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Research award recipient opportunities

IDRC's research awards application process for 2023 is now open! The deadline for submitting your completed application is 1 February 2023 at 23:59 EST.

You can apply from the list of the awards at the bottom of the page but first, please read the information below to learn about IDRC, the awards and see if you are eligible. 


At  IDRC , we strive to nurture emerging researchers in Canada and in developing countries who will apply their research in innovative ways to solve development challenges. Our research awards program helps to build the capacity and careers of individuals by funding academic study and mobility, research, the development of complementary skills, and hands-on experience.

We are committed to creating and fostering a respectful, diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace culture that reflects the people’s lives we impact and the Canadian community we work within, where everyone can truly be themselves. We welcome Indigenous peoples and persons from all races, ethnicities, gender identities and expressions, sexual orientations, as well as persons with physical or mental disabilities to be part of our team.

About the awards

This year IDRC will offer research awards related to these development areas or themes:  Climate-Resilient Food Systems Democratic and Inclusive Governance Education and Science Ethics in Development Research Global Health, Policy and Evaluation, and  Sustainable Inclusive Economies.

All awards will be based in Ottawa except for the Global Health award that will be based in Nairobi.

If your research proposal is selected, you will join IDRC as a Research award recipient for a period of 12 months from 1 May 2023 to 30 April 2024 to undertake research on the topic you have submitted. You will receive hands-on experience in research and program management and support, grant administration, and the creation, dissemination, and use of knowledge from an international perspective. Meet some of our former  IDRC Research award recipients .

Awardees in Ottawa will be considered full-time non-union employees of IDRC for payroll purposes. Benefits include employer contributions to employment insurance, employer health tax, the Canada Pension Plan, and paid vacation leave. The salary range is CA$42,033 - CA$48,659.

The awardee in Nairobi is considered a term employee working on the Research Awardee pay scale as defined in the Locally engaged Staff manual. The salary range is 2,032,072 to 3,204,520 KES

For all awardees some travel and research expenses are also supported.

Who can apply

  • For the awards based in Ottawa: Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada, and students from low or middle-income countries, enrolled in a Canadian university with a work permit valid for full-time work (37.5 hours per week) in Canada  until 30 April 2024.
  • For the Global Health award based in Nairobi, the candidates must hold Kenyan citizenship.  
  • Students who are enrolled in or who have completed a master’s program from a recognized university within the last three years
  • Preference will be given to students who have completed a master’s degree

Eligibility requirements

  • Applied for only one research award recipient opportunity
  • Proposed research must focus on one or more developing countries on the OECD  DAC list of ODA recipients
  • Field research component cannot be more than 3 months
  • Research cannot be proposed in countries with  Government of Canada travel security advisories  to "Avoid all travel"
  • Specific eligibility criteria of each research theme must be satisfied
  • Completed  Research proposal submission  and  Academic information and professional qualifications form  and  for awards in Ottawa a copy of your valid student permit or full-time work permit valid at least until 30 April 2024, if applicable , or proof of your Kenyan Citizenship for the award in Nairobi which must be uploaded as part of the application process  (Note: If these documents are not uploaded your application will not be considered)
  • Candidates who have valid student permits and are selected will have offers conditional upon obtaining a work permit valid for full-time work (37.5 hours) from 1 May 2023 and 30 April 2024

Note: You will be required to state in the application process if for the duration of the IDRC research award (i.e. 1 May 2023 to 30 April 2024) one of the following applies to ensure there is no conflict of interest: i) have received another Canadian government scholarship, award, subsidy, bursary, etc.; ii) hold a federal government contract in support of a research or work project; iii) have received another IDRC award or any award managed by another institution but supported by IDRC, such as the Queen Elizabeth Advanced Scholars program; and iv) involved directly or indirectly with any other IDRC project.                                               

Note: Your research design and implementation should be flexible given the possibility that new restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and/or its after-effects may continue to complicate field research in many regions in 2023 and 2024.

Research proposal evaluation criteria

  • Relevance of the proposal to IDRC's mission and mandate
  • Relevance of the proposal to selected development outcome area
  • Clarity and quality of the proposal
  • Clarity and appropriateness in addressing the ethical considerations and gender dimension of the proposed research
  • Applicant's capacity to conduct the proposed program of research including academic qualifications, local language abilities, and related experience 
  • Applicant's capacity to conduct program of work, including related employment experience

We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only short-listed candidates will be contacted.  Short-listed candidates will be advised  by late February 2023.

For further information, please consult the  Frequently Asked Questions  and the  Short-Listed Candidate Checklist . If after reviewing all the information provided, you still have a question, please contact us at  careers@idrc.ca .