18 September, 2019.





IDRC Research award 2020: Disruptive Technology

The speed of current technological breakthroughs is without precedent. Shaped the right way, Artificial intelligence (AI), big data, the internet of things, genomics or 3-d printing can advance any of the Sustainable Development Goals – notably the delivery of health, education, agriculture and economic opportunities – in potentially transformational ways. Sometimes called the “fourth industrial revolution”, these changes are particularly challenging for low and middle-income countries, who typically lack access to the processes of technological design and development. This limits their ability to influence factors that will profoundly shape their future. This revolution will be guided by the choices that people make today: the world in 50 to 100 years will be shaped by how we think about, invest in and govern these powerful new technologies today.

Under this theme, IDRC is seeking a research award recipient to conduct research on one of the following areas:

  • The contribution of disruptive technologies, such as AI, big data, etc. to improve development sectors, such as education, governance or gender.
  • Better understanding how individuals, organizations and/or governments can adapt and harness disruptive technologies to their needs, including understanding how to build talent and skills in this area amongst marginalized groups (e.g. women in STEM). This includes a focus on how developing countries can build the right capacities to take advantage of the changing nature of work.
  • Exploring the governance of disruptive technologies, notably how public policies and regulation – globally or in developing countries – should be designed to better shape these new technologies to ensure they are ethical, rights-based and inclusive.

More Details

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

Opportunity Focus Areas:

  • Disruptive Technology

Required Languages


Eligible Countries


Program Period

12 months: January to December 2020.

Eligibility Requirements (Criteria)

  • This call is open to:
    • Canadians or permanent residents of Canada who are enrolled in a master’s or a doctoral degree at a recognized university OR have completed (within the last three years) a master’s or doctoral degree at a recognized university.
    • Citizens of a developing country who are enrolled in a master’s or a doctoral degree at a Canadian university OR have completed (within the last three years) a master’s or doctoral degree at a recognized university. In either case, applicants must already have a work permit valid for full-time work (37.5 hours per week) in Canada until December 31, 2020 prior to applying.

Note: the expectation of receiving a post-graduation work permit is not sufficient.

  • The proposed research must focus on one or more developing countries.
  • These awards may be part of an academic requirement.

Note: Successful award recipients cannot receive any other Canadian government scholarship, award, subsidy, bursary, or honorarium, or hold any federal government contract in support of a research/work project for the duration of the award. This includes any other IDRC award and any award managed by another institution but supported in whole or in part by IDRC, such as the Queen Elizabeth Advanced Scholars program.

Candidates should also have the following qualifications:

  • Minimum of a master’s degree in computer science, engineering, communications, social sciences, development studies, interdisciplinary studies, or a related field.
  • General interest in research on technology, technology policy, media and communications, and international development.
  • Specific interest and experience working in a development organization and/or conducting research or working in a developing country is an asset; and Strong research, analysis, and writing skills for different audiences (academic, policy, public).

Language requirements:

  • Superior verbal and written communication skills in English,
  • Intermediate to advanced knowledge of French or Spanish would be an asset.

Opportunity Cost


  • Research award recipients will join IDRC for a one-year paid program to undertake research on the topic they have submitted. They 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.
  • For payroll purposes, awardees are considered full-time employees of IDRC. Benefits include employer contributions to employment insurance, employer health tax, the Canada Pension Plan, and paid vacation leave. Some travel and research expenses are also supported, up to a maximum of CA$15,000.

How to Apply

First Step: Create an account from here.

Second Step: Apply the application from here.

Your research proposal should demonstrate:

  • Relevance to the theme and one or more of the topics listed in this call.
  • Strong understanding of the broader issues in this thematic area.
  • Ability to outline feasible objectives and a clearly defined research methodology.

Research component:

  • relevance of the proposal to IDRC’s mandate and strategic priorities
  • relevance of the proposal to the chosen IDRC theme’s specifications
  • clarity and quality of the proposal
  • clarity and appropriateness in addressing the ethical considerations and gender dimensions of the proposed research
  • applicant’s capacity to conduct the proposed program of research, including academic training, local language capacity, and related experience

Program management and support component:

  • applicant’s capacity to conduct program of work, including related employment experience

Apply Now

More Details

Know more about this opportunity:

Official Website

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This Scholarship Published by:
Reham Hassan/ Egypt

Reviewed by “ Nada Ahmed/ Egypt and Samah Gacem/ Algeria
MARJ3 Intern
MARJ3 Scholarships team