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Request for Proposals: Global Challenges in Economics and Computation

UPDATE: In response to the mass disruptions caused by COVID-19, we have extended the submission deadline to Friday, May 22nd at 11:59PM (Anywhere on Earth).

The ACM Special Interest Group on Economics and Computation, with financial support from Facebook, is announcing a call to support investigation into important theoretical problems and new research applications for economics and computation (EC). We hope to support pilot and early stage research that leverages advances in EC for broader societal benefit, and encourage emerging scholars with diverse perspectives to apply.

Research Focus: Sustainable Development Goals


Projects should address at least one of the UN's sustainable development goals (SDGs) and consider gender sensitive solutions.

Techniques: Economics and Computation


Submissions should make progress on these goals using techniques at the interface of economics and computation. Areas of interest include but are not limited to those mentioned in the EC'20 call for papers. These areas of interest are reproduced below.

  • Design of economic mechanisms: algorithmic mechanism design; market design; matching; auctions; revenue maximization; pricing; fair division; computational social choice; privacy, fairness, and ethics.

  • Game theory: equilibrium computation; price of anarchy; learning in games.

  • Information elicitation and generation: prediction markets; recommender, reputation and trust systems; social learning; data markets.

  • Behavioral models: behavioral game theory and bounded rationality; decision theory; computational social science; agent-based modeling.

  • Online systems: online advertising; electronic commerce; economics of cloud computing; social networks; crowdsourcing; ridesharing; labor markets; cryptocurrencies.

  • Methodological developments: AI; machine learning; econometrics; data mining.

We hope to encourage new and different projects than what has been done previously by the EC community. As such, we encourage proposals that may not fit perfectly into any of the above categories.

Scope and Impact


The proposed work should have a clear positive impact for one or more low and middle income countries (LMICs). We particularly encourage researchers based in LMICs to propose new approaches to address challenges, harnessing support from the current EC community as desired. Submissions with positive effects for both developed and developing countries will also be accepted, but only the potential impact on LMIC countries will be considered for selecting winners.

Research Teams


Through this RFP, we hope to reduce barriers for global emerging scholars with valuable expertise to participate fully in the EC community by providing both financial support and new opportunities for partnership. To this end, the PI should be a researcher that has lived in or currently resides in a LMIC. We expect teams to be interdisciplinary, so that relevant expertise is covered, and to include someone interested in engaging with the EC community. Each submission should include team members capable of filling the following roles: (1) a practitioner who has the power to deploy any developed solutions; (2) a current or prospective technical expert in the EC community—this could be someone who has not yet published at the main conferences in economics and computation (i.e., EC or WINE), but who is interested in long-term involvement in the EC community.

To find collaborators, explore project ideas, and get feedback from relevant experts, see the “Global Challenges in Economics and Computation 2020” Facebook group.

To apply


Submit a proposal through EasyChair. Applicants should submit the following materials:

  • Summary of the project (1-2 pages): Include an explanation of the area of focus, a description of techniques, any relevant prior work, and a timeline with milestones and expected outcomes. Please also include a clear and concise statement of the scientific contribution and routes to eventual deployment.

  • A budget description (1 page): Include an approximate cost of the project and explanation of how funds would be spent. Please also budget a trip for the principal researcher or a key participant to attend EC 2021 and/or WINE 2020.

  • Curriculum Vitae(s): Provide the names of the key project participant(s) involved in the proposed work with their CV/resume and links to LinkedIn or Google Scholar pages.

  • Organization details: this will include tax information and administrative contact details.

Note that submissions can be edited freely until the deadline. The initial submission must include at least a title and abstract (which can be edited up to the submission deadline). All other fields can be initially left blank, provided they are populated by the submission deadline.

Note that EasyChair uses terminology such as "conference" and "authors" that differs from what we use in this call. For those who are new to EasyChair: You should create an EasyChair account and then "enter as an author" to make a submission. On the new submission page, click the "Read instructions" button for more details.


  • The application must name a single Principal Investigator (PI). The PI should be a researcher that is from or currently resides in a LMIC.

  • The PI's host institution must be an academic institution or non-governmental organization with recognized legal status in its respective country.

  • The application can include other key participants. There are no requirements on the affiliations of these participants. All such key participants must be aware that they are listed on the application and must agree to fulfill their role in the research should the application be accepted.

  • Applicants may submit more than one proposal per RFP solicitation (but we strongly encourage quality submissions over quantity).

  • Awards must comply with applicable US and international laws, regulations and policies.

Budget and Payment

  • Award amount: up to $50k, with smaller requests encouraged.

