Frequently Asked Questions

General

What is the Research Technical Assistance Center (RTAC)?

RTAC is a newly established contract mechanism that will provide scientific and research-based technical assistance to USAID by leveraging the technical and research expertise of the global higher education community. Through RTAC, USAID offices, bureaus, and missions around the world can release research opportunities for the RTAC Research Network to bid on. These research opportunities will be utilized to inform USAID’s policy and/or programming decision making, thus enhancing the quality of USAID international development work worldwide.

What are the RTAC Research Network objectives?

RTAC aims to build a pool of researchers, from graduate students to professors, who can apply to take part in different short-term research activities sponsored by USAID. This pool of researchers is called the RTAC Research Network. Research may take place in any of the sectors or countries in which USAID works.

What are the benefits of becoming a member of the RTAC Research Network?

As a member of the RTAC Research Network, you are part of a global network of researchers and higher education institutions. RTAC Research Network members have the opportunity to collaborate with researchers around the world specializing in the sectors and regions in which USAID works and may apply for research-related opportunities that will provide information to inform USAID’s policy and/or programming decision making. RTAC Research Network members have access to RTAC products and publications as well as access to toolkits for research translation. Network members can increase their visibility in the academic space by having their expertise and achievements featured on the RTAC website, including links to recent publications, and by supporting the development of RTAC-funded studies. RTAC Research Network members are exposed to USAID’s international development activities through regular interaction with USAID technical staff and/or staff from implementing organizations. RTAC Research Network members may also have opportunities to present research and findings to a broad audience of scholars, decision makers, and relevant stakeholders at RTAC and partner convenings, including conferences, symposiums, and panels, among others.

In which sectors do RTAC research opportunities focus?

RTAC research opportunities focus on the following sectors:

  • Agriculture and Food Security
  • Democracy, Human Rights and Governance
  • Economic Growth and Trade
  • Education
  • Environment and Global Climate Change
  • Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment
  • Global Health
  • Water and Sanitation
  • Working in Crises and Conflict
Learn more about the sectors in which USAID works.

In which regions do RTAC research opportunities focus on?

RTAC research opportunities focus on the following regions:

  • Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Europe and Eurasia
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Middle East
Learn more about the regions in which USAID works.

RTAC Research Network Applicants

Who may apply to join the RTAC Research Network?

RTAC Research Network members are required to be affiliated with a higher education institution. Affiliation with a higher education institution can include any form of employment or enrollment at a college or university. Affiliation can also include employment at a university-based research consortia or other organization that is affiliated with a higher education institution. RTAC Network members must also be proficient in one or more of the technical sectors in which USAID works and must have expertise in one or more of the countries in which USAID works. Learn more about the regions in which USAID works. Learn more about the sectors in which USAID works.

How often do RTAC research opportunities become available?

The frequency of RTAC research opportunities is dependent on the needs of USAID offices, bureaus, and missions. It is hard to predict how frequent the opportunities will become available. RTAC will arrange for professional development and networking opportunities for RTAC Research Network members to maintain engagement throughout the year.

In which languages are RTAC research opportunities available?

The majority of RTAC research opportunities require English proficiency. However, research opportunities may also be available in other languages as appropriate.

How many applicants will be selected to join the RTAC Research Network?

There is currently no limit to the number of applicants who will be selected to join the RTAC Research Network. However, please note that selection to join the Research Network does not guarantee selection to perform one of the projects under the RTAC program.

Who is in the RTAC Research Network?

RTAC Research Network members come from diverse backgrounds and hold expertise in the wide array of technical sectors and regions in which USAID works. The network is comprised of a global pool of researchers and higher education institutions.

Is there a cost associated with becoming an RTAC Research Network member?

There is no cost associated with joining the RTAC Research Network.

What is the application process to become an RTAC Research Network member?

To apply to become a member of the RTAC Research Network, applicants follow the below application process:
Step 1: Complete the RTAC Research Network application form.
Step 2: Upload your CV.
Step 3: Submit the completed RTAC Research Network application through the RTAC Research Network application portal.
After your completed application has been submitted, it will undergo a technical review. You will receive an email within two business days to notify you of the status of your application.

What do I need to include in my RTAC Research Network application?

Completed RTAC Research Network applications include the following items:

  • Completed application form.
  • Agreement to obtain a DUNS Number and register on SAM.gov if selected for a research opportunity.
  • CV.
Where can I learn more about DUNS Numbers and registering with SAM.gov?

When selected to carry out a research-related activity, RTAC Research Network members must obtain a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number. A DUNS number is a unique nine-character identification number. The U.S. government uses DUNS numbers to track how federal money is allocated. Most U.S. higher education institutions already have a DUNS number. If your U.S. or foreign institution does not have a DUNS number, please learn more about how you can apply for a DUNS Number and register with SAM.gov .

When will I be notified of my RTAC Research Network application result?

You will be notified of your application result within two business days of submitting the completed application.

Who do I contact with questions on my application?

Contact [email protected] with questions about the RTAC Research Network application.

RTAC Research Network Members

What kinds of research opportunities are available to RTAC Research Network members?

USAID offices, bureaus, or missions will release research-related requests for RTAC Research Network members to apply for different types of research and technical assistance opportunities. While some research opportunities may require the collaboration of specialists across several fields and may take several months to be completed, other opportunities might require the participation of a single individual over a shorter period of time. For instance, collaboration is expected in more complex research projects, but individual engagement can be expected for conducting literature reviews, providing consultation regarding research design, or participating in a technical panel.

How will I be notified that a new RTAC research opportunity is available?

RTAC Research Network members will receive an email when a research opportunity becomes available. Included in the notification will be directions on how to apply for the opportunity as well as the timeline for submitting your proposal.

What is the selection process for a research opportunity?

Due to the urgent needs of most requests, the timeline for responding to research opportunities will be tight. The timeline varies depending on the nature of the request, but it may range between one to two weeks. Once RTAC Research Network members submit their applications through the RTAC online portal, qualified candidates may be asked to sit for a preliminary discussion with USAID and RTAC to discuss the opportunity. In most cases, the successful applicant will receive official notification from RTAC that they have been selected for the opportunity within a couple of weeks of submitting his/her proposal. Upon selection, the researcher or research team will engage with RTAC and USAID to jointly refine the scope of work and timeline, based on discussions around the proposed work.

What opportunities are available to RTAC Research Network Members, outside of research activities?

As an RTAC Research Network member, you are part of a global network of researchers and higher education institutions. RTAC Research Network members have the opportunity to network with researchers around the world specializing in the sectors and regions in which USAID works, if they wish to do so. RTAC Research Network members may increase their visibility in the academic space by having their expertise and achievements featured on the RTAC website, including links to recent publications, and by supporting the development and/or publication of RTAC-funded studies.

Who do I contact with questions about the RTAC Research Network?

Contact [email protected] with questions about the RTAC Research Network.