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University of Pennsylvania
Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition and
Warren Center for Network & Data Sciences

Call for Grant Proposals on the Economics of Digital Services


The University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition and Warren Center for Network and Data Sciences will fund grants to support research on the economics of digital services.  This program is made possible by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The grant program encompasses research examining the issues raised by the economics of digital services from either an economic or legal perspective.  Proposed research may be either theoretical or empirical and can have public policy and antitrust implications.  Proposals examining the impact of digital platforms’ greater reliance on algorithms and data and the implications of vertical integration and other emerging business models employed by tech companies are particularly welcome.

Each funded proposal may receive up to $10,000 in financial support, which may be used for data acquisition, research assistants, or travel to work with coauthors.  Successful proposals will receive 1/2 of the awarded funds when the project is approved for funding by the CTIC and the remaining 1/2 of the funds upon successful completion of the project and delivery of the output of the research.  Grants cannot be used for work that is complete or nearly complete.

Grantees will be expected to attend and present their work at a conference to be held in Philadelphia in May/June 2021.  They will also be expected to produce a short blog post summarizing their work.

Application Instructions: 

The deadline for proposals is October 16, 2020.  Decisions will be announced by November 16, 2020.  The expected output of funded research should be available by May 14, 2021.

Proposals submitted by young researchers will receive a strong preference.  Funded research is expected to be published in top academic research journals.  Proposals should include the following:

  • A description of the proposed project, including an executive summary; a description of the project’s objectives and expected output; the analytical techniques expected to be used in the proposed project, including data, models, and modeling techniques.
  • A discussion of the paper’s motivation and contribution.
  • The curriculum vitae of the researcher.
  • A budget for the proposed research.
  • For graduate students, a letter of recommendation from the student’s advisor regarding the student’s research ability and ability to complete the proposed project on time.

Proposals and all supporting materials must be submitted electronically through this LINK in either Portable Document Format (“.pdf”) format, MS-Word formats (“.docx”), or Rich Text Format (“.rtf”).  Submit all the relevant materials together in one file in the following order: executive summary, proposal, CV, and any other materials.  Please name the file as LastName_FirstName_2020.ext, where “ext” refers to the format file extension.  We will only consider one proposal per researcher, so please submit your best one.

We look forward to your submission.  Please direct any questions to Christopher Yoo (

Please note that this project is also looking for a Fellow to help to staff the project.  Additional information is available in the attached document and is available here.
Copyright © 2020 Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition, All rights reserved.

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