18 September, 2019.





Research award 2020: Food Systems

Over the past five decades, global food systems and human dietary patterns have changed substantially. Increasingly unhealthy and unsustainable diets, combined with ongoing food insecurity (often in the same communities) are contributing to a double burden of malnutrition. Low- and middle-income countries are disproportionately affected and lacking evidence and influence in order to change global food systems. IDRC aims to empower researchers, farmers, consumers, and policy-makers across the developing world to transition their populations towards healthier, more equitable and sustainable food systems.

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

  • Research on the drivers or enablers of change in food environments to improve the quality and sustainability of diets at the population level (e.g. urban agriculture and/or rural development initiatives and their links to local food supply and consumption)
  • Research on the aspects of the political, social and physical food environments that affect consumption of energy-dense and/or nutrient-poor food. For example, the study of the impact of agricultural subsidies, accessibility and affordability of healthy diets for low income households, influence of rapid agrarian change on food environment, and differences between rural and urban contexts
  • Evidence on how transforming food systems may impact on gender and prioritise equitable benefits to women in terms of access to healthy and sustainable diets as well as economic empowerment
  • Research to inform the design, implementation, and/or evaluation of fiscal and regulatory interventions that aim to contribute to healthier consumption and sustainable production
  • Cross-sector policy analysis and strategies for improving coherence between public policies and regulations that impact food systems
  • Empirical and/or modelling studies to quantify the current and future environmental or economic costs of different production or consumption patterns

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:

  • Food Systems

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:

  • General interest in research on agriculture or public health and food system issues in developing countries.
  • Specific interest and some experience with food systems, agriculture and/or public health nutrition in Africa, Asia, and/or Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.

Language requirements:

•  Proficiency in English.

•  French or Spanish language skills an asset.

It is highly desirable that the candidate has completed a master’s program related to one of the following disciplines:

  • Political science, public policy
  • Public health nutrition
  • Agri-food systems/economics
  • Development studies/International development

Your research proposal should demonstrate: a clear research question connected to one of the areas of interest above, identifying source(s) of empirical data, and the analytical methods to be used. The proposal should also describe a potential audience that could benefit from this work, and outline approaches for reaching that audience and enabling the research to make a potential impact.

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.

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