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Research award: Foundations for Innovation 2019

Deadline: September 5, 2018

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 award holders to pursue their research goals and work in one of IDRC’s dynamic program or division teams.

The goal of the Foundations for Innovation (FI) program is to build the human and organizational capital needed for innovation to support economic growth and development in low and middle-income countries through programs that strengthen science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills and improve institutions.

In line with the Government of Canada’s Feminist international Assistance Policy, the FI Program supports research for solutions that reduce inequality and exclusion, and increase women’s empowerment to improve their and other groups’ living conditions through the application of STEM knowledge. 

The 2019 Research Awardee will conduct original research that will:

  • make a scholarly contribution to the literature on inclusive and gender responsive/transformative research and innovation in STEM fields or on the role of research collaborations in supporting national development objectives in low and middle-income countries (LMICs); and
  • inform FI programming on inclusive and gender responsive/transformative research and innovation in STEM in LMICs or contribute to program self-assessment/synthesis of results.

Possible questions to inform the research agenda are:

Gender/women in STEM

  • What is the status of gender responsive/transformative research in LMICs?
  • How does research in STEM in LMICs go about pursuing gender responsiveness/transformation?
  • Who are the key actors spearheading this type of research in LMICs: researchers, research institutions, research support, and funding organizations?
  • What are inspiring recent or current practices/pathways for research in STEM fields to be gender responsive/transformative in LMICs?
  • What are challenges and opportunities for research funding programs (such as FI) to develop/ strengthen capacities in LMICs for gender responsive/transformative research in STEM fields?

Research collaborations

  • How may research collaborations between academic and non-academic organizations best support national development objectives and the Sustainable Development Goals?
  • What are barriers and enablers to academia/industry research collaborations for developing scalable solutions to pressing development challenges?
  • What are different ways STEM researchers are involving users from marginalized and underserved groups at later stages of their research and participatory approaches for ensuring more inclusive outcomes?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities related to multidisciplinary research projects on complex development challenges, especially projects involving social scientists alongside STEM researchers? 

Possible approach:

For the sake of illustration only, the research work plan could involve:

  • a review of international literature and IDRC project portfolios; 
  • online search and survey of researchers and other relevant actors;
  • analysis of survey-based data;
  • in-depth analysis of select case studies (including fieldwork); 
  • research report drafting;
  • internal and external review of reports;
  • possible presentation at scientific events; and
  • final revision and submission for publication.   

Who can apply?

To be eligible, you must meet the requirements stated in the IDRC Research Awards 2019 call page

Candidates should have the following qualifications:

  • Knowledge of science, technology and innovation;
  • Knowledge of research for development;
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently; and
  • Strong verbal and written communications skills.

Prior field experience in a developing country will be considered an asset.

It is highly desirable that the candidate is enrolled in (or has recently completed) a master’s program in one of the following disciplines: science, technology and innovation policy, development studies, or economics.

Language requirements:

  • Applicants must speak one of Canada’s official languages at an advanced level
  • Fluency in the second language is preferred
  • Proficiency in a relevant third language is an asset

This position is located at IDRC’s head office in Ottawa, Canada.

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