The David and Ruth Hopper and Ramesh and Pilar Bhatia Canada Fund

Ramesh Bhatia has spent more than 40 years working for and with developmental aid/finance institutions, including the Rockefeller Foundation, the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund — and 11 of those years with IDRC, during which time he met his wife, Pilar. Pilar Bhatia worked at IDRC for nine years and, after some time spent focused on their growing family, continued her work in the development field, in large part at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. and then in Asia. They currently live in the Philippines but come to Canada frequently to visit their children — both of whom hold appointments at Canadian universities — and their grandchildren.

We wanted to honour our decades-long and much cherished friendship with David and Ruth Hopper [IDRC’s first President and his wife] while accomplishing what we often discussed following our retirements: giving back. We wanted to show our gratitude to Canada and the Centre for opportunities afforded to us, while also providing benefits to young and deserving researchers in our homelands, the Philippines and India — countries also dear to the Hoppers.

—Ramesh and Pilar Bhatia

Thanks to a bequest from Ramesh and Pilar Bhatia, the David and Ruth Hopper and Ramesh and Pilar Bhatia Canada Fund was established in 2017. The fund is co-supported by IDRC and the IDRC Alumni Association; it is managed by IDRC. Its purpose is to fund young researchers in the early stages of their careers, particularly women, through fellowships, scholarships, or internships.

The fund supports the following:

Beginning in 2017, and biannually thereafter, IDRC offers a David and Ruth Hopper and Ramesh and Pilar Bhatia Canada Research Fellowship to a top candidate in Canada identified through the IDRC Doctoral Research Award (IDRA) call. For information on the call, please visit the IDRA call page located in IDRC’s funding page.

  • The 2017 Canada fellowship was awarded to Ms. Rachana Devkota, PhD in Rural Studies at the University of Guelph. The fellowship supported her research entitled: Gender Transformative Approach to Agriculture Innovation System in Nepal.
  • The 2019 Canada fellowship was awarded to Ms. Jemima Baada, PhD in Women’s Studies at Western University. The fellowship supports her research entitled: Examining the Dual Effects of Climate Change and Multilateral Investment on Agrarian Migration in Ghana.

Beginning in 2018, and annually thereafter, IDRC supports the Institute of Philippine Culture at Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines to manage a David and Ruth Hopper and Ramesh and Pilar Bhatia Research Fellowship for a deserving scholar(s) in the Philippines.

The Philippines fellowships were awarded to the following recipients:

In 2018-2019

Mr. John Vincent Toribio, master’s in communication, explores the links between media, youth, and violence.

Ms. Justine Nicole Torres, master’s in Anthropology, specializing in environmental law and policy, studies the histories and relationships of humans and animals for sustainable development in the Anthropocene epoch.

In 2019-2020

Ms. Alecz Gabrielle Fernandez, MA student in Environmental Studies, for research on “Flooding in Urbanizing Cities: Examining the Effects of The Increase in Impervious Areas in Cagayan de Oro City on Flood Intensities”

Ms. Josephine P. Perez, PhD student in Leadership Studies-Organization Development of the Psychology Department, for research on “The Filipino Women at the Peace Tables: A Positioning Analysis of Women Leadership in the Philippine Peace Process”

Beginning in 2017, IDRC offers a David and Ruth Hopper and Ramesh and Pilar Bhatia Canada Internship or Fellowship, managed annually by one of IDRC’s regional offices, on a rotational basis. Details is available through the appropriate regional office in any given year (Montevideo 2017; Nairobi 2018; New Delhi 2019; Amman 2020, and so on).

  • The 2017 fellowship was awarded to Ms. Elizabeth Solorzano Ortiz, Master of Science in Genetics at Austral University of Chile. Her research: The relationship between cutaneous reactions to pharmaceuticals used to treat Chagas disease, and the genotypes of molecules involved in immunological recognition, in two population groups of different ethnic origin - Guatemala.
  • The 2018 fellowships were awarded to two candidates at the PhD in Applied Economics at the Cheick Anta Diop University:

Ms. Touwédé Bénédicte Atchade with her research on Essais sur le pouvoir de décision de la femme dans le ménage en Afrique de l’Ouest.

Ms. Viviane Laure Mamno Wafo with her research on Le rôle des inégalités éducationnelles de genre dans la croissance économique au Cameroun : une analyse des effets macroéconomiques.

Beginning in 2020, and biannually thereafter, IDRC offers a David and Ruth Hopper and Ramesh and Pilar Bhatia Research Fellowship, managed by IDRC’s Regional Office in India, to a deserving Indian scholar.