Facebook recently issued a Request for Proposals for projects that address the economic impact of digital technologies.  A summary is provided below. 


  • To support projects that address the economic consequences and implications of developing digital technologies for small businesses
  • To support broader research efforts on the topic of economic impact of digital technologies

Topics of interest for this request for proposals (RFP) include, but are not limited to, measuring new types of economic impact — for example, assessing the implications of digital technologies for growth, resilience under challenging circumstances, inclusion of marginalized groups, efficiency of payment systems, or other business outcomes.

Scholars may consider focusing their research on the following topics, though creative approaches beyond these areas are also encouraged:

Agile business strategies enabled by data-driven advertising and other digital technologies

  • Technological factors influencing the resilience of businesses during economic downturns, disruptions, and other market challenges
  • How digital technologies help businesses explore and uncover new economic opportunities when existing business models are not viable during emergencies, natural disasters, or other external interruptions to business operations (for example, during the COVID-19 outbreak)
  • How businesses are able to more quickly adapt to challenges stemming from natural disasters or other emergencies and respond to shifting needs and interests of their customers

The impact of digital advertising on online platforms

  • Estimation of the economic value of the internet without digital advertising
  • Evaluation of the differences (e.g., cost, effectiveness, social value) between data-driven and conventional contextual digital advertising
  • Advantages and disadvantages of existing vs. alternative models for non-advertising based online platforms and services (e.g., subscriptions, gig economy, etc.)

Understanding the relationship between, and influence of, data-driven advertising on new market entrants and novel product categories

  • Emerging metrics and practices; identification of the new signposts of business success and growth in the current digital economy
  • Impact of contextual versus data-driven advertising for unfamiliar brands or new products

The value of data-driven advertising with regard to consumers

  • Measurement of the financial impact (costs and benefits) of data-driven advertising versus contextual digital advertising for consumers
  • Assessment of the effect of digital advertising on business models for publishers (e.g., subscription or premium add-on services) on the longevity of businesses
  • Impact of data-driven advertising on the relationship between SMBs and their customers


$50K – $100K

Required Overhead



1 year


Submission to ORS for full review – Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Submission to agency – Wednesday, May 20, 2020, by 5:00 p.m. EDT

For complete details on this opportunity and how to apply, please consult the following website:


Economic Impact of Digital Technologies request for proposals – Facebook Research

Facebook is issuing a call for academic research proposals as part of its pledge to contribute $1 million to research that addresses the economic impact of digital technologies, including new tools that enable commercial opportunities. Topics of interest for this request for proposals (RFP) include, but are not limited to, measuring new types of economic impact — for example, assessing the …