Apply Now for IDRC Doctoral Research Awards 2018 – Deadline May 30

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The International Development Research Center is currently offering awards to help graduate students undertake thesis research in the field of international development. IDRC Doctoral Research Awards are intended to promote the capacity and growth of Canadian and developing country research to improve the lives of people in the developing world.

Deadline: May 30, 2018


This call is open to Canadians, permanent residents of Canada, and citizens of developing countries pursuing doctoral studies at a Canadian university.


Approximately 20 awards of a maximum of CA$20,000 each

Who can apply

In order to be eligible to apply for this call for application, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, or a citizen of a developing country.
  • You must be enrolled at a Canadian university at the doctoral level (when you submit your application, you must have completed several courses of the doctoral program, but not necessarily all of the courses).
  • You will need to provide proof that your research proposal has been approved by your thesis supervisor.
  • Your proposed field research must take place in one or more developing countries and be conducted for a doctoral dissertation.
  • Your field research must correspond to IDRC thematic priorities. Applications proposing field research outside these thematic areas will not be considered.
  • You must provide evidence of affiliation with an institution or organization in the developing region(s) in which the research will take place.
  • You must have completed coursework and passed comprehensive exams before taking up the award.
  • You may not be in receipt of two or more active IDRC awards at the same time. No time overlaps will be permitted.

Other eligibility requirements include:

This call for application also includes other eligibility requirements including the fact that it will be your responsibility to ensure that you follow all Government of Canada travel advisories while applying, when planning your trip, and while in the field. IDRC will not approve travel to a region for which there is an advisory that all travel should be avoided. If you are selected and the advisory changes, you will still be required to follow it even after a contract is signed.

Again, if you are selected for an award, you have up to 12 months to start your field research from the date of the final selection.

Countries that can apply for research

You may apply for research in the following countries and territories, but if you are recommended for an award, your application may be subject to a further stage of approval within IDRC:

Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Democratic Republic of), Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Gaza, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Maldives, Mauritania, Monserrat, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, Suriname, Tunisia, Venezuela, West Bank, and Zimbabwe.

The award will not be offered at this time in some countries including:

Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Micronesia, North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of), Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Southern and Eastern Europe, Central Asia and South Caucasus, and some small island states, including Comoros, São Tomé and Principe, Saint Helena, Timor-Leste, and Oceania (Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis & Futuna).

Special note about the Bentley Research Fellowship:

Candidates applying for the IDRC Doctoral Research Awards 2018 call, and indicating their area of work as related to the IDRC theme of Agriculture and Environment, will automatically be considered for the Bentley Research Fellowship (learn more here). There will be no need to indicate interest; the top candidates in this area will automatically be considered for this fellowship, which is of the same value and has the same parameters as the IDRAs.

Evaluation criteria

Applications that are complete, that meet the eligibility criteria, and whose research subjects are deemed to fit with IDRC thematic priorities will be forwarded to an IDRC selection committee. External evaluators may occasionally be involved.

Using the criteria listed below, the IDRC selection committee will rate each application and will identify successful awardees, ensuring that the selection of awards represents all three IDRC program areas. Some awards may be made conditionally, i.e. the candidate will be sent comments which must be addressed before the award can be confirmed.

Note that no comments will be provided to unsuccessful candidates, even those who intend to reapply a second time.

The following criteria will be used to evaluate applications:

  • Fit with IDRC mission and thematic priorities;
  • Overall appropriateness, completeness, quality, and clarity of the research proposal;
  • Overall methodology and considerations of cultural, logistical, and scientific constraints;
  • Overall feasibility, duration, and timing of the research;
  • Originality and creativity of the research;
  • Potential contribution to existing knowledge on the issue;
  • Gender dimensions of the research;
  • Ethical considerations of the research;
  • Benefit to the communities where the research is taking place;
  • Suitability of the affiliated institution;
  • Potential for research results to be disseminated and used;
  • Budget;
  • Applicant’s capacity to conduct the proposed research, including academic training, local language capacity, professional skills, research experience, and knowledge of country/region of research.

Ethics considerations

If you are offered an award, you will be required to submit the appropriate approval from your university’s ethics committee, as well as approval from a local Research Ethics Board (as required and when possible).

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Ufuoma is a Senior Editor and Director of Regulatory Policy at NLIPW. She assists clients in the protection of copyrights, trademarks and patents. She counsels clients regarding validity and infringement matters and has experience acting against the infringement of IP and addressing counterfeit issues. She holds a Masters degree (LL.M.) from Columbia Law School, New York and a law degree from the University of Nigeria (LL.B. Honors). She is admitted to practice law in Nigeria and in the State of New York. Ufuoma cut her teeth in the intellectual property practice groups of some of the largest law firms in Nigeria and has years of experience working with major non-profit organizations in New York. Email:

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