Core Components

Capacity Strengthening

By working directly with research teams and development actors, LASER strengthens and sustains their capacity to conduct development research and research translation, and thus contributes to the long term impact of the research project.

Funding for Research

LASER PULSE funds research in two ways:

  1. Buy-in funding: LASER PULSE works with USAID Missions/bureaus/independent offffices to refine development challenges and assemble, fund, and support research teams from its network to carry out the research project.
  2. Core funding: LASER PULSE issues an RFA based on the identified research needs and makes awards that bring together a collaborative team of researchers and practitioners to carry out research in a USAID interest country for 1-2 years that leads to change in practice or policy to address a global development challenge.

Gender Integration

LASER funds research that integrates gender considerations to address inequalities that are barriers to development and human rights.

Embedded Research Translation

LASER encourages academics, practitioners, and other stakeholders to work together in an iterative co-design process where research is purposefully applied to a development problem.

LASER PULSE Assistance Includes:

  • Help USAID and others identify and refine research needs.
  • Co-create and implement research activities.
  • Research design, primary data collection, and analysis.
  • Produce technical reports for wide dissemination.
  • Translate research findings into policy and program relevant recommendations.
  • Conduct academic-style program evaluation (hypothesis-driven evaluation question).
  • Foster sustained research partnerships with USAID M/B/IOs, host-country universities, governments, or other organizations.

The Network

Purdue University leads the LASER PULSE consortium in establishing a dynamic and open network of university-based researchers across the countries and technical sectors in which USAID works. The Consortiumʼs initial network comprises 56 universities from 24 low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), in addition to 8 US universities, including 5 minority-serving institutions. The LASER award to the PULSE consortium will run for five years, from 2018-2023 and the network of universities will continue to grow and expand throughout this time period.

The Consortium

The LASER PULSE consortium harnesses the collective research and engagement power of Purdue University with international development and academic expertise of their Non- Governmental Organization and international partners. In addition to Purdue, this consortium includes:

  • University of Notre Dame
  • Indiana University
  • Makerere University, Uganda
  • Catholic Relief Services (CRS)

Learn more about LASER PULSE