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The Gender in STEM Research Initiative FAQ

***Deadline for Submission Extended to May 10, 2021***

To view a reference-only version of the Expression of Interest, go to the landing page of the application platform and follow the relevant link found at the bottom of the page. In addition to completing the EoI, applicants will be asked to upload 2-page CVs of key team members and a very high-level budget, for which no template is provided. No other documents will be requested at the EoI stage. 

1. Applications from which countries are eligible for funding?

Applications are eligible from consortia involving at least two public universities based in at least two low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in the attached list of countries. (*Note: These countries are also where research can be conducted for this funding.)

2. What is the geographic focus and distribution of the initiative?

For this initiative, research consortia must be led by public universities based in two or more eligible LMICs in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. For the list of eligible countries, refer to question one.

Half of the consortia funded will be based in Africa.

3. Where can research take place under this initiative?

For this initiative research must take place in at least two or more eligible LMICs in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Refer to question one for the list of eligible countries.

4. Can a consortium be comprised of co-leads?

Yes, a consortium must have at least two co-Principal Investigators – one from each lead research organization. The co-Principal Investigators and a majority of members of the research consortium must be citizens or permanent residents of LMICs in the 2021 DAC List of ODA Recipients (*Note: This list is broader than the country list provided for question one of this FAQ.)

5. Who will submit the application to IDRC?

 A consortium must identify one lead applicant organization (a public university) to submit the application, assume the responsibility for managing the IDRC grant funds and coordinate funding arrangements with other organizations in the consortium. The lead organization should identify a Project Leader, who will normally also be a co-Principal Investigator.

For this funding, public universities are state-owned universities primarily funded by governments.

For further information on minimum requirements to receive an IDRC grant, please see Annex B of the call document.

6. Who can be included in the research consortia?

Research consortia must consist of at least two university-based research teams in eligible LMICs (as per the list in question one). Established women scientists are expected to have leading roles and emerging women scientists to have opportunities to be part of the teams.

In addition to researchers, consortia may involve practitioners and policy actors who will work jointly towards achieving defined research objectives, assess progress of work, and evaluate project results.

7. What will be the status of other organizations within the research consortia?

Other organizations (i.e., not the lead applicant) within the research consortia should serve as either co-applicant organizations or as third-party organizations.

Co-applicant organizations are direct partners in the research and jointly share with the lead applicant organization the intellectual responsibility and ownership for the knowledge and outputs produced.

Third-party organizations may support a consortium by providing expert advice or consultancy services. All proposals that involve third-party organizations must clearly justify their involvement and explain their role(s) (at the full proposal stage).

There is a cap of 10% of funding requested per consortium for co-applicant and third-party organizations based in high-income countries.

International organizations, including United Nations organizations and CGIAR members, are eligible to join as consortium members provided that they meet their own costs.

8. I am directly involved in a research team that is in receipt of an active IDRC grant. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes. Be prepared to explain how you will manage any workload issues arising. If the research topic overlaps in substance, be prepared to explain how the two will or will not be complementary.

9. Can we apply as an individual organization?

No. The funding will only support research consortia involving at least two public universities from eligible LMICs (see the country list provided for question one).

10. What is the maximum amount of funding we can request?

This initiative will provide CAD 1 million to CAD 1.25 million per research consortium. A total of CAD 8 million is available for this call. 

11. What is the duration of the funding?

Funding for the research will be provided for a maximum of 36 months.

12. How many proposals are expected to be funded through this initiative?

We anticipate funding up to 8 proposals through this initiative. 

13. How will the proposals be selected?

Proposals will be selected through a two-stage selection process.

In the first stage, applicants must submit an Expression of Interest by May 10, 2021. EoIs will be reviewed by IDRC to determine if the application meets eligibility criteria (as noted in this FAQ), is relevant to the call themes, and meets quality standards for IDRC-funded research projects. The call themes and review criteria are spelt out in the call document.

Those EoIs that are selected will move on to the second stage, and they will be invited to submit a full proposal by June 29, 2021. An external Scientific Review Committee composed of international and multi-disciplinary experts will evaluate and score full proposals for scientific and technical merit. Guidelines on preparing full proposals and evaluation criteria will be provided to applicants invited to submit a full proposal. 

The Scientific Review Committee will rank the proposals and IDRC will make the final funding decisions based on considerations of overall merit of applications as informed by the scientific review committee, thematic and geographic distribution, availability of funds, and IDRC granting guidelines (e.g., institutional and country risks).

For a description of the review and selection process, please refer to the call document.

14. If our application is unsuccessful, will we receive feedback?

If your application is unsuccessful in the first stage of the selection process, you will not receive any feedback. However, if your application is unsuccessful in the second stage of the selection process, you will be provided with feedback from the Scientific Review Committee.

15. How many EoIs will be shortlisted?

It will depend on the size of the application pool; we anticipate 25 EoIs being shortlisted to develop full proposals. 

16. When will applicants be told their EoI is shortlisted and they are invited to move to the second stage?

Applicants whose EoIs are shortlisted to move on to the second stage to develop full proposals will be notified by May 28, 2021.

17. If we are selected to submit a full proposal, when will we be told if our proposal is selected for funding?

Invited applicants who submit a full proposal will expect to receive a response by July 30, 2021.

18. Where do we submit our application?

For the EoI, please submit it through this link by May 10, 2021.

Details on submitting full proposals will be provided to applicants invited to submit a full proposal.

19. If we failed to attach a document, can we send it via email at a later date from the online submission?

No. The deadline for this call is May 10, 2021. Incomplete or late proposals after this date will not be considered.

If you encounter technical difficulties, please contact GIST@idrc.ca least 72 hours prior to the submission deadline.

20. If we have questions on the Gender in STEM Research Initiative, how can we get answers?

Any inquiries related to the GIST Research Initiative Call and application process should be sent by e-mail to GIST@idrc.ca. Inquiries for which answers can be found by a careful read of the call document or associated documents will not receive a response. Important new questions and answers will be posted here.

21. Can you clarify the eligibility considerations in terms of team composition, grant structure and funding conditions?

As noted in the call documentresearch consortia must be led by at least two public universities based in two or more countries in the list of eligible countries. This should be reflected in the way the responsibilities, activities and budget are distributed among consortium members.  

IDRC will enter into a funding agreement with one lead applicant organization of a consortium and a member of the research team of the lead applicant organization must serve as the Project Leader. The project leader will normally also be a co-principal investigator. The lead applicant organization must be a public university based in one of the eligible countries. 

A consortium can have multiple co-applicant organizations, understood as direct partners in the research and who jointly share with the lead applicant organization the intellectual responsibility and ownership for the knowledge and outputs produced. However, please note that the lead applicant organization and at least one co-applicant organization in a consortium must be public universities in the eligible countries.

Third-party organizations may support a consortium by providing expert advice or consultancy services. All proposals that involve third-party organizations must clearly explain their role(s).

There is a cap of 10% of funding requested per consortium for co-applicant and third-party organizations in high-income countries.