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Call for research proposals – guidelines and information


IREF is a free-market oriented think tank. It promotes ideas, events, and academic research.

With regard to research, IREF supports original projects that lead to the production of papers of academic quality of at least 7,000 words. This support is not a prize to published work, nor is it an encouragement to “work in progress”.

The candidates must submit a research proposal with clear policy implications. The paper that follows will be circulated as an IREF working paper and the author is expected to publish it in a reputed academic journal.


The amount of financial support offered by IREF varies from 4,000 to 7,000 euros, plus a small budget for research costs. The amount depends on the number and qualifications of authors, as well as on the proposed topic of investigation. When applying, the candidates must specify the names and qualifications of all the authors of the paper.

The candidates are welcome to submit research proposals in the following areas:

• The role of government and international organizations in modern societies
• The nature and legitimacy of policymaking
• Regulation, taxation, public expenditure and public debt
• Tax harmonization and tax competition
• Policy-making from an international perspective
• Central banking
• The economics of the welfare state
• Rent-seeking
• The role and nature of judicial systems from a law-and-economics perspective

Although IREF’s mission focuses on economic issues, an interdisciplinary approach is welcome.
When applying, the candidate should let IREF know whether he/she has already received other funds related to the proposed project, and whether he/she plans to apply to sources other than IREF. IREF will not fund projects involving resources made available by third parties and about which IREF has not been informed in advance.
Once the research agreement is signed, the author is required to mention his/her affiliation to IREF (as an IREF fellow) in all the public events he/she attends during the period covered by the agreement, and whenever he/she presents or submits the paper promoted by IREF. By and large, the paper should be delivered about 15 months after the agreement is signed by both parties. More details will be provided in the research agreement, once the proposal is approved.

Candidates are encouraged to submit their proposals (400/700 words) to Professor Enrico Colombatto (enrico_colombatto(at)hotmail.com) by September 19, 2021.

Professor Colombatto is at your disposal for further information.

PDF: Call for Research Proposals


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