Research award 2020: Policy and Evaluation

Deadline: September 18, 2019

Please note that all applications must be submitted online.

IDRC is one of the world’s leaders in generating new knowledge to meet global challenges. We offer a number of research awards providing a unique opportunity to enhance research skills and gain a fresh perspective on crucial development issues. These one‐year, paid, in‐house programs of training and mentorship allow research award recipients to pursue their research goals and work in one of IDRC’s dynamic program teams.

IDRC’s Policy and Evaluation Division enables the Centre to position itself strategically as an important partner in Canada’s international development efforts, supports corporate accountability and facilitates the Centre’s learning from successes and challenges. It delivers services to the Centre in four areas: strategic scanning, analysis, and advice; federal liaison and coordination; strategic and annual planning and reporting; and evaluation.

The Policy and Evaluation Division welcomes research proposals that:

  • Explore current practice in knowledge translation with specific relevance to research funding and support organizations such as IDRC, for example: activities, initiatives, systems, theories, and/or frameworks that aim to strengthen knowledge translation results and culture. For IDRC, knowledge translation holds a purposefully comprehensive connotation. It includes activities related to the synthesis, exchange, sharing, and ethical application of research-generated knowledge. Or,
  • Address issues in Canadian foreign affairs and development policy that are relevant to IDRC. Or,
  • Focus on evaluation and learning approaches relevant to IDRC programming.

Some illustrative examples are as follows:

  • In what ways can the knowledge translation activities of research organizations such as IDRC improve and/or amplify research for development? For example, approaches to strengthen relationships, improve evidence quality and utility, connect local knowledge to broader debates, expand opportunities for greater influence, and/or achieve impact at scale?
  • How might knowledge translation strategies be practically and intentionally built into the design of research programs and initiatives?
  • What potential linkages – and likewise opportunities and challenges – exist between the evaluation and learning function of an organization and its knowledge translation efforts?
  • What potential linkages – and likewise opportunities and challenges – exist between the strategy and policy function of an organization and its knowledge translation efforts?
  • How might research organizations go beyond individual projects or evaluations to engage in knowledge synthesis and meta-level organizational learning?
  • With the increasing alignment of foreign affairs, trade, and development, how might science diplomacy extend to international development? What factors might be most likely to contribute to the yielding of results? What strategies might be effective for linking science and research to global pacts such as the Sustainable Development Goals?

The successful candidate should be open to adapting their topic and/or approach to emerging opportunities in the Centre. Please note that we will not consider proposals dealing with specific thematic issues in international development (e.g., food security, maternal and child health, climate change) unless these are cases used to explore a wider strategic issue for IDRC. We will similarly not consider proposals to undertake program or project evaluations.

Note that the research award recipient will allocate half of their time for a research project relating to the above topic(s) under the guidance of a senior program officer. The awardee will be expected to prepare a research plan, provide progress updates during the year, and present their findings at the end of the year. The other half of their time will include working as an integral part of the Policy and Evaluation team, which may include research, analysis, writing for a range of audiences, participation in meetings or conferences, event planning, communications, etc. Interest in and aptitude for this work will be an important factor in the selection of the successful candidate. 

Applicants should clearly outline their qualifications for this position and explain how this opportunity will advance their career goals.

Who can apply?

To be eligible, you must meet the requirements stated in the IDRC Research Awards 2020 call page.

Candidates should also have the following qualifications:

  • Demonstrated professional interest in knowledge translation, public policy and/or evaluation;
  • Knowledge of issues in international development;
  • Strong research, analytical, and writing skills;
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills; and
  • Good judgement, initiative, and ability to set priorities and organize work.

Language Requirements:

  • Applicants must be fluent in either English or French
  • Proficiency in a second official language (English or French) would be an asset