You are currently viewing Meet SurveyCTO’s 2023 Grant Recipients

Discover this year’s diverse array of innovative projects from up-and-coming researchers making an impact.

It is, once again, our favorite time of year: The announcement of our new primary data collection grant winners! Since 2021, the team at Dobility (creators of SurveyCTO) have run a research grant program. The grant is open to graduate researchers from universities all over the world working on social impact projects. Winners receive a direct cash grant towards their work, and a free SurveyCTO subscription so that they can easily use SurveyCTO for their project’s data collection.

Learn more about SurveyCTO’s annual primary data collection grant.

What did we see in 2023 applications? Groundbreaking research ideas, creative uses of SurveyCTO, and some of the most unique project topics we’ve encountered. We received applications from 46 countries (up from 42 last year), including 8 new countries: 

  1. Argentina
  2. Norway
  3. Lesotho
  4. Sudan
  5. Morocco
  6. Taiwan
  7. Vietnam
  8. Greece

In total, we awarded seven full or partial grant awards to 8 researchers plus more than 20 free subscriptions. Awardees’ research projects covered a variety of areas, including gender issues, children’s health, economics, and mental health. To get an idea of what these topics can look like in a research context, here’s a quick snapshot of the two projects that won full grant awards:

  • How social media platforms are affecting relationships between international suppliers and wholesalers in Africa.
  • The relationship between linguistic capacities and participation in civic life in Senegal.

Ready to learn more about all eight projects and their areas of focus? Come meet 2023’s awardees!

We are delighted to introduce this year’s winning projects, and look forward to showcasing them further this year. To learn more about each recipient and their projects, click on each of the audiogram videos below to hear awardees describe their work in their own words, and get inspired by what is possible when rigorous data collection is used to meet challenges in our world.

SurveyCTO Primary Data Collection Research Grant 2023 Recipients

Let’s introduce you to the 2023 recipients. 

Camille DeJarnett, Stanford University

Camille DeJarnett, PhD candidate, at Stanford University, Department of Political Science.
Language Policy Choice and Civic Participation in Post-Colonial Sub-Saharan Africa.”

“The features of SurveyCTO’s software will help me to collect and analyze data more efficiently and more accurately. It’s great to see a group with a leading software product offer a grant program that helps increase access for early-stage researchers who might otherwise face cost constraints. . . What I would most hope for as a result of this project is to have a clear, numeric finding about how people in linguistically diverse societies handle that diversity, and handle discordance between the languages that they’re most comfortable with, and the languages used by the State.” 

Edward Wiles and Deivy Houeix, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Edward Wiles and Deivy Houeix, PhD candidates in Economics at MIT Department of Economics. “Relational Frictions Along the Supply Chain: Evidence from a Randomised Experiment Among Senegalese Traders.”

“Personally, my favorite aspect of this project is that we’re directly varying key inputs to relationship formation between buyers and sellers. Economists have made great theoretical progress on the barriers to relationship formation over the past 20-30 years, but it has proved hard to test some of these theories because (a) data on buyer-seller relationships is unusual, (b) it is rare to find “changes” in barriers to relationship formation that are clean enough to study their impact. In this project, we get to overcome both of these challenges because we designed the experiment ourselves.”

Partial grant recipients

Diego Santa Maria, Harvard University

Diego Santa Maria, PhD candidate at Harvard University, Economics.
“Market Power in Food Distribution Networks: Evidence from Urban Peru.”

Something that I really like about my ongoing project is that it’s a collaboration with a private firm, and that is, I think, unusual now in development research, but I very much believe that this firm has a model that can potentially bring very large gains in welfare to vulnerable populations.” 

Rolly Kapoor, University of California Santa Cruz

Rolly Kapoor, PhD candidate in Economics at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
“Together to Work? Role of Travel Buddies on Women’s Employment and Mobility.”

With this project, I’m hoping to contribute to the policy debate of whether transport is gender neutral and how to make it more gender-inclusive, and equitable. The project will allow us to build a solid understanding of the causes and implications of existing mobility constraints faced by numerous women in developing countries.” 

Marta Grabowska, London School of Economics

Marta Grabowska, PhD candidate in Health Economics, London School of Economics, Department of Health Policy.
“Parental Beliefs About the Returns to Health Investments and Their Impact on Health Outcomes for Children in Zambia.” 

“I am most excited about working with the partner NGO Healthy Learners. After years of refinement, they have developed an extremely thoughtful school health model to address the critical gap in healthcare for school-age children in Zambia. Their openness to further learning and refinement using research is very impressive, and I’m very excited to work on a small part of their strategy.” 

Matthew K. Ribar, Stanford University

Matthew K. Ribar, PhD candidate in Political Science, Stanford University.
“Who Wants Property Rights? The Political Economy of Land, Development, and Informality in West Africa.” 

“I leverage SurveyCTO to run two field conjoint experiments in Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire, showing the extent to which households think land titles would actually secure their property. By unpacking when households perceive land titles to be useful, this research explores the demand for, rather than the supply of, land titles. These results will be useful to any policy maker designing or implementing programs aimed to secure or formalize land tenure.” 

Grace Finley, Harvard University

Grace Finley, PhD candidate in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School at Harvard University.
“Group Engagement’s Role in the Efficacy of a Group Trauma Intervention.”

Most research on child trauma and educational attainment focuses on correlational evidence and is rarely conducted outside of high-income countries. This project aims to address this gap by studying (1) the causal effect of a Zimbabwean group trauma intervention on mental health and educational attainment and (2) the role group engagement plays in mediating the efficacy of the intervention.” 

Stay tuned: We’ve got more coming on each project

Now in its third year, the SurveyCTO Primary Data Collection Research Grant continues to inspire us here at Dobility. Team SurveyCTO was deeply impressed by the quality of all applications this year and the innovation shown in each one. We are thrilled to share this year’s winning projects with the wider community of SurveyCTO users, showcasing the ways that high-quality mobile data collection and thoughtful survey design can make an impact around the world, in a vast number of different areas. 

With that, we want to give a hearty and enthusiastic congratulations to the grant awardees of 2023! It’s a privilege to amplify your research and your dedication to doing good, and we’re incredibly excited to do just that over the course of this year. 

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Melissa Kuenzi

Product Marketing Associate

Melissa is a part of the marketing team at Dobility, the company that powers SurveyCTO. She manages content across SurveyCTO’s external platforms, publishing expert insights on best practices for high-quality data collection and survey research for professionals in international development, global health, monitoring and evaluation, humanitarian aid, government agencies, market research, and more.

Her background in the nonprofit sector allows her to draw on firsthand experience as a user of software solutions for the social impact space to bring SurveyCTO’s tools for uncompromising data quality to researchers all around the world.