Thursday, March 8, 2012

Canada: IDRC Doctoral Scholarships for Developing Countries


The application process for the April 2012 competition is currently under review. Please check this webpage for further instructions by the end of February 2012. Candidates can start preparing the required documents but must wait for the revised application instructions before applying.

FAQs are also being prepared for the end of February 2012; candidates should refer to the FAQs before making inquiries, as they address a number of common questions.

IDRC offers these awards twice a year in April and November to Canadians, permanent residents of Canada, and citizens of developing countries pursuing doctoral studies at a Canadian university. These awards are intended for field research in one or more developing countries. Candidates must conduct their research in areas corresponding to IDRC's research priorities and must ensure that their research project aligns with these priorities.

Since 1982, IDRC has helped graduate students undertake thesis research in the field of international development. IDRC Doctoral Research Awards are intended to promote the growth of Canadian and developing-country capacity in research on sustainable and equitable development from an international perspective.

Research proposals that include comparative research between a developing country and Canada or that have a Canadian component, even if it is not comparative research, will not be considered for this competition. For such research, candidates should apply for a Canadian Window on International Development Award.

Countries subject to approval 

In principle, IDRC supports research in all developing countries. At this time, however, we do notsupport awards that involve research in Burma (Myanmar), Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Eastern Europe, or Central Asia.

Prior to issuing the award and contract, field research proposed in the following countries or territories must be approved by IDRC:

Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Democratic Republic of), Eritrea, Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of), Liberia, Libya, Papua New Guinea, Small Island States [including Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritius, São Tomé and Principe, Seychelles, Timor-Leste and Oceania (Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, Kiribati, Palau, Marshall Islands, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Tonga, Vanuatu, Wallis & Futuna)], Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan (Republic of China), West Bank and Gaza, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

Who can apply 

To be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:  
  • be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, or a citizen of a developing country
  • be enrolled at a Canadian university at the doctoral level
  • your research proposal must be 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
  • you must provide evidence of affiliation with an institution or organization in the developing-country region(s) in which the research will take place
  • you must have completed coursework and passed comprehensive exams before taking up the award.

(You have up to 12 months to start your field research from the date on the letter of offer.) 

Award holders 

To read about former IDRC Doctoral Research award recipients and their research topics, go toCandidates Recommended for an Award


Award tenure corresponds to the period of field research. In general, it will be no less than 3 consecutive months in each developing country researched and no more than 12 months. IDRC is responsible for field research expenses occurring only after the announcement of the results and from the date indicated in the official letter to successful candidates. The award is not retroactive: field research expenses that took place before the results announcement will not be covered. 


The award will cover justifiable field research expenses up to CA$20,000 a year. The budget covers one return trip from Canada to the developing country. It also covers housing, food, insurance, travel within the country(ies) of research, and several field research expenses. The award does not support expenses related to your relatives, spouse, or children. 

You may apply for funding renewal for a second year of field work if the research requires a second season of data collection. However, renewals are an exception and are provided for research that may need to deal with the uncertainties of growing seasons and climatic conditions that affect data collection. 

Number of awards 

Approximately 20 to 25 awards are offered per competition. 


April 1, 2012. Awards will be announced in September 2012. 
November 1, 2012. Awards will be announced in May 2013. 

To apply 

Complete two forms: the checklist and the application form. You must also provide all the documents requested in the checklist. The checklist is currently under review. The revised checklist will be available by the end of February 2012.

Here is the Template of the letter of approval from your research supervisor. This is to help your supervisor write the required letter of approval. 

Your application must be complete, submitted electronically, and received at the Centre by the deadline. Late and/or incomplete applications will NOT be considered. Your application should be submitted in English or French ONLY (Canada’s two official languages). 

Re-application policy 

An individual cannot apply more than twice, if unsuccessful, for the same IDRC award. Read the “Important Information for Re-applicants” in the checklist

Learn about the Evaluation process


If your research poses ethical concerns, you may, at IDRC’s discretion, be required to submit the appropriate approval from your university's ethics committee. 

Announcement of results 

We thank all applicants for their interest. Candidates recommended for an award will be advised by email. Their names will also be added to the list of Candidates Recommended for an Award. Candidates not recommended for an award will also be informed by email. 

For more information, contact us at

Please quote on your application when applying for this scholarship

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Scholarship Team: Ph.D Scholar Krisstofferson Joniel Scholarship Adviser, PhD Scholar Chea Vitom Scholarship Adviser and Senior Lecturer, PhD Scholar Rebecca T. Dalisay Scholarship Adviser, Ph.D Student Jiao Wang Scholarship Coordinator, MSc Student Dennise Maricel Scholarship Coordinator