Grant Cycle:2020



The ICAP-IBA Research Unit (IIRU) aims to promote research and development in Pakistan by attracting and retaining outstanding scholars having research interest and who seek to improve policies and practices in the areas relevant to the profession, including finance, accounting, auditing, corporate governance and taxation.


IIRU Research Agenda has been developed to bring together researchers and practitioners to ensure outcomes having impact on policies and practices. We, therefore, solicit research proposals:

  1. that encourage chartered accountants–researcher collaboration; and
  2. demonstrate that the identified research area is expected to create a significant impact on accounting profession and industry.


The preferred research discipline includes:

  1. Finance
  2. Accounting
  3. Auditing
  4. Corporate Governance; and
  5. Taxation


Specific research interest 2020 are as follows:
Discipline 01      :               Finance
Theme                :               Financial Inclusion
Specific Context

In 2011, Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), a global network of concerned policymakers and supervisors, developed the “Maya Declaration”, the first set of global and measurable commitments to financial inclusion. The declaration has been endorsed by over 80 countries including Pakistan.

In 2015, to achieve the objectives of above declaration, State Bank of Pakistan developed a comprehensive strategy “National Financial Inclusion Strategy-Pakistan”. The strategy has so far achieved many of its milestone due to progressive financial sector in Pakistan. Now five-year experience of Pakistan enables IIRU to investigate different aspects of the Strategy in the light of outcomes and impact and help State Bank of Pakistan and key players of the Strategy to make necessary interventions.

Sub Themes

  1. Comparison of outcomes and impacts of financial inclusion strategy of most successful countries and Pakistan
  2. A diagnostic analysis of enablers and drivers of National Financial Inclusion Strategy – Pakistan based on the experience during 2015 to 2020
  3. Financial inclusion strategy – Performance analysis of banking institutions in expanding and diversifying access points and key reasons of the performance level 
  4. Financial inclusion – Women-focused products in agriculture finance
  5. Financial inclusion – Pakistan experience of Self Help Groups

Discipline 02      :               Business
Theme                :               Agriculture Business
Specific Context

Pakistan, being the 6th most populated nation with over 220 million population, needs self-sustainable food security system. Agriculture contributes around 20% in GDP and over 40% population is dependent on the sector.

For decades World Bank supports and advocates multi-dimensional Agriculture Extension Programs in all countries. All provincial governments of Pakistan have also elaborated Agriculture Extension Programs in relevant ministry. These programs are more focused on crop production, curtailing the cost of production, educating farming communities’ and disseminating recent technologies. It is imperative for a successful Agriculture Extension Program to include supporting the farmers to access the institutional financing, consumer markets and gain due price of their produce.

Sub Themes

  1. Impact of agricultural credit on farm income
  2. Economic Analysis of Agriculture Small Loans on farm productivity
  3. A diagnostic analysis of role of middlemen in financing and marketing of agriculture business and its impact on the earnings of farmers
  4. Measuring the impact of credit availability and constraints for farmers

Discipline 03      :               Auditing
Theme                :               Digital audit
Specific Context

Technology is enabling the businesses to rethink value proposition and behave like a digital disruptor. Technology is no more an option, as a number of market forces are driving the need to become digital. Audit and assurance services are no exception. It is reasonably expected that audit and assurance practitioners have all the desire to converge their services into digital and technology based services, but they lack actionable industry-specific roadmap.

Sub Themes

  1. A global study of digitization of audit and assurance services to develop a Digital Audit Maturity Model that is able to serve as an actionable granular roadmap of digital transformation of audit and assurance practices in Pakistan.
  2. How data analytics improves the efficiency and effectiveness of substantive testing
  3. How digitization of audit improves the efficiency and effectiveness of test of controls


The following are the expectations from the grant holders:

  1. Scientific rigor in performing research that includes data collection, analysis and interpretation.
  2. Documentation of data, processes, judgments and opinions.
  3. Referencing and, where applicable, obtaining permission for the use of all published and unpublished work of others.
  4. Settling the author-ship matters and including all individuals who made a substantial contribution.
  5. Acknowledging appropriately all those who contributed to research, including the sponsors.


The maximum limit of the grant is Rs.600,000 for each research project.


  1. Must be a citizen of Pakistan and preferably residing in Pakistan.
  2. Having either of the following completed or in-progress degrees and/or qualification,
    1. A research based master’s degree for independent research proposal
    2. Pursuing a research based master’s degree program where research is supervised by a faculty.
    3. Chartered Accountancy, where research is supervised by a faculty. 
  3. Preferably having relevant industry and academic experience.
  4. Unit Head may recommend waiver from any of the above eligibility criteria based on merit of the case. The waiver is subject to the approval of ROC.
  5. The eligibility criteria apply to all candidates if a joint proposal is submitted by two or more candidates.


  Process Date
1 Start date of the application October 5, 2020 (Closed)
2 Last date of the submission of application November 2, 2020 (Closed)
3 Evaluation of the proposals November 30, 2020 (Closed)
4 Offer to the candidates based on recommendations of Unit Head December 15, 2020 (Closed)
5 Finalization of contracts December 31, 2020 (Closed)







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