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Frequently Asked Questions: Mobilizing Principles for Equitable Global Health Research

1. What do you mean by “The Principles”?

In 2015, the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research (CCGHR) developed its Principles for Global Health Research (The Principles). In 2021, the CCGHR merged with the Canadian Society for International Health to form the Canadian Association for Global Health (CAGH) — a member-based, not-for-profit organization representing, and supported by, researchers, policymakers, practitioners and students with academic and civil society partnerships across Canada and globally. The mission of CAGH is to connect, engage, strengthen and mobilize the global health community across Canada and internationally through collaborative research, learning, advocacy, policy and practice.

Developed for all those involved in global health research (GHR) — including people designing, conducting, using, teaching, learning about, assessing, funding or collaborating on GHR — the Principles identify equity as a central pillar. The six Principles are: authentic partnering, inclusion, shared benefits, commitment to the future, responsiveness to the causes of inequities and humility.

Since their publication, the CAGH Principles are increasingly being seen as an exemplar in the broader field of health equity. However, the awareness of these Principles and their uptake remains limited. The goal of this funding opportunity is to support the fulsome integration of the Principles into action across the Canadian GHR ecosystem.

2. Which countries are the focus of this Call?

Lead Applicant Organizations must be legally founded and registered in Canada as independent entities. However, Co-Applicants and Third-Party Applicants can be located outside Canada, including low- and middle-income countries (LMIC)/territories.

3. Can an organization submit more than one proposal?

No. An organization can submit a maximum of one application as a Lead Applicant Organization. For large organizations (e.g., universities), different departments or faculties within the same institution may be considered to be different Lead Applicant Organizations for this purpose.

An organization may apply as a Co-Applicant Organization on multiple applications.

4. Is there a limit on the number of applications that an individual can be a part of?

An individual can be listed as a team member on a maximum of two applications and can only be a Nominated Principal Applicant on one application. The Nominated Principal Applicant must be an independent researcher or a knowledge user affiliated with the Lead Applicant Organization at the time of funding. If the Nominated Principal Applicant is a knowledge user, there must be at least one co-Principal Applicant who is an independent researcher.

Third-party applicants are excluded from this limit.

5. Can individuals apply to this Call for Proposals or are they required to apply as part of an institution?

IDRC is only able to grant project funds to institutions and is unable to grant directly to individuals. The relationship of the Nominated Principal Applicant with the Lead Applicant Organization must be clearly explained in the proposal.

6. Can an organization based in a LMIC apply as Lead Applicant?

No. This Call is targeted to eligible Lead Applicant Organizations that are legally founded and registered in Canada as independent entities, can receive and administer funds and be allowed to conduct or coordinate proposed project activities. Any organization from an LMIC may apply to this Call as a Co-Applicant Organization.

7. What is a Lead Applicant Organization?

Definition: The Lead Applicant Organization will assume responsibility for the administration of grant funds and will take the overall lead in coordinating the research activities. The Lead Applicant Organization is responsible for developing and administering sub-grant agreements with their project partners (such as Co-Applicant Organizations, Third Party Organizations or project consultants).

Eligible Lead Applicant Organizations:

To be eligible to receive IDRC funding, Lead Applicant Organizations must be legally founded and registered in Canada as independent entities, can receive, and administer funds and be allowed to conduct or coordinate proposed project activities.

Eligible Lead Applicant Organizations include Canadian postsecondary institutions and/or their affiliated institutions (including hospitals, research institutes and other non-profit organizations with a mandate for health research and/or knowledge translation) OR Canadian non-governmental organizations (including Indigenous-led community organizations) with a research or knowledge mobilization mandate.

8. What is a Co-Applicant Organization?

Definition: Co-Applicant Organizations are direct partners in the research and jointly share with the Lead Applicant Organization the intellectual responsibility and ownership of the knowledge and outputs produced.

Eligible Co-Applicant Organizations:

Co-Applicant Organizations can be private (e.g., non-governmental organizations, cooperatives, unions, civil society organizations, non-profit foundations or divisions of for-profit organizations) or public research organizations (e.g., governmental departments, agencies or ministries).

9. What is a Third-Party Organization?

Definition: Third-Party Organizations are sub-contracted by the Lead Applicant Organizations for specific services. These organizations may include United Nations organizations and CGIAR members.

Eligible third-party organizations:

  • Are not required to be located in Canada;
  • May include experts in the role of advisors or consultants to the project, but not as principal or co-principal investigators; and
  • May not receive more than 20 percent of the total budget of the proposed project.
10. Can Co-Applicant Organizations or Third-Party Organizations receive funding directly from IDRC?

