International Policy Ideas Challenge 2019

2019 International Policy Ideas Challenge Poster

2019 Winners

Congratulations to the 2019 International Policy Ideas Challenge winners! Watch this space for more information on their projects coming soon.

  • Aishwarya Babu
  • Grace Jaramillo
  • Marie-Dominik Langlois
  • Marion Laurence
  • Deanna Matthews
  • Daniel Ribi
  • Rachel Schmidt
  • Marco Zenone
  • Ghazaleh Jerban
  • Jonathan Kandelshein

Past winners

2018 International Policy Ideas Challenge winners
2017 International Policy Ideas Challenge winners
2016 International Policy Ideas Challenge winners

Call for proposals


Global Affairs Canada, in collaboration with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), is pleased to announce the fourth edition of the International Policy Ideas Challenge. The objective of the program is to draw on the network of talented Canadian graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and early-career civil society researchers to identify concrete, innovative solutions to emerging international policy challenges faced by Canada.

The program offers applicants a chance to test their skills at translating academic expertise into policy language. Applicants are invited to submit brief proposals. The authors of ten winning proposals will be given several months to consult with Global Affairs Canada client divisions and further develop their ideas into longer policy briefs. The policy briefs will then be presented to Government of Canada officials in a day-long Ideas Symposium, hosted by Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa in late fall 2019.


The  International Policy Ideas Challenge invites applications from graduate students (MA and PhD level) and post-doctoral fellows at a recognized Canadian post-secondary educational institution.

Researchers affiliated with a Canadian non-profit organization (for example, a non-governmental organization or a think tank) who are within six years of graduation from a graduate program at a recognized post-secondary institution will also be considered.

Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada.

Indeterminate and term employees of the Government of Canada are not eligible to apply. Additionally, employees of Global Affairs Canada, including students and casuals, are not eligible to apply.

For team applications, only the lead researcher is expected to meet the above requirements. The lead researcher may engage collaborators, including those from another country or sector, to support the project. Only the lead researcher is eligible for the monetary award and travel supplement.


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 provided upon the submission of the final brief and formal presentation at Global Affairs Canada. In addition to the award, a modest travel supplement maybe provided to facilitate the in-person participation of the lead researcher in the Ideas Symposium.


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 themes indicated below; however, proposals related to other emerging issues and trends affecting Canada's international policy will also be considered.

The final product should take the form of a policy brief (not exceeding 4,500 words) and should include a one-page executive summary and policy recommendations. It should be augmented with creative communication tool(s) to convey results (for example, info-graphic, mapping, short video, or other). Winners will have the opportunity to consult on their projects with relevant Global Affairs Canada divisions. The final briefs will be due in September 2019. Previous winners and topics can be found here.

Proposal Requirements

Proposals are not expected to offer solutions. They should demonstrate your ability to gather relevant evidence and conduct unbiased analysis that would allow you to develop solutions in the subsequent, longer policy brief, if you are selected to be part of the Challenge.

Proposals should:

To Apply

To apply, please send the following items as PDF file attachments to

Only complete applications will be assessed. 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 research and policy brief phases.

As part of the assessment process, shortlisted candidates may be interviewed by members of the selection committee. Only successful applicants will be contacted. The names of the winners will be announced on the Global Affairs Canada website by June 30, 2019.

Process and Timeline

Call for proposals launchJanuary 31, 2019

Teleconference session to address questions from interested applicants.

Applicants interested in participating in the session should register by February 20, 2019 by sending a message to

Questions regarding this call for proposals should also be submitted to this email address. Only questions received by February 25, 2019 will be addressed during the session. Please see a summary of questions and answers that were received by the deadline.

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.

February 27, 2019
Application deadlineApril 12, 2019
Assessment of applications April 2019
Selection of the ten winning entriesMid-May 2019
Global Affairs Canada and SSHRC announce the winnersMay/June 2019
Virtual workshop for IPIC winners to discuss their projects with representatives of relevant Global Affairs Canada divisionsEarly June 2019
Policy briefs dueEnd of Sept. 2019
Ideas Symposium to present final research products to Government of Canada officials at Global Affairs CanadaLate fall 2019


Global Affairs Canada is pleased to acknowledge the partnership of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) in this initiative.

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