IDRC Research Awards - Frequently asked questions
1. If I am selected for a research award, do I need a work permit to start the award?
2. I am a student enrolled in a master’s program. Am I eligible for a research award?
3. What is the duration of the award?
4. Can I start later than May?
5. I am required to complete a two-month internship placement as part of my studies. Do I still qualify for a research award?
6. When will short-listed candidates be advised?
7. I am required to complete an internship in an organization selected by my university. Can this be supported by IDRC?
8. How are research award recipients selected?
9. Can someone at IDRC review my research proposal before I apply?
10. What should I include in the research proposal submission?
11. How should I address the “ethics considerations” in the application form?
12. What is gender-sensitive research and how do I integrate gender into my research?
13. What is the duration of the field research component?
14. Which countries are recognized as developing countries?
15. What is meant by “recognized university” and why does IDRC indicate “recognized” and “Canadian” university?
16. I am required to complete research for my degree, can I use the research award for that purpose?
1) If I am selected for a research award, do I need a work permit to start the award?
Yes. For awards in Ottawa, you must already have a Canadian work permit. If you hold a student work permit and you are offered a research award recipient opportunity, it will be conditional upon obtaining a valid full-time (37.5 hours per week) work permit from May 1, 2023, until the end of the research award period.
Applicants for the award with Global Health in Kenya must hold Kenyan citizenship.
2) I am a student enrolled in a master’s program. Am I eligible for a research award?
Yes, but we suggest you read the specifications of the area that interests you because the eligibility criteria vary from one area to another. Please note that you must meet all criteria and be able to work on a full-time basis.
3) What is the duration of the award?
The award is for a twelve-month period, from May to April each year.
4) Can I start later than May?
All research award recipients start at the beginning of May. Only in exceptional circumstances may you start later than May, but only with IDRC’s express approval. In these cases, the award will still end in April.
5) I am required to complete a two-month internship placement as part of my studies. Do I still qualify for a research award?
No. The research award is offered for an uninterrupted period of twelve months.
6) When will short-listed candidates be advised?
Short-listed candidates will be advised by the end of February.
Due to the high volume of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Candidates who are not shortlisted will not be contacted about the status of their application.
7) I am required to complete an internship in an organization selected by my university. Can this be supported by IDRC?
No. Research award recipients are only based in IDRC offices.
8) How are research award recipients selected?
Please review the evaluation criteria on the research awards recipients’ opportunities page.
9) Can someone at IDRC review my research proposal before I apply?
The review of research proposals follows set procedures that do not involve feedback at this stage of your application. We suggest that you carefully read the specifications of the area that interests you to ensure your research proposal falls within its scope.
10) What should I include in the research proposal submission?
All required information is clearly indicated on the research award recipient opportunity and in the online application form.
11) How should I address the “ethics considerations” in the application form?
The first thing to consider is that research supported by a research award must comply with the latest edition of the Canadian Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2).
The proposal should therefore address the following issues:
- Fairness and equity
- Privacy and confidentiality
- Conflicts of interest
Each of these issues is covered in the TCPS 2, so please refer to the document for guidance on how to address them in your proposal. In addition, you may consult research ethics literature, as well as articles describing research similar to yours that may provide insight into how other researchers dealt with the ethical issues that may arise in your study.
You must also indicate in your application (with appropriate references) whether the country where data collection will occur requires a local research ethics committee to review your project. Please note that as a research award recipient, you will be required to complete the TCPS 2 online training within the first weeks of your employment.
12) What is gender-sensitive research and how do I integrate gender into my research?
At a minimum, all research supported by a research award is expected to be gender-sensitive, and this must be reflected in your proposal. In gender-sensitive research, researchers recognize that gender is a significant variable that must be considered throughout the lifecycle of a study, from the formulation of research questions and objectives to data collection and the presentation of findings.
Several resources about gender-sensitive research and how to “engender” research are available online. The meaning of gender sensitivity will differ for each research project. For this reason, ensure that you consult a variety of resources to develop a sense of the approach that is most relevant to your research project. Free online courses are offered by SciDev and by Status of Women Canada (Gender-Based Analysis Plus or GBA+). This checklist was developed as part of a project examining gender in research funded by the European Union.
In your proposal, illustrate how integrating a gender perspective will improve the relevance and quality of your project.
13) What is the duration of the field research component?
The duration of the research varies, but it is usually two to three months.
Note: Due to potential limitations on international travel, it is recommended to propose research that can also be effective through virtual platforms.
14) Which countries do you recognize as developing countries?
IDRC recognizes the OECD DAC List of ODA Recipients, which lists the countries and territories eligible for Official Development Assistance. However, note that research cannot be proposed in countries with Government of Canada travel security advisories (avoid all travel).
15) What do you mean by “recognized university”, and why do you sometimes indicate “recognized” and sometimes “Canadian” university?
A “recognized university” is any university globally that can grant a degree and is listed as such by the country in which it is located. We require applicants to be registered in, or have a degree from, a recognized university. This applies to awards in Ottawa and Nairobi.
For awards in Ottawa, if you are a student (not a graduate) applying for a research award, you must be enrolled in a “Canadian university” if you are:
- from a low- or middle-income country;
- not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada; and
- currently completing a degree.
16) I am required to complete research for my degree, can I use the research award for that purpose?
This award is not intended to directly support an academic thesis. Research award recipients join IDRC as part of a team and allocate 50% of their time to research relating to the program they have applied to and 50% to IDRC’s program operations.