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Global call for inaugural IDRC RQ+ College of Reviewers

Call for
Food, Environment, and Health
Employment and Growth
Foundations for Innovation
January to June 2020
Social Policy
Central Asia
Far East Asia
Middle East
North and Central America
North of Sahara
South America
South Asia
South of Sahara
West Indies
Funded by
CA$750/day for 37 days
Point of contact

Research evaluators are wanted for IDRC’s inaugural RQ+ College of Reviewers. 

As part of Canada’s foreign affairs and development efforts, IDRC invests in knowledge, innovation, and solutions to improve lives and livelihoods in developing countries. We believe that high quality science and research is a catalyst for a better future for all, but two critical questions come with these investments:

  • How do we know what makes for quality research?
  • How do we know our funded research is high quality? 

To answer the first question, IDRC undertook a reflective exercise to unpack and deconstruct the values and desires that the Centre and our research community hold for science. IDRC has articulated what we consider to be strong research for development in a transparent framework called Research Quality Plus (RQ+).

To answer the second question, we believe that science is driven by critical inquiry, so IDRC wants to leverage the value of external expertise from the global research community to help us evaluate the quality of the research we fund. 

An all-of-IDRC evaluation of the quality of the research the Centre has supported over the past five years will be launched in 2020. IDRC is seeking applicants to join the Centre’s inaugural College of Reviewers to assess IDRC-funded research in this evaluation. Evaluators will use the RQ+ approach to assess IDRC-funded research against the goals intended for that work. 


IDRC’s Policy and Evaluation Division is looking for external experts to serve within an inaugural IDRC RQ+ College of Reviewers. Successful candidates will be assigned to a thematic panel within the College of Reviewers and will assess samples of research projects related to their own disciplinary expertise. College panels will be constructed to align to IDRC programs as follows: 

This is a research quality evaluation, not a research impact or research outcome evaluation. Judgements on quality will be sought using the RQ+ approach. RQ+ requires assessments to be drawn related to the scientific integrity, legitimacy, importance, and utility of a research project.  At the same time, RQ+ requires contextual categorization and empirical data collection.

Learn more about RQ+

Candidates will be selected on the basis of:

  • their individual strengths and expertise; and
  • how individuals fit together in a team that can address the breadth of the programming under review (it is not expected that any single candidate will hold all the requisite thematic strengths needed for this evaluation).

Individual candidates must possess the following qualifications:

  • Substantial sectoral knowledge and research experience (minimum 10 years of work experience) relevant to one or more of IDRC’s programs (as indicated above).
  • Experience conducting evaluations of research quality (often called “peer-review”) in a research for development context.
  • A broad-minded understanding of the parameters of “good quality” in a research for development context.
  • Ability to work creatively and productively in a team setting.
  • Independence from the IDRC program under review (i.e., the evaluator will not have received research funding from IDRC in the last two years, have no expectation of receiving a research grant in the next year, have no real or perceived conflicts of interest, and have no stake in the evaluation outcome). 

The following qualifications would be considered an asset:

  • Program evaluation experience.
  • Fluency in one or more languages (beyond English or French) that are applicable to IDRC programming.

These criteria will be assessed in the initial application package (based on a cover letter and CV).

A short-list of candidates will be selected for interview (by telephone or Skype) to further assess applicants.

More details

Please consult the detailed call for expressions of interest for more information.  

Your question may be addressed in our Frequently Asked Questions. Please consult the FAQ often as they will be updated regularly. 

Any other pertinent questions may be sent to with “Question” clearly indicated in the subject line. 


Please submit your CV and a maximum two-page cover letter outlining how you meet each of the eligibility requirements to:

Please note:

Applicants must indicate the corresponding acronym of the panel for which they wish to be considered in the subject line.

Example subject line: AFS

List of acronyms:

AFS= Agriculture and Food Security
LVIF= Livestock Vaccine Innovation Fund
NE= Networked Economies
FEH= Food, Environment and Health
FI= Foundations for Innovation
EG= Employment and Growth
CC= Climate Change
GJ= Governance and Justice
MCH= Maternal and Child Health

*A separate application must be submitted for each panel.


If you are eligible for this opportunity we welcome you to submit an application.