REQUEST FOR RESEARCH PROPOSAL Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy Modelling



Submission deadline: 12 January 2024


The United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), together with the National Treasury of South Africa (NT) is opening a request for research proposals under the second phase of the Southern Africa – Towards Inclusive Economic Development (SA-TIED) programme. The papers produced under this request will be published as a part of the macro-fiscal analysis and policy modelling workstream of the programme.

The call invites South Africa-based researchers to apply. It offers a unique opportunity to undertake both theoretical and evidence-based research that will help identify unintended consequences of policy changes and guide macroeconomic policy design and implementation.

South Africa is currently confronted with key challenges including poverty, inequality, heightened unemployment, and high public debt, that require a pressing attention to get the country’s economy back on track and generate growth. While structural reforms are required to address these challenges effectively, macroeconomic policy-driven research is also needed.

This request for research proposals therefore includes the following research areas, among others:

  1. Optimal design and implementation of fiscal policy (including public investment and debt, tax policy and expenditure), and the assessment of its effectiveness.
  2. Analysis of monetary policy (including the evaluation of SARB core mandate of keeping inflation within the 3 to 6 percent range, and whether it has supported a stable and competitive real exchange rate), assessment of its transmission channels, and investigation of unintended effects of policy changes.
  3. Financial stability and macro-prudential policy, including the analysis of the impact of financial innovation on financial stability, and the design and implementation of macro-prudential policy.
  4. Macroeconomic policy coordination, including the investigation of the relationship between monetary and macro-prudential policy, the analysis of spill-over effects of the fiscal, monetary, and macro-prudential policy-mix.
  5. South Africa as a small open economy and the impacts of global shocks (both from a positive and normative perspectives). Recent such disturbances include the outbreak of the global Covid pandemic and the rapidly changing geopolitical landscape, with their corollary of worsened macroeconomic and financial uncertainty, and supply chains disruption.
  6. Enhancement of the forecasting, and policy analysis and modelling tools, including the development of structural models that will help improve the ability to forecast and simulate the effects of potential policy changes critical for South Africa.



Against this backdrop, UNU-WIDER together with the National Treasury announce a request for proposals on topics within the above research areas. Proposals from individuals, groups of individuals, and non-profit organizations are welcome.

Special consideration will be given to research teams that include:

  • South African researchers
  • Junior and early-career researchers
  • Female researchers
  • Researchers from historically disadvantaged universities (HDIs)

Evaluation process and criteria 

Each proposal will be reviewed for scientific merit and feasibility. Proposals will be selected based on three criteria: (i) relevance to the research project, (ii) strength of empirical and policy contributions, and (iii) quality and clarity of writing. Based on this assessment, a pool of suitable proposals will be determined.

Only the final decision on whether or not an application is accepted will be communicated to applying researchers.

Proposal submission procedure 

The proposal should be no more than three pages of A4 paper in length, excluding cover page and references. The cover page should contain the complete contact information of researcher(s), and a 120–150-word abstract summarizing the research question, methodological approach, and expected contribution.

Submission of proposals is done electronically by using the online form on the call’s announcement page. There are three forms to select from: one for individuals, another for groups of individuals, and a third for non-profit organizations. Details (such as address, gender, nationality, date of birth) of all researchers involved will need to be included in the form and the cover page, the proposal, and short CVs (five pages or less) of researcher/s uploaded. Please familiarize yourself with the form in advance.

Other considerations 

For successful proposals:

Researchers or their institutions (non-profit) will sign a consultant contract or an institutional contractual agreement with UNU-WIDER that follows the UNU conditions of service for Consultant Contracts (CTC), or Institutional Contractual Agreements (ICA).

Researchers/institutions will transfer copyright of research produced under the contract to UNU-WIDER. The purpose of this copyright transfer is to allow UNU-WIDER to effectively negotiate with top academic publishers in order to seek the most desirable possible publication outlet for a related set of papers/studies. If no (further) publication is to be expected by UNU-WIDER, the copyright can be transferred to the author(s). Any material published externally thereafter resulting from this body of work should carry due acknowledgement of UNU-WIDER as the original commissioning institute.

A total research honorarium will be paid for the work undertaken. Submission of a budget is not required for the proposal.

Please submit your application by 12 January 2024. Any questions on the proposal process should be sent to All queries and responses will be published on the call for proposals announcement page. Selected answers will be updated on a rolling basis.


25 October 2023: launch of the request for proposals

12 January 2024: applications submission deadline

15 February 2024: target date for informing on decisions

15 August 2024: target date for submission of first drafts of papers

1st week of September 2024: target date for work-in-progress workshop

Mid to end-October 2024: target date for submission of revised near-final draft papers and a one-page summary of key findings

Knowledge-sharing events will be planned subsequently.


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