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IDRC Doctoral Research Awards Checklist 2018

Please note: Only online applications are accepted

How to apply

  • Complete the eligibility and application forms online.
  • Upload all scanned copies of the requested documents listed below.
  • All documents should be submitted in English or French (Canada’s two official languages).
  • Submit by 4:00 pm EDT the day of the deadline.
  • Incomplete and late applications will NOT be considered.

List of documents to upload with your application by the deadline:

Please ensure all scanned documents are readable when opened (legible from top to bottom).

1) Research Proposal

Proposals must be in clear English or French, 20-25 pages, double-spaced, in 12 point font (not inclusive of bibliography).

To be eligible, proposals must use the following headings, in the order listed:

  • Abstract of research proposal (max. 250 words)
  • Literature review
  • Research question(s)
  • Research objective
  • Methodology
  • Tentative schedule of field activities
  • Ethical considerations
  • Gender implications
  • Expected results
  • Potential use of results
  • Possible beneficiaries of the research
  • Dissemination plan for results

2) Letter of Affiliation

  • Must be signed and on official letterhead from an institution/organization confirming affiliation.
  • The institution/organization must be located in the country where your field research will take place.
  • If more than one country is involved, you must provide one letter per country.
  • The institution can be academic (a university) or non-academic (e.g., an NGO, a government department).
  • The letter of affiliation must indicate the institution’s interest in your research and how the institution is going to assist you (e.g. by providing an office, allowing access to the library or to previous research, introducing you to researchers in the same or similar fields, or providing you with scientific guidance, etc.).

3) Letter of Approval from Research Supervisor

Must be on official university letterhead, signed by your research supervisor, and contain the following items: 

  • Approval of the final version of the research proposal by your research supervisor
  • List of courses completed and to be completed in the program
  • Confirmation that all your course work will be completed and comprehensive/oral exams passed before the award commences
  • Confirmation that you have been “fast-tracked” from one program to another, if applicable

Your supervisor should use the Template for the letter of approval by research supervisor (PDF, 56KB) .

4) Official transcripts

  • Scanned versions of original or notarized/certified transcripts from your most recent completed degree AND of your current program, even if not completed. (Note: Web transcripts or Academic History are not recognized as official transcripts.)


If you are a citizen of a developing country and cannot send all the requested documents, please provide:

  • A scanned version of the original signed letter on official letterhead from the university confirming the degree and the marks obtained.

5) Proof of Citizenship/Permanent Residency

Only scanned versions of the following documents are accepted: current passport or birth certificate, or Canadian Permanent Resident Card.

6) Application form to be completed online (includes the budget)

7) Two references to be completed online

As part of the application, you must provide the names and contact information of two university professors (one must be your research supervisor). Once the form is completed, these contacts will automatically receive an e-mail notification with instructions on how to complete an online reference form. You will be able to see when they have completed the forms but you will not have access to the content. It is your responsibility to ensure this is done before the deadline.

We recommend that you notify your references of this process well in advance of the deadline. Please check the online system periodically to confirm that they have completed the task. You will NOT be able to submit your application if the reference forms have not been completed.

Important information for re-applicants

You may only ever apply twice to the IDRA competition and this must be in consecutive years.

  • If you were an unsuccessful candidate during last year’s IDRA Call and want to reapply during the current competition, you may do so by submitting a revised and improved proposal in addition to  all of the requested documents.
  • In the application form, explain clearly the changes made to the research proposal since your first application.
  • In the proposal, indicate in colour or using the track-changes feature where substantive changes have been made.
  • Also, you must submit a new, complete application including a new letter from your research supervisor approving the revised version of your research proposal.
  • Evaluators’ comments from previous Calls will not be provided. Candidates whose research projects do not suit IDRC thematic priorities will not be allowed to reapply.