of the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) and IFMR Finance Foundation (IFF). The Initiative invites academics and scholars to submit research proposals for projects in the domain of Financial Inclusion. This joint call for proposals, under the NSE-IFF Financial Deepening & Household Finance Research Initiative, aims at generating high-quality research on financial inclusion, and fund projects under the broad themes of financial inclusion―financial deepening and household financial behaviour. The objective of this Initiative is to promote the systematic development of a body of work in these areas that can be of benefit to policy makers in the design of financial sector policy and to practitioners as they seek to design products and services for low-income and excluded populations.

Program Scope

While we encourage research proposals that are in the early stages of conception and formulation, the proposals requesting top up funding for an on-going research for which outputs have not yet been sent for publication in any form (working paper or otherwise) will also be considered.

i. Research Themes

We invite proposals to undertake research on two broad themes:

Theme 1: Financial inclusion and/or financial deepening

There is a remarkably consistent narrative that the services provided by the financial system exert a first-order impact on long-run economic growth. Building on the foundations laid by Walter Bagehot in the late 19th century and Joseph Schumpeter in the early 20th century, recent research has produced a key result that countries with better-developed financial systems tend to grow faster. Certain forms of financial development, particularly those that broaden access to finance, can benefit the poor disproportionately by increasing capital flow and increasing efficiency of capital allocation thereby reducing inequality.

In view of the critical importance of ensuring greater financial inclusion and deepening, proposals under this theme can speak to issues such as:

  • Examining effectiveness of financial inclusion policies in India
  • Examining specific barriers to financial inclusion and financial deepening
  • Examining barriers to product design and product development to cater to unmet financial objectives of households

This is only an indicative list of issues, and researchers can develop their own research questions pertinent to this theme.

Theme 2: Household Behaviour and Financial Well-Being

Research under this theme is meant to generate a deeper understanding of financial strategies that households adopt in order to meet their needs and goals. Financial strategies encompass not only the use of formal financial instruments but also the use of non-financial instruments and strategies such as buying livestock to hedge against rainfall risk, and having children as a substitute for old-age pensions. Thus, household financial strategies present unique characteristics. Furthermore, households in India face low-access environments. Under the circumstances, their financial decisions and strategies continue to be poorly understood and demand rigorous inquiry. Research under this theme could focus on issues such as:

  • Examining the financial behaviour of households
  • Understanding the notion of financial well-being for low-income households
  • Understanding the interaction of financial products with the portfolios of households

This is only an indicative list of issues, and researchers can develop their own research questions pertinent to this theme.

ii. Projects

The initiative will fund up to six projects in all. All projects will need to be completed within 12 months after the researcher is informed about the acceptance of the research proposal. The initiative seeks proposals across two types of projects:

  1. Type A: Projects using previously published quantitative datasets of repute (budget capped at USD 2000 per project).
  2. Type B: Projects involving primary data collection from households /individuals/ institutions (budget capped at USD 6500 per project).

iii. Eligibility Criteria

This call is open to researchers affiliated with universities, think-tanks and other institutions (both Indian and overseas), and also to students enrolled in Doctoral programs.

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Screening Committee

The committee that will screen and approve the projects consists of Professor Anjini Kochar (Stanford Centre for International Development, Stanford University, USA), Professor Sumit Agarwal (National University of Singapore), Professor Bhagwan Chowdhry (UCLA, Anderson School, USA) and Bindu Ananth (IFMR Finance Foundation).

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How to Apply

Interested research teams should send in their research proposal and estimated budget for their respective projects. Details of the proposed research, research budget and the profile of the research team should be filled in Form 1 (annexed with this call for proposals). In addition to the Form 1, a detailed research proposal should be submitted comprising the following 5 sections. The recommended length of the research proposal is 5-6 pages (single-spaced, Times New Roman, 11 point font).

  1. Context
  2. Proposed research questions to be studied
  3. Study design and research methodology
  4. Data collection and analysis
  5. Policy implications

It must be stated clearly in the proposal that the paper has not yet been sent for publication in any form (working paper or otherwise).

