IDRC Research Awards 2017, Canada


September 07, 2016

Opportunity Cover Image - IDRC Research Awards 2017, Canada


This call is open to Canadians, permanent residents of Canada, and citizens of developing countries pursuing OR who have completed a master’s or a doctoral degree at a recognized university.

Who can apply

Positions are available at IDRC's head office in Ottawa, Canada and at our regional office for Sub-Saharan Africa in Nairobi, Kenya. Eligibility criteria differ for each location.

For the positions located at IDRC’s head office in Ottawa, this call is open to:

  • Canadians and permanent residents of Canada, pursuing a master’s or a doctoral degree at a recognized university OR who have completed (within the last three years) a master's or doctoral degree at a recognized university.
  • Citizens of developing countries, pursuing a master’s or a doctoral degree at a Canadian university and who, prior to applying, have a student visa with a work permit valid in Canada until December 31, 2017, OR who have completed (within the last three years) a master's or doctoral degree at a recognized university and who already have a work permit valid in Canada until December 31, 2017.

For the position located at IDRC’s Regional Office for Sub-Saharan Africa, in Nairobi, Kenya, this call is open to:

  • Citizens of Kenya pursuing a master’s or a doctoral degree at a recognized university OR who have completed (within the last three years) a master's or doctoral degree at a recognized university.

Other eligibility requirements 

  • Your proposed research must focus on one or more developing countries.
  • Candidates cannot receive any other Canadian government scholarship, award, subsidy, bursary, or honorarium, or hold any federal government contract in support of a research/work project for the duration of the award; this includes any other IDRC award.
  • In addition, each program has specific eligibility criteria which must be satisfied.
  • These awards may be part of an academic requirement.

Research country exceptions 

In principle, IDRC supports research in all developing countries. At this time, however, IDRC does not offer awards for research in the following countries: Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Eritrea, Gaza, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea (DPRK), Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Research programs in Southeastern Europe, Eastern Europe, or Central Asia are also ineligible.

Prior to issuing the award and contract, field research proposed in the following countries or territories must be approved by IDRC

Burkina Faso, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Maldives, Mauritania, Montserrat, Papua New Guinea, Small Island Developing States (including Comoros, Mauritius, São Tomé and Principe, Seychelles, and Timor-Leste), and Oceania (Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, Kiribati, Palau, Marshall Islands, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Wallis and Futuna), Suriname, Tunisia, West Bank, and Zimbabwe.


Research award recipients will undertake a one-year paid program of research on the topic they have submitted, and will receive hands-on experience in research management, grant administration, and the creation, dissemination, and use of knowledge from an international perspective.

For payroll purposes, awardees are considered as full-time employees of IDRC. Benefits include Employer contributions to Employment Insurance, Employer Health Tax, Canada Pension Plan, and paid vacation leave. Some travel and research expenses are also supported, up to a maximum of CA$15,000.

11 awards will be offered during this call. There is one call per program listed below. You may only choose ONE of the following:

  • Advisory Committee on Research Ethics
  • Climate Change
  • Donor Partnerships Division
  • Employment and Growth
  • Food, Environment, and Health
  • Foundations for Innovation (in Kenya)
  • Governance and Justice
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Networked Economies
  • Policy and Evaluation
  • Think Tank Initiative

Evaluation criteria

The following criteria will be used to evaluate applications:

  • fit with IDRC mission and thematic priorities
  • relevance to IDRC mandate
  • relevance of the research and training proposal to the chosen IDRC’s program’s specifications overall appropriateness, completeness, and clarity of the research and training proposal
  • overall feasibility, duration, and timing of the research
  • originality and creativity of the research
  • gender sensitivity of the research
  • ethical considerations of the research
  • the applicant’s capacity to conduct the proposed research and training, including academic training, local language capacity, and related experience 

Have questions or looking for tips? We may already have answered questions for other applicants and we have important tips to share on preparing sections of your proposal (e.g. ethics and gender sensitivity). 

Announcement of results

We thank all applicants for their interest. At the time of submission, you will receive an autoreply from the IDRC Awards team which serves as acknowledgement of receipt of your application. Due to the high volume of submissions, only those applicants considered for an award will receive further communication. The list of Candidates Recommended for an Award will be posted on this Web page by late November 2016.


1) If I am selected for a Research Award, do I need a work permit to start the award?

Please read the details in the Eligibility section of the Call Web page. Note that significant changes have been made to the eligibility criteria this year.

2) I am a student enrolled in a master’s program. Am I eligible for a Research Award?

In principle yes, but we suggest you read the specifications of the program which interests you, as the eligibility criteria may vary from oneprogram to another. Note that you have to meet all the criteria and also be able to work on a full-time basis.

3) What is the deadline to submit an application to this call?

The deadline changes every year. Visit the Research Awards Call for applications Web page for the exact date.

4) What is the duration of the award?

The award is for a twelve-month period, from January to December.

5) I am required to complete a two-month internship placement as part of my studies. Do I still qualify for a Research Award?

No. The Research Award is offered for an uninterrupted period of twelve months.

6) When will you announce the results?

Results for the Research Awards call will be available by late November in the Call for applications Web page.

7) I am required to complete an internship in an organization selected by my university. Can this be supported by IDRC?

No, Research Awardees are only based in IDRC offices.

8) What programs can I apply for?

The list of programs hosting a Research Awardee changes every year. 

9) How do you select Research Awardees?

You can find out more about the Research Awards evaluation process in the Evaluation criteria section of the Call Web page, as well as in the checklist and FAQs.

10) Can someone at IDRC review my research proposal before I apply?

The review of research proposals follows set procedures that do not involve feedback at this stage of your application. Candidates can check out the research currently being supported by IDRC’s programs and become familiar with the objectives of each award.

11) What should I include in the research proposal?

All the required information on the research is clearly indicated in separate headings in the online application form.

12) How should I address the “ethics considerations” in the application form?

The first thing to consider is that research supported by a Research Award must comply with the latest edition of the Canadian Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS2).

The proposal should therefore address the following issues:

1) Consent;

2) Fairness and equity;

3) Privacy and confidentiality; and

4) Conflicts of interest.

Each of these issues is covered and dealt with in the TCPS2, so you can refer to the document for guidance on how to address them in your proposal. In addition, you can also consult the research ethics literature, as well as articles describing research similar to yours to provide you with ideas of how other researchers have dealt with the ethical issues that might arise in your study.

In your application, you must also indicate, with appropriate reference(s), whether the country where data collection will take place requires that a local research ethics committee review your project. Finally, note that, as a Research Award Recipient, you will be required to complete the TCPS 2 online training within the first weeks of your employment.

13) What is gender-sensitive research and how do I integrate gender in my research?

All research supported by a Research Award is expected to be gender-sensitive, and your proposal should reflect this. In gender-sensitive research, researchers recognise that gender is a significant variable that must be taken into consideration throughout the lifecycle of a study—from the formulation of research questions and objectives to the data collection and the presentation of the findings.

Several resources on gender-sensitive research and on how to “engender” research are available online. What gender sensitivity means will be different for each research project. For this reason, you should make sure to consult a variety of resources to get a sense of what approach is most relevant to your research project. 

In your proposal, make sure to illustrate how integrating a gender perspective will improve the relevance and quality of your project.

14) Can I start later than January?

All the Research Awardees start in January. Exceptionally, you may start later than January, only with IDRC’s approval, but the award will still end in December.

15) What is the duration of the field research component?

The duration of the research varies, but it is usually 2 to 3 months.

16) Which countries do you recognize as developing countries?

IDRC recognizes the OECD list of countries and territories eligible for Official Development Assistance. However, for exceptions and specifics on the countries.

17) What do you mean by “recognized university” and why do you sometimes write “recognized” and sometimes “Canadian” university?

A “recognized university” is any university in the world that can grant a degree and is listed as such by the country in which it is located. We require applicants to be registered in, or have a degree from a recognized university – and in certain cases for that university to be Canadian (specifically for applicants from LMICs who are currently completing a degree, since the only way these will already have an appropriate work permit is if they are at a Canadian university).

For more information click "Further official information" below.

Eligible Countries
Aland Islands, Albania, Algeria, American Samoa, Andorra, Angola, Anguilla, Antarctica, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), Aruba, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Bouvet Island, Brazil, British Indian Ocean Territory, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d'ivoire (Ivory Coast), Croatia, Cuba, Curacao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Faroe Islands, Fiji, Finland, France, French Guiana, French Polynesia, French Southern Territories, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Grenada, Guadaloupe, Guam, Guatemala, Guernsey, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, International, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jersey, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Martinique, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niue, Non-EU countries, Norfolk Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Phillipines, Pitcairn, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Reunion, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Helena, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Sint Maarten, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste (East Timor), Togo, Tokelau, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, United States Minor Outlying Islands, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam, Virgin Islands, British, Virgin Islands, US, Wallis and Futuna, Western Sahara, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Host Country
Study Levels
Publish Date
August 23, 2016
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