About Us

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LASER (Long-term Assistance and Services for Research) PULSE (Partners for University-Led Solutions Engine)


LASER (Long-term Assistance and SErvices for Research) PULSE (Partners for University-Led Solutions Engine) is a $70M program funded through USAID’s Innovation, Technology, and Research Hub, that delivers research-driven solutions to field-sourced development challenges in USAID Partner countries.

A consortium led by Purdue University, with core partners Catholic Relief Services, Indiana University, Makerere University, and the University of Notre Dame, implements the LASER PULSE program through a growing network of 3,000+ researchers and development practitioners in 74 countries.

LASER PULSE collaborates with USAID missions, bureaus, and independent offices and other local stakeholders to identify research needs for critical development challenges, and funds and strengthens capacity of researcher-practitioner teams to co-design solutions that translate into policy and practice.  

Betty Bugusu
Yuehwern Yih
Joe Sinfield

Principal Components


LASER PULSE has global reach, through a growing network of 3,000+ researchers and practitioners in 74 USAID Partner countries and around the world, with expertise in all development sectors. 

Identification of Research Needs

LASER PULSE helps identify research needs for critical development challenges by using a systems framework and collaborating with USAID missions, bureaus, and independent offices and other local stakeholders.

Research Funding

LASER PULSE funds research  through two mechanisms- core and buy-in

  1. Buy-in funding: LASER PULSE works with USAID missions/bureaus/independent offices 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.

Embedded Research Translation

LASER PULSE promotes a research translation model in which translation is embedded across all phases of the research project. The model is called Embedded Research Translation (ERT) and is defined as an iterative co-design process among academics, practitioners, and other stakeholders in which research is intentionally applied to a development challenge. Core to this approach are four pillars- partnership, process, product, and dissemination.

Gender Integration

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

Capacity Strengthening

LASER PULSE works directly with research teams and development actors to strengthen and sustain their capacity for development research and research translation, and thus contributes to the long term impact of the research project.

Meet Our Team

Learn about the people behind LASER PULSE

Who We Work With

Consortium Members


Higher Education Institution Partners


An innovative scientific method for identifying the most important and interrelated suite of factors that define a given problem to be solved.


A study that is used to identify, prioritize, and describe key capacity gaps to address increased development research outputs and impacts from LMIC universities.


A core component to LASER PULSE, Embedded Research translation is achieved through an iterative, collaborative process.


A connection point for researchers and field-level development actors to find each other for collaboration opportunities, and to exchange information and data.