Research award 2021: Education and Innovation Systems

IDRC is one of the world’s leaders in generating new knowledge to meet global challenges

IDRC offers several research awards that provide unique opportunities to enhance research skills and gain fresh perspectives on crucial development issues. These one‐year paid, in‐house programs of training and mentorship allow research award recipients to pursue their research goals and work in one of IDRC’s dynamic program teams.

The Education and Innovation Systems award supports research on strengthening education and innovation systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to build inclusive knowledge societies that can respond to global challenges such as climate change and inequality.

Strong education and science, technology, and innovation systems are foundational to sustainable and inclusive development. Quality education for all is a key driver in reducing poverty, fostering economic growth, achieving gender equality, and enhancing inclusion. Education and innovation systems are also mutually reinforcing. Education (including higher education) is a prerequisite for innovation, and innovation in turn can strengthen education by enabling learning, adaptation, and producing critical new knowledge to address entrenched and emerging challenges. Disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence have the potential to improve education and other aspects of development in transformational ways, provided they are integrated within developing country science policy systems that support innovation and mitigate their risks to governance. 

IDRC is looking for a research award recipient to conduct research on one of the following:  

  • improving enrollment, school completion rates, and learning outcomes for girls and boys from kindergarten to grade 9 in developing countries;   
  • educational innovations that can improve educational access and quality, particularly for girls, young women, and disadvantaged groups; 
  • making science systems more inclusive by increasing opportunities for women in science and by strengthening science granting councils;  
  • issues in applying artificial intelligence for development; and/or    
  • synergies for integrated, complementary education and innovation systems in developing countries. 

Under the guidance of a senior program officer, the successful candidate will allocate 50% of their time to a research project that relates to the above topics. The awardee will be expected to prepare a research plan, provide progress updates, and present their findings at the end of the year. The remaining 50% of the successful candidate’s time will involve contributing to IDRC program operations, which may include synthesizing and disseminating project outcomes and results; participating in program and project development, monitoring, and evaluation; supporting program communications and research dissemination activities; and preparing internal and external reports. 

Applicants should clearly outline their qualifications for this position and explain how this opportunity will advance their career goals. 

Who can apply?

You must meet the requirements stated in the IDRC Research Awards 2021 call page to be eligible.

Candidates should also have the following qualifications:

  • demonstrated interest in research on education, science, technology, and innovation; 
  • experience in international development; 
  • ability to work independently; and 
  • strong verbal and written communication skills. 

The candidate should be enrolled in or have recently completed a master’s program related to one of the following disciplines: development studies, education, technology and innovation policy, or technical fields such as engineering or computer/information science. Candidates who are completing their doctoral degree will only be considered on an exceptional basis. 

Your research proposal should demonstrate how your proposed research project will: 

  • make a scholarly contribution to the relevant literature; 
  • inform IDRC programming on education and innovation systems in LMICs; and
  • address ethical and gender considerations. 

Language requirements

  • Bilingual position (English/French) at an intermediate level 

Application Deadline: September 16, 2020

Please note that all applications must be submitted online.


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