The award IDRC offers these awards to Canadians, permanent residents of Canada, and citizens of developing countries pursuing doctoral studies at a Canadian university. These awards are intended for field research in one or more developing countries. Candidates must conduct their research in areas corresponding to the IDRC thematic priorities.
Applications proposing field research outside these thematic areas will not be considered.
Since 1982, IDRC has helped graduate students undertake thesis research in the field of international development. IDRC Doctoral Research Awards are intended to promote the growth of Canadian and developing country capacity in research to improve the lives of people in the developing world.
Have questions? Read the FAQs about the IDRA award and the Technical FAQs about the IDRA online application process. See the links to these FAQs at the bottom of the page.
Deadline: May 18, 2016
Countries subject to approval
In principle, IDRC supports research in all developing countries. At this time, however, we do not offer awards for research that involves Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Cuba, Eritrea, Gaza, Iran, Iraq, Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of), Libya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Southeastern Europe, Eastern Europe, or Central Asia.
Candidates proposing field research in the following countries or territories, even if recommended by the evaluators, must go through a further stage of approval within IDRC: Burkina Faso, Congo Brazzaville, Congo (Democratic Republic of), Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Maldives, Mauritania, Monserrat, Papua New Guinea, Small Island States [including Comoros, Mauritius, São Tomé and Principe, Seychelles, Timor-Leste and Oceania (Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, Kiribati, Palau, Marshall Islands, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Tonga, Vanuatu, Wallis & Futuna)], Suriname, Tunisia, West Bank, Zimbabwe.
It will be your responsibility to ensure that you follow all Government of Canada travel advisories, while applying, when planning your trip and while in the field. IDRC will not be able to approve travel to a region for which there is an advisory that all travel should be avoided. Should the advisory change (if you are selected), even after you sign a contract, you will still be required to follow it.
Who can apply
To be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:
• You must be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, or a citizen of a developing country.
• You must be enrolled at a Canadian university at the doctoral level (when you submit your application, you must have completed several courses of the doctoral program but not necessarily all the courses).
• Your research proposal must be approved by your thesis supervisor.
• Your proposed field research must take place in one or more developing countries and be conducted for a doctoral dissertation.
• You must provide evidence of affiliation with an institution or organization in the developing region(s) in which the research will take place.
• You must have completed coursework and passed comprehensive exams before taking up the award.
• You may not be in receipt of two or more active IDRC awards at the same time. No time overlaps will be permitted.
If you are selected for an award, you have up to 12 months to start your field research from the date of the final selection.
Special note: Candidates applying to this call for IDRC Doctoral Research Awards (IDRA) and indicating their area of work as related to the IDRC theme of Agriculture and Environment, will automatically be considered for what was previously entitled the Bentley Cropping Systems Fellowship and will henceforth be known as the Bentley Research Fellowship (learn more here).
There will be no need to indicate interest; the top candidates in this area will automatically be considered for this fellowship, which is of the same value and has the same parameters as the IDRAs.
Award tenure corresponds to the period of field research. In general, it will be no less than 3 consecutive months in each developing country researched and no more than 12 months. IDRC is responsible for field research expenses occurring only from the date indicated in the official notification to successful candidates. The award is not retroactive; previous field research expenses will not be reimbursed.
The award will cover justifiable field research expenses up to CA$20,000. The budget covers one return trip from Canada to the developing country of research. It also covers housing, food, insurance, travel within the country(ies), and several field research expenses. The award does not support expenses related to your relatives, spouse, or children.
Number of awards
Approximately 20 awards will be offered during this Call.
Deadline: May 18, 2016 by 16:00 (04:00 PM) (UTC-05:00) Eastern Time (US and Canada). Awards will be announced in October 2016.
Complete the eligibility and application forms online, and upload scanned copies of the documents listed in the checklist.
You must complete and submit your application before the deadline. Late and/or incomplete applications will NOT be considered. Candidates must complete the application in a timely manner to ensure sufficient time to gather the required documentation and reference forms and are strongly encouraged to submit well before the deadline. If you encounter problems when filling your online application, please read the Technical FAQs for the IDRA online application.
You may submit your application in English or French only (Canada’s two official languages).
We will only consider applications submitted online through the link provided above. Please read carefully the information and eligibility criteria provided on this page before beginning the application process.
You may only ever apply twice to the IDRA Call and this must be in consecutive years. If you were an unsuccessful candidate during the IDRA Call of May 2015 and want to reapply during the 2016 Call, you can do so by submitting a revised and improved proposal and all the requested documents. In the application form, explain clearly the changes made to the research proposal since your first application. In the proposal, indicate in colour or using the track-changes feature where substantive changes have been made. Also, you must submit a new, complete application including a new letter from your research supervisor approving the revised version of your research proposal. Evaluators’ comments from previous competitions will not be provided. Candidates whose research projects do not suit IDRC thematic priorities will not be allowed to reapply.
Applications that are complete, that meet the eligibility criteria and whose research subjects are deemed to fit with IDRC thematic priorities will be forwarded to an IDRC selection committee. External evaluators may occasionally be involved.
Using the criteria listed below, the IDRC selection committee will rate each application and will identify successful awardees, ensuring that the selection of awards represents all three IDRC program areas.
Some awards may be made conditionally, i.e. the candidate will be sent comments which must be addressed before the award can be confirmed.
Note that no comments will be provided to unsuccessful candidates, even those who intend to reapply a second time.
The following criteria will be used to evaluate applications:
• Fit with IDRC mission and thematic priorities
• Overall appropriateness, completeness, quality, and clarity of the research proposal
• Overall methodology and considerations of cultural, logistical, and scientific constraints
• Overall feasibility, duration, and timing of the research
• Originality and creativity of the research
• Potential contribution to existing knowledge on the issue
• Gender dimensions of the research
• Ethical considerations of the research
• Benefit to the communities where the research is taking place
• Suitability of the affiliated institution
• Potential for research results to be disseminated and used
• Applicant’s capacity to conduct the proposed research, including academic training, local language capacity, professional skills, research experience, and knowledge of country/region of research
If your research poses ethical concerns, you may be required, at IDRC’s discretion, to submit the appropriate approval from your university’s ethics committee.
Announcement of results
We thank all applicants for their interest. Candidates recommended for an award will be advised by email. Their names will also be added to the list of Candidates Recommended for an Award. Candidates not recommended for an award will also be informed by email; however, this email will be sent via the online application system. (Note that your server may not recognize the address and may send it to your junk or spam folder. Please see Technical FAQ 4 for details on how to avoid this problem.)
Access the call document, frequently asked questions (FAQs), and supporting documents:
All additional questions should be addressed to email@example.com
Technical inquiries about difficulties encountered in the online application system should also be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note in your subject line that you are applying for the IDRC Doctoral Research Awards.