Request for Proposals - What Works: Designing Gender Equality for and by the Tech Sector

The Women and Public Policy Program (WAPPP) strives to create economic, political, and social gender equality through research, teaching, and outreach. As part of its research agenda, WAPPP has a new area of inquiry, What Works: Designing Gender Equality for and by the Tech Sector, which focuses on the intersection of technology and evidence-based behavioral design aimed at countering gender bias and leveling the playing field for all. WAPPP seeks proposals for research on countering gender bias and advancing women’s professional opportunities, with priority given to projects that will address bias within the tech sector. Research projects that focus on creating and using innovative technological tools (such as people analytics, machine learning or AI) and other workplace tools (such as inclusion indices or behavioral designs) within the tech sector will both be considered.

WAPPP will offer funding for projects that test and evaluate the impact of behavioral design tools and interventions to advance women’s opportunities in the tech sector, or that leverage technology and behavioral design to advance women’s professional opportunities more broadly. Projects will be balanced to cover multiple areas, including

  • Hiring (including recruitment, application review, interviews, and selection)
  • Talent management (including development, performance evaluation, promotion, retention, and compensation)
  • Entrepreneurship (including venture capital funding and incubators)
  • Workplace culture/inclusion

Eligibility for funding is limited to active Harvard University faculty members. Priority will be given to randomized controlled trials, e.g., in collaboration with a tech organization, though other innovative approaches will be considered. Researchers should establish a collaboration with a tech organization, or have a specific de-biasing tool in development, prior to submitting a proposal.


Please refer to the RFP Application Guidelines and Instructions for further information. Please upload all your materials on the online form, with your completed budget form and project narrative attached. Proposals are due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 30, 2017.


For further information, including questions about eligibility, please contact Anisha Asundi,


Budget Form23 KB
What Works RFP Guidelines78 KB
What Works RFP Announcement65 KB