  • Payment: The award will be made to the PI's host institution as an unrestricted gift. Overhead is limited to 5% for gifts.

Timing and Dates

Applications are now open. The deadline to apply is Friday, April 10, 2020 at 11:59PM (Anywhere on Earth).

UPDATE: In response to the mass disruptions caused by COVID-19, we have extended the submission deadline to Friday, May 22nd at 11:59PM (Anywhere on Earth).

Additional Information


The best submissions may have an opportunity to present their projects at EC 2020, at the "Special Session on Global Challenges in Economics and Computation.”

We may ask winners and applicants to provide feedback (in the form of a brief questionnaire) around one and two years after submission. We encourage applicants to respond to such requests for feedback, to help us improve this program for future years.


For additional questions related to this RFP, please email or post in the “Global Challenges in Economics and Computation 2020” Facebook group.

Terms & Conditions

Please read these terms carefully before proceeding.

  • By submitting this proposal, you are authorizing the ACM Special Interest Group on Economics and Computation (SIGecom) to evaluate the proposal for a potential award, and you agree to the terms herein.

  • You agree that SIGecom will not be required to treat any part of the proposal as confidential or protected by copyright.

  • You agree and acknowledge that personal data submitted with the proposal, including name, mailing address, phone number, and email address of you and other named researchers in the proposal may be collected, processed, stored and otherwise used by SIGecom for the purposes of administering the website and evaluating the contents of the proposal.

  • You acknowledge that neither party is obligated to enter into any business transaction as a result of the proposal submission, SIGecom is under no obligation to review or consider the proposal, and neither party acquires any intellectual property rights as a result of submitting the proposal.

Eligible Countries


The following list contains all low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), as identified by the World Bank. 


  • Afghanistan

  • Albania

  • Algeria

  • American Samoa

  • Angola

  • Argentina

  • Armenia

  • Azerbaijan

  • Bangladesh

  • Belarus

  • Belize

  • Benin

  • Bhutan

  • Bolivia

  • Bosnia And Herzegovina

  • Botswana

  • Brazil

  • Bulgaria

  • Burkina Faso

  • Burundi

  • Cabo Verde

  • Cambodia

  • Cameroon

  • Central African Republic

  • Chad

  • China

  • Colombia

  • Comoros

  • Congo, Dem. Rep.

  • Congo, Rep.

  • Costa Rica

  • Cote D'ivoire

  • Cuba

  • Djibouti

  • Dominica

  • Dominican Republic

  • Ecuador

  • Egypt, Arab Rep.

  • El Salvador

  • Equatorial Guinea

  • Eritrea

  • Eswatini

  • Ethiopia

  • Fiji

  • Gabon

  • Gambia, The

  • Georgia

  • Ghana

  • Grenada

  • Guatemala

  • Guinea

  • Guinea-Bissau

  • Guyana

  • Haiti

  • Honduras

  • India

  • Indonesia

  • Iran, Islamic Rep.

  • Iraq

  • Jamaica

  • Jordan

  • Kazakhstan

  • Kenya

  • Kiribati

  • Korea, Dem. People’s Rep.

  • Kosovo

  • Kyrgyz Republic

  • Lao PDR

  • Lebanon

  • Lesotho

  • Liberia

  • Libya

  • Madagascar

  • Malawi

  • Malaysia

  • Maldives

  • Mali

  • Marshall Islands

  • Mauritania

  • Mauritius

  • Mexico

  • Micronesia, Fed. Sts.

  • Moldova

  • Mongolia

  • Montenegro

  • Morocco

  • Mozambique

  • Myanmar

  • Namibia

  • Nauru

  • Nepal

  • Nicaragua

  • Niger

  • Nigeria

  • North Macedonia

  • Pakistan

  • Papua New Guinea

  • Paraguay

  • Peru

  • Philippines

  • Romania

  • Russian Federation

  • Rwanda

  • Samoa

  • Sao Tome And Principe

  • Senegal

  • Serbia

  • Sierra Leone

  • Solomon Islands

  • Somalia

  • South Africa

  • South Sudan

  • Sri Lanka

  • St. Lucia

  • St. Vincent And The Grenadines

  • Sudan

  • Suriname

  • Syrian Arab Republic

  • Tajikistan

  • Tanzania

  • Thailand

  • Timor-Leste

  • Togo

  • Tonga

  • Tunisia

  • Turkey

  • Turkmenistan

  • Tuvalu

  • Uganda

  • Ukraine

  • Uzbekistan

  • Vanuatu

  • Venezuela, RB

  • Vietnam

  • West Bank And Gaza

  • Yemen, Rep.

  • Zambia

  • Zimbabwe

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