International Policy Ideas Challenge 2017
Tapping into Canada’s research talent for innovative international policy ideas!

Download the program poster

Past competitions

2016 Policy Ideas Challenge finalists

Please join us for a Teleconference Q&A session

Global Affairs Canada will hold a teleconference session to address questions from interested applicants on Wednesday, February 22 from 1:00-2:00 PM EST. If you wish to ask a question, please register by email at Upon registration, you will be sent all the necessary teleconference information.

We kindly ask that you send your questions in advance of the session. In order to make the session more efficient, we may group similar questions into one general answer. Only questions submitted by Thursday, February 16 at 5:00PM EST will be addressed in the session. A Q&A document based on the teleconference will be posted online following the session.

Please note that Global Affairs Canada cannot provide personalized advice to applicants on their individual situations or the relevance of their research to the themes of the competition. The teleconference session is intended to offer general clarification of the information contained in the call for proposals.

Call for Proposals


Global Affairs Canada (GAC), in collaboration with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), is pleased to announce the second edition of the International Policy Ideas Challenge designed to identify concrete innovative solutions to emerging international policy challenges faced by Canada. The objective of the program is to draw on the network of talented Canadian graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and civil society researchers. Applicants are initially invited to submit brief proposals. Ten selected finalists will be given several months to further develop their proposals into policy briefs, which will then be presented to Government of Canada officials. They will be expected to present their research in a special day-long symposium, hosted by GAC in Ottawa in November 2017 on the margins of the Knowledge Summit, to be organized as part of SSHRC’s Imagining Canada’s Future initiative. The proceedings of the symposium will be disseminated by GAC with a disclaimer indicating that the presentations represent the views of the individual presenters. Participants may also be offered the opportunity to participate in a special session with emerging youth leaders at SSHRC’s Knowledge Summit.


Ten winning projects will receive $3,000 each (regardless of whether the proposal is submitted by an individual or a team). The award will be made upon the submission of the final product to Global Affairs Canada. In addition to the award, travel expenses of up to $800 per project will be covered to facilitate the finalists’ participation in the presentation session and the SSHRC Knowledge Summit in Ottawa in November. A supplement may be available to researchers travelling long distances in order to partially offset the higher cost of airfare.


Each proposal should offer solutions bridging at least two of the three policy areas under Global Affairs Canada’s mandate—foreign policy, trade, and international development. Ideas should be linked to the priority themes indicated below. However, proposals related to other emerging issues and trends affecting Canada’s international policy will also be considered.


The Policy Ideas Challenge invites applications from:

Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada.

For team applications, only the lead researcher is expected to meet the above requirements. The lead researcher may include collaborators from another country or sector to support the project in an advisory capacity. No monetary award will be given to collaborators.

To Apply

To apply, please send the following items as a PDF file attachment to:

Proposals will be evaluated by a Global Affairs Canada-led selection committee on a combination of quality, relevance, feasibility, and originality of the idea, as well as the capability and qualifications of the individual(s) to carry the idea to a research phase.

Proposal Requirements

Proposals should:

Proposals that adopt a multi-disciplinary approach will be given priority. Collaboration (e.g., between researchers from different sectors or countries) is encouraged if it strengthens the quality of the project.



Global Affairs Canada is grateful to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) for supporting this initiative.


Call for proposalsJanuary 2017
Officials of Global Affairs Canada will hold a virtual session to address questions from interested applicantsFebruary 22, 2017
Application deadlineMarch 13, 2017
Assessment of applications *March 2017
Selection of the ten winning entriesApril 2017
Joint SSHRC/GAC press release to announce the winnersApril 2017
A virtual workshop for selected candidates to discuss their projectsApril 2017
Policy briefs dueSeptember 5, 2017
Presentation of final research products to Government of Canada Officials and participation in the Knowledge Summit of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of CanadaNovember 2017
Dissemination of the proceedings of the GAC SymposiumFebruary 2018

* As the final step in the assessment process, shortlisted candidates may be invited to present their proposals virtually to a Global Affairs Canada jury.

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