The process for submitting proposals to IDRC is lengthy and thorough. It generally includes the steps below. Please note that because of limited funding, we are not able to fund all interesting ideas.
1. Share our vision
Before approaching us, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with our approach and priorities. You can do this by reviewing our website or reading the IDRC Strategic Framework 2010-2015
2. Propose your idea
Please note that, in most cases, we will only support research that is defined, conducted, and managed by developing-country researchers. If your research includes a developed-country partner, we ask that the developing-country research institution submit the research grant idea on behalf of the partnership, and host the project. In exceptional circumstances, we may consider requests to support research ideas led by a Canadian or international organization.
Proposals and ideas are reviewed by our program officers. These highly qualified researchers will act as a sounding board to refine your ideas, define the issues, and develop the best methodologies.
Our program officers work as a team and consult other members to ensure the research proposed meets our criteria. If we’re interested in your idea, we will follow up with you within 12 weeks to invite you to submit a full proposal.
3. Write a detailed proposal
Some program areas have specific requirements. These will be outlined on each program’s webpage, under the Approach tab.
All IDRC proposals are evaluated for scientific and technical merit, and potential to solve development problems. It generally takes six to 12 months from the time you submit a research grant idea to when the proposal is finalized.
After you submit your proposal to IDRC, the relevant program officer will prepare an internal project approval document which is submitted to the team or a member of senior management for review and funding approval.
Please remember that several months can elapse between the time your proposal is finalized and approved and the first payment is released.
4. Obtain clearance
In many cases, developing-country governments need to approve funds from external sources before a proposal can be finalized. If this is the case, clearance should be initiated by the research institution while your proposal is being evaluated by IDRC. It is important that this process be started early on as this can take many months in some countries and delay the start of a project.
5. Accept IDRC funding
If approved, IDRC will send a Memorandum of Grant Conditions to the recipient institution. This is a formal agreement that sets out the value and purpose of the grant, how it will be administered, the project’s objectives, obligations, and formal start date. We will release funds only after this document is signed and an official start date is set.