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?
Yes. As part of the application process, you must already have a work permit valid to work full-time (37.5 hours per week) and until the end of the research award period.
2) I am a student enrolled in a master’s program. Am I eligible for a research award?
In principle yes, but we suggest you read the specifications of the area that interests you because the eligibility criteria may 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 the beginning of May. In exceptional circumstances, you may start later than May but only with IDRC’s 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 you can refer to the document for guidance on how to address them in your proposal. In addition, you can 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.
In your application, you must also indicate (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?
All research supported by a research award is expected to be at minimum gender-sensitive, and your proposal should reflect this. 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 the limitations on international travel, it is not recommended to propose research requiring in-country field work, data collection or local engagements that cannot 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.
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 meant 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.