Questions and Answers – Call for Concept Notes – Canadian International Development Scholarships Program 2021-2029
This page includes questions from potential applicants and answers from Global Affairs Canada about the Call for Concept Notes – Canadian International Development Scholarships Program 2021-2029. This page is not a substitute for the guidance on the application process of this call, the Partners@International portal or the application form.
Global Affairs Canada may re-draft questions from applicants. We do this to protect their identities. It also ensures that questions and answers are applicable to all applicants.
The deadline for submitting questions about this call is Friday, October 30, 2020 12 p.m. (noon) Eastern Time. You will find answers to questions received before this deadline below.
Application process and eligibility
Can an organization that has been legally incorporated in Canada for less than 2 years apply for this call? (November 9, 2020)
No, an organization that has less than 2 years of incorporation is not eligible to apply for this call. To be eligible for this call, your organization must provide 2 separate financial statements for the most recent fiscal years. Also, as indicated in the Required project experience section of the call page, the concept note must provide 2 examples of projects in Section 2.1 of the application form. For each of the 2 examples, the organizations/signatories must demonstrate a minimum of 4 years’ experience (per project example) managing international scholarship programs involving ODA-eligible countries within the last 15 years. In a group of organizations, signatories must ensure that their overall experience demonstrates this requirement.
Do local partners have a limit as to how many concept notes they can partner on? (November 9, 2020)
There is no limit as to how many concept notes local partners can partner on.
For local partnerships, is a pre-existing relationship required, and if so, for how long? (November 9, 2020)
No, a pre-existing relationship is not necessary. Any organization can submit a concept note, as long as it meets the eligibility requirements. Please also refer to the Required project parameters section on the call page for more information.
Should partner universities attach a letter of engagement and register on the Partners@International portal? (November 3, 2020)
A letter of engagement is not required. Only signatories and co-signatories are required to register to the Partners@International portal. Partnership must not limit scholars’ access to the widest range and variety of Canadian post-secondary institutions.
Note that in the call description, it states that “...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.” Question: Do we understand correctly that only one proposal will be selected for this call for concept notes? (November 3, 2020)
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. 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. However, Global Affairs Canada may also decide not to fund any of the proposals.
Is it sufficient for my organization to have a Canadian tax number? (November 3, 2020)
No. For the purpose of this call, a Canadian organization is an organization that is legally incorporated in Canada, is established with an office and employees in Canada and can provide proof of legal status (e.g. a letter of incorporation) along with a Canada Revenue Agency business number.
What do I do if I cannot download my application? (November 3, 2020)
If you cannot download your application, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more technical support, please refer to “Questions on using the Partners@International portal” on the call page.
Do I need to hold local consultations to prepare this concept note? (November 3, 2020)
Preference may be given to concept notes that enable new or improved locally driven solutions for better results and greater impact that benefit and empower the poorest and most vulnerable, including refugees and displaced persons, and women and girls. It is expected that applicants will conduct consultations with local stakeholders during the proposal stage and reflect input from stakeholders in their proposals. We are not expecting knowledge of every country in which the scholarships would be offered.
Can you give me examples of good proposals that were approved in the past? (November 3, 2020)
No. We cannot respond to questions on specific organizational circumstances or specific project concept notes/proposals.
What do you want to see for risk management and where do I include this? (November 3, 2020)
Please refer to the “How we assess your concept note - Responding to risks” section of the call page, as well as the “Section 1.3 - Expected outcomes and theory of change” section of the concept note form.
The list of eligible countries is different under the “Required project parameter” section, versus the “Required project experience section”. What is the difference between these two lists? (November 3, 2020)
Your concept note must propose project activities in the list of ODA-eligible countries specified under the “Required project parameter” section. Meanwhile, your application must demonstrate past project experience in the countries listed under the “Required project experience” section.
What happens if I choose a different financial amount or timeframe? (November 3, 2020)
To be eligible for this call, your proposed project must last 8 years and it must request Global Affairs Canada funding of up to $80 million. Otherwise, it will not be assessed because it cannot be considered for funding under this call.
Are there any situations in which you will grant an extension to the deadline for receiving applications? (November 3, 2020)
Extensions will not be granted to individual organizations. If an issue arises that affects all applicants, we will provide a call page update to all applicants.
Will you accept concept notes as Word documents instead of in the template that you have provided? (November 3, 2020)
No. Organizations must submit their completed concept note form—with the “Validated” label showing on first page—using the formats indicated on the call page.
Under the Required project experience, how do you define “within the last 15 years?” Do my experience examples have to be related to completed projects or can they include ongoing projects? (November 3, 2020)
At the closing date of the call, the project examples must meet the requirements as indicated under the Required project experience section. Any project activities that took place on or after November 19, 2005, will count toward the required project experience for this application. Future experience does not count toward the experience criteria.
Can we provide scholarships to universities in other countries? Can we provide scholarships for students from developing countries to attend schools in their own countries? (November 9, 2020)
The scholarships are primarily for scholars studying with Canadian institutions, as the program should provide scholars access to the widest range and variety of Canadian post-secondary institutions. Other innovative approaches involving Canadian post-secondary institutions can also be presented.