No. IDRC will only negotiate funding agreements with the Lead Applicant Organizations of the selected proposal. These Lead Applicant Organizations can then develop and administer sub-grant agreements with Co-Applicants or Third-Party Organizations or consultants.

In exceptional cases, if sub-grant agreements are not possible within the consortium, IDRC may consider administering separate grant agreements with co-applicants.

11. Do applicants in a consortium need to be from different countries?

No. It is not required that applicants in a consortium be from different countries.

12. Is co-funding required?

No. Co-funding is not required for this Call. Nevertheless, for those applicants that are selected to receive a grant, IDRC’s policy on local contributions will apply as follows: Any applicant selected to receive IDRC funding will be required to make local contributions to the project. Local contributions represent cash amounts expended by the applicant from its own resources, from private grants or from grants received from local, provincial or national authorities for the purpose of the project. In-kind contributions may include salaries of regular staff, equipment, infrastructure and overhead costs. Cash and/or in-kind contributions should be reflected in the project budget.

13. How should the project budget be distributed between the Lead Applicant Organization, the Co-Applicant Organization and Third-Party Organizations?

There are no restrictions on the portion of the total budget allocated to Co-Applicant Organizations. Third-Party Organizations are restricted to a maximum of 20 percent of the total budget. The proposed budget must fit with the stated project activities of each consortium member.

14. Can overhead costs be included in the total project budget?

IDRC expects grantees to absorb the overhead or administrative costs of a project as part of its IDRC grantee contribution. Where an organization has a supportable indirect costs recovery policy, IDRC may allow indirect costs of up to 13% of all IDRC grantee-administered costs. The indirect cost rate proposed in the budget should not exceed the grantee’s organizational rate and should be verifiable.

Where a project includes sub-IDRC grantees who are administering a portion of the project, the maximum contribution may be shared between the proposing institution and the collaborating institution, but it should never exceed 13% of the total budget in aggregate.

15. Is there a specific format for applying to the Call?

Please read the following instructions for preparing your application (also found in the Call document).

Applications should be concise and presented in single-spaced, 12-point Arial font text, with a maximum length (not including abstract and annexes) of up to 10 pages for English submissions and up to 12 pages for French submissions.

Each application should have the following sections:

  • Cover page
  • Abstract (no more than 200 words)
  • Background
  • Rationale
  • Objectives (general and specific)
  • Methods
  • Cross-cutting considerations
  • Expected results including outputs and outcomes (quantify where possible; e.g., number of peer-reviewed publications anticipated)
  • Knowledge-mobilization strategy
  • Ethics considerations
  • Project administration and governance (include roles and responsibilities of project team)
  • Workplan and budget justification
  • Risks and mitigation plan (including navigating the COVID-19 pandemic context, see Annex III of the Call document)

As part of the application process, applicants will also be required to submit the following documents as Annexes:

  • Budget in Canadian dollars (CAD)
  • Data Management Plan (see Developing a data management plan: guidance for applicants and grantees)
  • Institutions and personnel:
    • A copy of the legal or corporate registration of the Lead Applicant Organization with whom the Nominated Principal Applicant is affiliated.
    • An attestation of the Lead Applicant Organization's capacity to manage a grant of this size and complexity (largest grants managed to date, compliance with other donor reporting and legal requirements, ability to manage third parties).
  • Letters of commitment from the Lead and any collaborating organizations.
  • The CVs of the Nominated Principal Applicant and proposed team members.
  • Nominated Principal Applicant certificate of completion sex- and gender-based analysis.
  • IDRC’s institutional profile questionnaire must be completed, signed and submitted along with the proposal by the Lead Applicant Organization.

Successful applicants will be required to provide additional documentation prior to confirmation of funding of their projects, as outlined in Annex II of the Call document.

16. Should the budget currency be in Canadian dollars?

Yes. The amount of funding being requested by the Lead Applicant Organization should be presented in Canadian dollars.

17. When will applicants be informed of the outcome?

Applicants will be notified on whether their application was successful no later than June 6, 2022.

18. What is the budget range and the amount of overall funding available?  

Up to CAD600,000 is available for one grant. This amount is also the overall funding available. Budgets are to be prepared and submitted based on the IDRC budget template.

19. Where can I find more information on indirect cost recovery and other financial considerations for this call?

As a guide, please consult IDRC budget considerations.