Skip to main content

IDRC Research Awards 2020

Call for
Technology and Innovation
January to December 2020 (12 months)
Science and Technology
Far East Asia
Middle East
North and Central America
North of Sahara
South America
South Asia
South of Sahara
Funded by
Salary for one year in Canada: CA$41,310-$47,822
Student award

This call is open to Canadians, permanent residents of Canada, and citizens of developing countries enrolled in 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.

More details

Please note the additional eligibility requirements outlined immediately below and in each of the eight theme descriptions.

Who can apply

Eight positions are available at IDRC's head office in Ottawa, Canada.

This call is open to:

  • Canadians or permanent residents of Canada who are enrolled in 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.
  • Citizens of a developing country who are enrolled in a master’s or a doctoral degree at a Canadian university OR have completed (within the last three years) a master's or doctoral degree at a recognized university. In either case, applicants must already have a work permit valid for full-time work (37.5 hours per week) in Canada until December 31, 2020 prior to applying.

Please note: the expectation of receiving a post-graduation work permit is not sufficient.

Other eligibility requirements

  • The proposed research must focus on one or more developing countries.
  • These awards may be part of an academic requirement.
  • The specific eligibility criteria of each research theme must be satisfied.

Please note: 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.

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, Guinea-Bissau, Maldives, Micronesia, Monserrat, Myanmar, Sudan, Suriname, Venezuela, West Bank and Gaza, 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. They 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.

Eight awards will be offered as a result of this call. There is one call per theme listed below. You may choose only 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 strategic priorities
  • relevance of the proposal to the chosen IDRC theme’s specifications
  • clarity and quality of the proposal
  • clarity and appropriateness in addressing the ethical considerations and gender dimensions 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.

Results: Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Due to the large number of applications received, we will not inform the non-recommended candidates on the status of their application. Results of the recommended candidates will be available by late November 2019 at the bottom of this call page.


We have important tips to share on preparing specific sections of proposals (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.

See the research topics of 2019 Research Award Recipients.

Meet the 2020 Research Award recipients and learn more about their research topics.


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