IDRC Research Ideas Competition


Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is pleased to announce a new IDRC Research Ideas Competition. This is to promote health, sustainability and equity in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). The IDRC, a Canadian Crown corporation, funds research in developing countries to create lasting change on a large scale and supports local organisations in the Global South to generate the evidence that is relevant in their context. The IDRC is working with the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health and Faculty of Arts and Sciences to manage this competition and ensure scientific integrity, ethical oversight and inclusivity.

The goal of this competition is to inspire novel research ideas that aim to strengthen policy interventions, population health, environmental sustainability and/or health, gender and social equity in LMICs. These novel ideas should deliver health and environmental co-benefits by addressing the interlinked nutrition and environmental challenges and knowledge gaps that impede shifts towards healthier and sustainable food systems.

The ideas will promote a conceptual understanding of healthy and sustainable food systems and account for the practical realities of their implementation.

About The IDRC Research Ideas Competition

This competition aims to:

  1.  Identify novel, solutions-oriented research ideas that promote healthy and sustainable food systems in LMICs;
  2. Support interdisciplinary exchange of ideas that draw upon different theories, methodological tools, frameworks, and approaches;
  3. Harness lessons from research, civil society and policy spheres which bridge the fields of global health, food systems and environmental sustainability research.

Who Is Eligible To Supply An Application?

The primary applicant must be a Doctoral Student or Post-Doctoral Fellow that is Canadian, permanent resident of Canada, or citizen of low- and middle-income countries currently enrolled in a doctoral degree or post-doctoral fellowship program at a recognized university (not only universities in Canada).

The primary applicant must meet this criteria. Also, the applicant can provide the details of up to two co-collaborators (optional) and their affiliations in their application.

For the list of eligible low- and middle-income countries, click here.

What Disciplines Are Accepted?

This Call for Research Ideas is inclusive of all disciplines that align with the scope, clarity and appropriateness of ethical considerations, and at least one of the three thematic directions of the Call (with the option to address multiple thematic directions if relevant).

The proposed idea must outline a brief overview of the state of knowledge, why and how research on this topic responds to the needs and priorities of the Global South, and how further research could help priority setting with donors.

You will need to provide the following:

  • a description of the theory, framework and/or methodological approach which could be used to describe and investigate the Research Idea.
  • details on the expected impact of research into this area as well as metrics or approaches that could be used to measure its impact.

In addition, the Research Idea should focus on the current global realities resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Award Details

10 winning applications will receive $10,000 CAD each administered directly to the primary applicant. The award will be provided upon the submission of the final idea write up and a formal presentation at the Ideas Symposium.

In addition, award-winners will have access to mentorship from a broad interdisciplinary network of mentors including scientific and technical support.

Also, award-winners will have the opportunity to

  • further strengthen their idea,
  • contribute to a global compendium of research ideas, and
  • attract the attention of a wider audience of researchers, trainees, policy-makers, funders and practitioners.

What Should You Include In Your Application?

Your application is ready for submission when it includes these four components:

  • a proposal (maximum 5 pages) of a research idea which directly addresses at least one of the three thematic directions. In addition, it must focus on the key consideration of ‘building better from COVID-19’;
  • CV of primary applicant;
  • a completed application form;
  • a letter of support from your supervisor.

The deadline for applications is December 11th 2020.  For more information, please the IDRC Research Ideas Competition website.