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IDRC Research Awards 2019

Call for
Agriculture and Food Security
Climate Change
Food, Environment, and Health
Employment and Growth
Foundations for Innovation
Governance and Justice
Maternal and Child Health
Networked Economies
Centre of Excellence for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems
Livestock Vaccine Innovation Fund
January to December 2019 (12 months)
Far East Asia
Middle East
North and Central America
North of Sahara
South America
South Asia
South of Sahara
West Indies
Funded by
Salary for one year in Canada: CA$40,800-47,231; Monthly salary in Kenya: KSh 148,556–KSh 234,268
Research internship

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

Please note the additional eligibility requirements outlined immediately below.

Who can apply

Positions are available at IDRC's head office in Ottawa, Canada AND there is one position available at IDRC’s Regional Office for Sub-Saharan Africa, in Nairobi, Kenya. Eligibility criteria differ for each location.

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

  • If you are a Canadian or permanent resident of Canada, you must be pursuing a master’s or a doctoral degree at a recognized university OR have completed (within the last three years) a master's or doctoral degree at a recognized university.
  • If you are a citizen of a developing country, you must be pursuing a master’s or a doctoral degree at a Canadian university OR you must have completed (within the last three years) a master's or doctoral degree at a recognized university. In either case, prior to applying, you must already have a work permit valid to work full-time in Canada until December 31, 2019.

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.
  • These awards may be part of an academic requirement.
  • NB: Successful award recipients 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 and any award managed by another institution but supported in whole or in part by IDRC, such as the Queen Elizabeth Advanced Scholars program.
  • In addition, each program has specific eligibility criteria that must be satisfied.

Research country exceptions

In principle, IDRC supports research in all developing countries. At this time, however, we do not offer awards for research that involves the following countries:

Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of), Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Southern and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and South Caucasus.

Countries subject to approval

You may apply for research in the following countries and territories, but if you are recommended for an award, your application may be subject to a further stage of approval within IDRC:

Afghanistan, Congo (Democratic Republic of), Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Gaza, Guinea-Bissau, Maldives, Micronesia, Monserrat, Myanmar, Sudan, Suriname, Venezuela, West Bank, Zimbabwe, some small island states, including Comoros, São Tomé and Principe, Saint Helena, Timor-Leste, and the Pacific Islands (Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis & Futuna).


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

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

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

Evaluation criteria

The following criteria will be used to evaluate applications:

Research component:

  • relevance of the proposal to IDRC’s mandate and thematic priorities
  • relevance of the proposal to the chosen IDRC program’s specifications
  • clarity and quality of the proposal
  • clarity and appropriateness in addressing ethical considerations and gender sensitivity of the proposed research
  • applicant’s capacity to conduct the proposed program of research, including academic training, local language capacity, and related experience

Program management and support component:

  • applicant’s capacity to conduct program of work, including related employment experience
More details

Before applying, please read the checklist of documents required for this call. .

Have questions? 

We have important tips to share on preparing specific sections of your proposal (e.g. ethics and gender sensitivity). Please consult our frequently asked questions before contacting us at

Meet some of our IDRC Research Awardees from 2014 to 2017.

Meet the 2019 Research Award Recipients and learn more about their research topics.

If you are eligible for this opportunity we welcome you to submit an application.