Since previous Francophonie scholarship programs were focused intentionally on graduate students and were open only to employed candidates, should the focus of this new iteration continue to be focused on “in service” training? (November 9, 2020)
The concept note should demonstrate a flexible design that enables adjustments within its thematic and geographic focus and offers a variety of educational delivery modes. This call supports higher education, research and professional and technical training.
Will scholars studying in Canada be required to complete their participation and leave Canada by the end of the program (that is, at the end of the 8-year term of the Contribution Agreement)? (November 9, 2020)
Yes. Scholars are required to leave Canada at the completion of the program.
Could new students or scholars be accepted into the scholarship program until the very last day of Global Affairs Canada funding received? (November 9, 2020)
No. New students cannot be accepted for multi-year studies in year 7 or year 8 of the scholarship program activities. It is important to take into account the winding-down of the program, which will have an impact on recruitment of scholars in the last years of its implementation.
Will this call for concept notes support a scholarship program for both undergraduate and graduate students? (November 3, 2020)
The program will provide scholars access to the widest range and variety of Canadian post-secondary institutions. This call supports higher education, research, professional and technical training.
Can Global Affairs Canada confirm that a full range of short- and long-term scholarship opportunities will be eligible? (November 3, 2020)
Can skills training programs not recognized by local education authorities be considered? (November 3, 2020)
Do all scholarship activities offered need to take place exclusively in Canada? (November 3, 2020)
No, but the program should provide scholars access to the widest range and variety of Canadian post-secondary institutions.
Can Global Affairs Canada confirm if and how they will play a role in the allocation of scholarship placements between countries or institutions, or in the selection of individual scholars? (November 3, 2020)
The allocation of scholarship placements between countries or institutions will depend on the proposed design. Global Affairs Canada will ensure that:
- approximately 90% of the funding from this call is allocated to projects that include activities taking place in sub-Saharan Africa;
- at least 75% of the overall funding is allocated to eligible official development assistance (ODA)-eligible member countries of La Francophonie, and the remaining 25% targets ODA-eligible Commonwealth countries, other SIDS and selected countries.
At the project implementation plan stage Global Affairs Canada will discuss a consultative mechanism with the selected organization to assess priorities from year to year. This is a standard practice for most Global Affairs Canada-funded initiatives.
Will this program fall under the terms and conditions that apply to Government of Canada-funded students/trainees? (November 3, 2020)
No. The terms and conditions of Global Affairs Canada’s scholarship programs are governed by the Technical Assistance Regulations.
What role will the governments of participating countries play in the identification of priorities, the promotion of the program and the pre-selection of candidates from their countries? (November 3, 2020)
The role of the governments of participating countries will depend on the proposed design and the capacity building approach incorporated in the proposed design of the project.
Can administrative fees be paid to a subcontractor or local partner based in 1 or more of the countries eligible to participate in this program? (November 9, 2020)
Please refer to Global Affairs Canada's Contribution agreement: General terms and conditions for more information on a signatory's relationship to subcontractors and local partners.
Do Global Affairs Canada’s (GAC’s) policies on both cost-sharing and overhead compensation apply to the full value of total eligible direct costs, inclusive of all eligible scholarship costs? (November 9, 2020)
Yes, the Policy on cost-sharing for grant and non-repayable contribution agreements is applied to the full value of total eligible direct costs (GAC's contribution plus that of the partner[s]). The Overhead compensation policy for contribution agreements with Canadian Organizations under the International Development Assistance Program applies to the full value of total eligible costs (GAC’s contribution only).
Is my organization’s cost share part of the financial amount requested from Global Affairs Canada? (November 3, 2020)
Can Global affairs Canada waive the 5% cost share required in cash and/or in-kind during the life of the project? (November 3, 2020)
No. As indicated under the Required project parameters section of the call page, you and your co-signatory(ies) must provide at least 5% of the total eligible direct project costs over the life of the project in cash and/or in-kind in accordance with Global Affairs Canada’s Policy on Cost-Sharing for Grant and Non-Repayable Contribution Agreements.
What is Global Affairs Canada’s understanding of “intersectionality”? (November 9, 2020)
Intersectionality is a research and policy model that recognizes the complex composition of factors that shape and influence human lives. Intersectional analysis examines the consequences of interacting inequalities (such as gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and ability) on people occupying different social locations. Intersectional analysis addresses the way that specific acts and policies take into account the inequalities that various groups experience. (Source: Women and Gender Equality Canada Gender-Based Analysis Plus Research Guide).
How does Global Affairs Canada define “vulnerable population”? (November 9, 2020)
Vulnerability refers to a situation where individuals or groups have limited protections or limited ability to absorb and recover from significant events, crises or shocks. Vulnerable individuals or groups may also be at higher risk of experiencing situations that affect their resiliency or threaten their survival or their capacity to live with a basic minimum standard of social and economic security and human dignity. Examples of people considered vulnerable include, but are not limited to, refugees, internally displaced persons and people living with disabilities.
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