It is necessary for the screening committee to know if required data have already been sourced or are known to be available and also if there is a draft of the paper (if available, please submit the draft).

The deadline for receiving research proposal is Friday, 21 Nov 2014. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted by Friday, December 12, 2014.

Please email completed Form 1 and attachments to fi.research@ifmr.co.in on or before Friday, 21 Nov 2014.


 
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Terms for Receiving Funding

I. Funding for Type A projects will be provided as follows:

  • 20% of the grant (first tranche) will be made available upon approval of the research project.
  • 30% of the grant (second tranche) will be given on timely submission of the preliminary draft by April 15, 2014. (Please note that the feedback on the initial draft will be provided within four weeks of their submission.)
  • 20% of the grant (third tranche) will be given on submission of the second draft (incorporating comments provided on the first draft) by July 30, 2015.
  • The remaining 30% of the grant (fourth tranche) will be made available if the following conditions are met. Principal investigator of the approved projects must each:
    • Present (or have a co-author present) the revised draft (after incorporating comments on the first draft) at a research conference to be organized by the NSE in Mumbai, India in September or October 2015 (dates to be confirmed). The NSE would cover the expenses relating to the economy class airfare, accommodation and local transport arrangements for the presenter of the project in the conference.
    • Submit by December 11, 2015, a final draft that gives due consideration to all comments and feedback obtained during the presentation of the paper in the conference for inclusion in the Working Paper series of the NSE and IFF.

In case the author submits the preliminary draft (first draft) after April 15, 2015 but before May 15, 2015, he/she will have to forgo the second tranche (20%). If however, he/she misses even the May deadline for submitting the preliminary draft, he/she would forgo the second tranche (20%) and the rest of the tranches as well.

In case the author submits the second draft after July 30, 2015 but before end of August 15, 2015 he/she will have to forgo the third tranche (20%). If however, he/she misses even the August deadline for submitting the second draft, he/she would forgo the rest of the tranches as well.

II. Funding for Type B projects will be provided as follows:

  • 30% of the grant (first tranche) will be made available upon approval of the research project.
  • 20% of the grant (second tranche) will be given on timely submission of the preliminary draft by July 30, 2015. (Please note that the feedback on the initial draft will be provided within four weeks after their submission.)
  • The remaining 50% of the grant (third tranche) will be made available if the following conditions are met. Principal investigator of the approved projects must each:
    • Present (or have a co-author present) the revised draft (after incorporating comments on the first draft) at a research conference to be organized by the NSE in Mumbai, India in September or October 2015 (dates to be confirmed). The NSE would cover the expenses relating to the economy class airfare, accommodation and local transport arrangements for the presenter of the project in the conference.
    • Submit by December 11, 2015, a final draft that gives due consideration to all comments and feedback obtained during the presentation of the paper in the conference for inclusion in the Working Paper series of the NSE and IFF.

In case the author submits the preliminary draft after July 30, 2015 but before end of August 15, 2015 he/she will have to forgo the third tranche (20%). If however, he/she misses even the August deadline for submitting the second draft, he/she would forgo the rest of the tranches as well.

About National Stock Exchange of India

NSE is the largest exchange in India that has brought about a high degree of transparency, speed, efficiency and safety in the Indian securities market. NSE undertakes various initiatives in the area of financial inclusion. It conducts courses related to financial literacy, supports and sponsors research work in the area of financial inclusion, holds roundtables, panel discussions and conferences to discuss issues related to financial inclusion.

About IFMR Finance Foundation

IFMR Finance Foundation (IFF) is a not-for-profit organization focused on the mission of ensuring that every individual and every enterprise has complete access to financial services. Our mission is motivated by a strong belief in the deeply transformative power of finance in unlocking the potential of low-income households and enterprises. Our vision of the future of finance is one in which it, of necessity, responds with higher and higher levels of innovation to help people deal with the increasing levels of complexities in their own lives. At IFF, we identify gaps in the Indian financial system that inhibit the delivery of complete financial services to low-income households, and aim to develop a body of research to explore the nature of these gaps in a systematic manner.

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Click here to download the PDF version of the Call for Proposals and the editable Form 1 PDF.