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Call for concept notes - Canadian International Development Scholarships Program 2021-2029

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The deadline to submit an application was Thursday, November 19, 2020, 12:00 p.m. (noon), Eastern Time.

This call is for concept notes to establish the Canadian International Development Scholarships Program 2021-2029. The program will provide scholars access to the widest range and variety of Canadian post-secondary institutions.

The total amount of funding available under this call is valued at up to $80 million over 8 years. Global Affairs Canada plans to select 1 proposal, either submitted by 1 sole Canadian organization or 1 group of Canadian organizations, to implement the initiative in its entirety. Global Affairs Canada may also decide not to fund any of the proposals.

You must submit your concept note through the Partners@International portal before the deadline. Read all instructions on the portal carefully. If you are applying on behalf of a group of organizations that would sign the funding agreement with Global Affairs Canada, please ensure that each organization is registered in the Partners@International portal and has uploaded all required documents.

We will not accept late submissions. To ensure that technical difficulties do not prevent you from submitting your proposal on time, we strongly suggest that you submit your application at least 3 working days before the deadline of Thursday, November 19, 2020, 12 pm (noon) Eastern Time. Please read all portal instructions carefully.

The submission of a concept note is the first step of a 2-stage application process. Funding will not be provided on the basis of the concept note alone. At the second stage, we will invite a limited number of proponents that best align with the objectives and parameters of the call to submit a full proposal. Be sure to review the instructions in How to apply for funding through a call before beginning your application.


This call for concept notes will support a scholarship program that is fully aligned with the Feminist International Assistance Policy, in that it:

Ultimate outcome

Under this call, the scholarships program must contribute to the achievement of this ultimate outcome:

Intermediate outcomes

Your proposed project must also contribute to all of the following intermediate outcomes:

Additional information

Your concept note should advance educational opportunities in the following areas:

Your concept note should also include:

You may refine the call’s ultimate and intermediate outcome statements to ensure they are grounded in the reality of your project design, making them more specific in terms of the who, what, and where of your project. Refer to the Results-Based Management How-To Guide to ensure that your outcome statements respect Global Affairs Canada’s definition for intermediate and ultimate outcomes.

Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy states that: “No less than 95 percent of Canada’s bilateral international development assistance initiatives will target or integrate gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.” Priority will be given to proposals that meet the requirement of fully integrated gender equality (GE-02) and women’s and girls’ empowerment.

Organization eligibility

To be eligible, you must meet each of the following eligibility screening requirements and, where stipulated, provide supporting documentation. If your organization is submitting a concept note on behalf of a group of organizations that would sign the funding agreement with Global Affairs Canada, each organization (i.e. co-signatory) must meet all of the following requirements and provide documentation:

If you do not respond “yes” to all of the above requirements, your organization is not eligible to apply under this call. We will not pre-assess or comment on the eligibility of specific potential applicants.

Required project parameters

Carefully review the following parameters of this call and judge whether your project idea will fit. We will not respond to questions about the eligibility of your project idea. You must be able to answer “yes” to all of the following statements in order for your application to be considered for funding under this call otherwise it will not be assessed:

If your proposed project does not conform to the above statements, it will not be assessed because it cannot be considered for funding under this call.

Note: Global Affairs Canada will not consider projects that include construction.

Required project experience

Your concept note must demonstrate the required experience as described below to be considered under this call. The concept note must provide 2 examples of projects in Section 2.1. of the application form.

Each of the 2 examples must demonstrate the following:

How we assess your concept note

Concept notes submitted to this call will first undergo an eligibility check to verify that they meet all organization eligibility requirements and required project parameters identified on this call page.

Next, concept notes will be assessed to ensure that applicants demonstrate the required project experience. Organizations that do not meet the required project experience will not be further assessed. You will be notified if your organization is found to be ineligible or if it does not meet the project experience requirements.

Concept notes that meet these requirements will proceed to merit assessment based on the following assessment criteria:

Rationale for the initiative

Gender equality

Human rights

Environmental sustainability

Managing for Results

Responding to risks

Organizational ability relevant to the initiative

After we assess eligible concept notes for merit, we will invite a limited number of organizations whose concept notes align best with the objectives and parameters of the call to submit a full proposal. Selection and funding decisions will be made based on an assessment of a full application package only. An invitation to submit a full proposal is not a guarantee of funding. 

Invited applicants will have approximately 8 weeks after they receive an invitation letter from Global Affairs Canada to submit a full proposal.

Additional guidance

Preference may be given to concept notes that:

Available resources

Before you begin, we encourage you to consult the many online resources that are available to help you develop your application package.

How to submit your application package

In order for your concept note to be considered in this call, you must submit your complete application package to Partners@International by 12 pm (noon) Eastern Time on Thursday, November 19, 2020.

Your application package must include all of the following documents:

Accessing and using PDF forms

Use only Adobe Reader/Adobe Acrobat and Internet Explorer to work on the standardized PDFs to be submitted with your application package. If you use other software, you may not be able to validate the form or submit it, or the data you enter may not appear once submitted to the department, and the application will be considered ineligible.

If you are having difficulty downloading the forms, it is generally due to the type of software you have (or do not have) on your computer. Please read and follow the help instructions. If you have all the correct software installed, download the form to your desktop and open it directly in Adobe Reader; otherwise, other software installed on your computer may try (and fail) to open the form using your default settings.

Questions on using the Partners@International portal

Please read and follow all the instructions for using the Partners@International portal (linked on the right side menu). Do not open multiple windows within the portal as this may cause technical problems.

Do not try to register or submit at the last minute.

It may take up to 10 business days to register your organization. If you encounter technical difficulties while trying to register or submit a concept note, send an email to

Note: during the last 2 weeks before a call closes, the service standard for replying to your enquiry is 3 business days. Technical support for the portal is only available Monday to Friday from 9 am to 4 pm ET.

Questions specific to this call

The webinar for this call took place on October 21, 2020. To receive a PDF version of the presentation please send a request to

Find answers to questions about this call. These are the questions sent before 12 pm (noon) Eastern Time on October 30, 2020. You can also consult the general questions and answers about applying for funding.

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