International Policy Ideas Challenge 2020 - Call for proposals
Please note the application deadline has been pushed back until May 15, 2020.
Global Affairs Canada, in collaboration with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), is pleased to announce the fifth 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 and insights. Applicants are invited to submit brief proposals. Ten winners will be given several months to consult with Global Affairs Canada “client” divisions and further develop their proposals into longer policy briefs, which will then be presented to Government of Canada officials in a day-long Ideas Symposium, hosted by Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa in 2020.
The International Policy Ideas Challenge invites applications from graduate students (Master’s or PhD level) and post-doctoral fellows at a recognized Canadian post-secondary educational institution.
Researchers affiliated with a Canadian non-profit organization (e.g., 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 other universities, to support the project.
Ten winning proposals 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 will be provided for winners from outside the National Capital Region to facilitate the in-person participation of the lead researcher in the Ideas Symposium. Only the lead researcher is eligible for the monetary award and travel supplement.
Each proposal should outline a trend or dynamic affecting Canadian foreign policy that applicants believe needs additional study. Proposals should sketch out preliminary policy recommendations bridging at least two of the three policy areas under Global Affairs Canada’s mandate - foreign policy, trade, and international assistance. Preference will be for ideas that fall under one of the themes indicated below, however, proposals related to other emerging issues and trends affecting Canada’s international policy priorities will also be considered.
- Protection of Canada’s interests internationally, within a global context of increasing social volatility and uncertainty related to contested multilateralism and to predicted future decades of environmental, economic, political, cultural, and technological upheaval.
- Canadian-led or -supported international responses to technologies that have the potential to seriously disrupt economic, social, and security systems, including those connected to the decline of fact-based reasoning in public discourse and social media.
- Canadian-led or -supported approaches that champion changes in power structures and social norms that address global gender inequality.
- Harnessing knowledge and innovation, such as from science, technology and applied research, in order to ensure greater effectiveness of Canada’s international assistance.
- Canadian-led or –supported approaches to promoting economic security in order to strengthen international peace and security.
- Canadian-led or –supported approaches to address diplomatic and security issues (e.g. climate change and increased accessibility for commercial and government interests) among Arctic states to advance trust, peace, and stability in the region.
NOTE: The final product will take the form of a policy brief, not exceeding 4,500 words, and it must include a one-page executive summary and policy recommendations. The policy brief should be augmented with creative communication tool(s) to convey results (e.g., info-graphic, mapping, short video, or other). Winners will have the opportunity to consult on the development of their projects with relevant Global Affairs Canada divisions. The final briefs will be due in late Fall 2020. Visit the International Policy Ideas Challenge 2019 - Challenge winners page to learn about past winners.
Proposals should demonstrate your ability to present your idea comprehensively and succinctly, including by explaining how you will gather relevant evidence and conduct rigorous analysis that would allow you to develop policy recommendations in the final policy brief, if you are selected as one of the winners of the Challenge.
- explain why the issue should matter to policy makers and why additional study of the highlighted issue is required;
- sketch out preliminary policy recommendations;
- briefly describe the proposed methodology for gathering and evaluating evidence, drawing out original perspectives and innovative solutions;
- identify which of the research themes listed above is being addressed in the proposal, or justify the choice of a different topic;
- address the connections between at least two of the three policy areas under Global Affairs Canada’s mandate - foreign policy, trade, and international assistance;
- identify potential constraints, trade-offs and implications for other Global Affairs Canada priorities;
- where applicable, identify actors and locations implicated in the policy idea, such as an international organization(s), forum(s), partnership(s), and geographic location(s)/region(s) relevant to the successful implementation of the policy idea;
- not exceed 750 words.
To apply, please send the following items as PDF file attachments to IPIC-CIPI.POR@international.gc.ca.
- Proposal (not to exceed 750 words) signed by the lead researcher.
- Please ensure that your proposal is saved as a separate PDF file and is not combined in the same file with other application materials. The lead applicant’s first and last names should be indicated in the upper right-hand corner of the proposal.
- Curriculum Vitae for the lead researcher, including his/her/their contact information;
- A transcript for the current or most recently completed graduate degree for the lead researcher;
- One confidential letter of reference (academic or professional) from a supervisor familiar with the lead applicant’s research skills, to be sent directly by the referee to IPIC-CIPI.POR@international.gc.ca;
- Biography of lead researcher and, if applicable, short biographies of collaborators.
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 July 31, 2020.
If you have other questions about this call after reading the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), please send them to IPIC-CIPI.POR@international.gc.ca. Please note however 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. We are only able to offer general clarification of the information contained in the call for proposals.
Process and Timeline
|Call for proposals launch||February 2020|
|Application deadline||May 15, 2020|
|Assessment of applications||May-June 2020|
|Selection of the ten winning entries||Late June 2020|
|Global Affairs Canada and SSHRC announce the winners||July 2020|
|Virtual workshop for IPIC winners to discuss their projects with representatives of relevant Global Affairs Canada divisions||TBD Summer 2020|
|Policy briefs due||TBD Late Fall 2020|
|½ day Prep Session for IPIC Winners||TBD 2020|
|Ideas Symposium to present final research products to Government of Canada Officials at Global Affairs Canada||TBD 2020|
Global Affairs Canada is pleased to acknowledge the partnership of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) in this initiative.
- Date Modified: