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Frequently asked questions (FAQ) — Call for proposals: Establishing research chairs on forced displacement in South and Southeast Asia, and Central and South America


Selection of the Research Chair 

Budgetary considerations  

Proposal submission 

Selection and feedback 

Eligibility  .

What countries are eligible?  

This call for proposals targets universities based in low- and middle-income countries in South and Southeast Asia and Central and South America. For the purpose of this call, eligible countries in South and Southeast Asia are: 

  • South Asia: Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan 

  • Southeast Asia: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Timor Leste  

Eligible countries in Central and South America are: Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago. 

Please note that IDRC funds research in many countries in the Global South, but the Centre is bound by Canadian law, which may restrict or prohibit funding for research and organizations in specific countries and/or regions. For example, if the law limits banking transactions by Canadian financial institutions in a particular country, IDRC will not undertake any form of programming in the country.   

The organization’s legal corporate registration must show that the jurisdiction of registration is the eligible country. For IDRC to enter into an agreement with your organization, IDRC must be satisfied that the organization has independent legal status (or 'legal personality') and is capable of contracting in its own right and name. 

Why are Trinidad and Tobago and Dominican Republic included as eligible countries if they are not located in Central or South America?

While not formally part of South America, Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago were included in the list of eligible countries because of the significant Venezuelan migration to these Caribbean countries.

Are there any restrictions on the proposed thematic focus of the research chair?  

The proposed research chair may focus on any number of topics related to forced displacement. Applications should make clear how the proposed thematic focus addresses critical gaps in regional knowledge and/or capacity relating to forced displacement; complements IDRC’s strategic objectives; and promotes a multisectoral and interdisciplinary approach.  

The thematic focus should reflect regional priorities. For example, in South Asia, we note that climate-related displacement is a key regional trend. Applicants can work on the thematic focus of their choice so long as this reasoning is clear.  

For proposals from institutions in Central and South America, we invite you to consult our recent scoping studies of the situations in Central America (only available in Spanish) and Venezuela as you prepare your application. 

Are there any disciplines excluded from this call?

No. This call encourages applicants to take a multidisciplinary approach to defining the focus of the research chair. The focus of the Research Chair should also complement IDRC’s strategic priorities. For more information, please consult the detailed call for proposal.

Can the Research Chair work on issues related to internal displacement?

Yes. Internal displacement as well as displacement outside of one’s country of ordinary residence are both accepted as potential research themes the Chair will focus on.

Will you consider immigrants as displaced persons?

The term forced displacement generally refers to those who have been compelled to leave their place of ordinary residence because of external forces, whether that is across international borders or not. While some immigrants may have been forcibly displaced, not all immigrants are forcibly displaced persons. However, there is some overlap between these two categories that may be considered as part of the proposal research that the Chair will oversee.

Is Venezuelan migration considered displacement? What about internally displaced peoples due to problems related to drug trafficking and extractivism in Mexico?

Yes. This call understands forcibly displaced peoples to be people who have compelled to flee their home (either internally or outside of their country) due to the security conditions, lack of opportunities for citizens’ participation and other similar factors. Venezuelan migration and internal displacement in Mexico, as well as other similar situations, are considered to be forcibly displaced.

In South American countries there are Indigenous communities displaced due to environmental degradation to the land on which they hunt and fish, for example. Is this issue within the scope of the research the Chair will oversee?

Yes. This is an important issue and is within the scope of the research that will be overseen by the Chair.

Can the grant be used to support a research project?

The focus of this call is to establish the Research Chair within the applying university, rather than fund an individual research project. The Chair and the department they are ultimately housed within will carryout research projects. At this stage, applications need only identify the proposed thematic area of focus and research priorities, and how this links to institutional, local, national, and regional research and policy priorities. See call for proposals for more information.

Will applications be considered from institutions that are unable to contribute in-kind or cash contributions amounting to between 20-30% of the value of the grant? 

Contributions from the hosting university of between 20% and 30% are encouraged. To be considered, applicants need to demonstrate concrete plans for sustaining the research chair position beyond the four to five years of funding provided by the grant.  

Who should apply to this call? Is it open to university staff?

For this call, applications must be made on behalf of university institutions rather than individual researchers/professors. The focus of this call is to establish the Research Chair within the applying university, rather than to select a researcher to occupy the research chair position. The applying institution must be based in an eligible country. Depending on the structure of the university, the application may be best submitted by a department head, a director of research, or similar university staff member. 

Are both public and private universities eligible?

Yes, as long as the university has legal status.

Can a not-for-profit university apply?

Yes, as long as the university has legal status in the country in which it is located.

Can a research group apply for funding under this call?

An application can be submitted by a research group within a university, but the application must be clear on how it will establish one position for a Research Chair within the university. We welcome applications that can speak to the network that will be galvanized and convened through the Chair, and that can describe collaborations between the Chair and any relevant research groups.

Can an application be made on behalf of a consortium of two or more partners? (Including South-South or North-South collaborations)

The application must be made on behalf of one university based in one of the eligible countries. While the grant will only establish one research chair position per university, applicants are encouraged to detail in their application any planned partnerships or collaboration with other academic or non-academic institutions, including how these partnerships will factor into the activities of the Research Chair.

If a regional think tank develops research and projects on the subject in consortium with universities in that region, can it present a proposal?

No. The applications must be submitted by the university for a Research Chair that will be hosted within the institution. However, collaboration with think tanks and other actors working on forced displacement is welcome and encouraged.

Will preference be given to existing IDRC partners?

No. This is an open and competitive call. All eligible applications will be considered

To be eligible, is the applying university required to have existing curriculum relating to the study of forced displacement?

While this is not a requirement, one element of the selection criteria is demonstrated expertise in research, teaching, and engagement on forced displacement. Please consult the selection criteria in the detailed call for proposal for more information.

How should experience in forced displacement be demonstrated by universities?

The application should outline interest and engagement from scholars within the university on forced displacement related issues. You may consider demonstrating experience through past teaching, research or community engagement related to forced displacement. Letters of support from community partners or policy actors can also be used to demonstrate experience.

Can a university use the grant to establish more than one Research Chair? Can the grant be used to establish co-Chairs?

No. The establishment of the Research Chair was conceived of as one position for one person in order to ensure sustainability of the chair over the long-term. While we will not consider proposals for co-chairs, we do welcome applications which include collaboration between different parts of the university system and with non-academic actors, as well as proposals that encourage multidisciplinary approaches. Any such collaborations should be detailed in the application.

Can the application be shared with other countries? Can it be shared with more than one university?

No. This call is to establish one Research Chair position dedicated researching forced displacement. Collaboration between the Chair and other countries or universities is encouraged but the Chair cannot be shared. 

Can I apply for funding on behalf of a research centre on forced displacement instead of for a particular Research Chair position?

No. It is welcome that the university has a centre on forced displacement however, this call is to establish a Research Chair position dedicated to researching forced displacement. Collaboration between the Chair’s research and a university’s centre on forced displacement is welcome, however.

In universities with many faculties, there may be more than one applicant and it may be difficult to know this in advance. What happens if this is this case?

We will only accept one application per university. IDRC encourages the university departments to convene a meeting to decide which faculty/department is best positioned to host the Chair. However, it is expected that the proposed research themes that the Chair will oversee will be multi-disciplinary and incorporate the various departmental perspectives. The purpose of a Research Chair is most effective when it is seen as bringing an individual into a university setting to facilitate and amplify the collaborative research activities of others.

Can a university submit a proposal without agreements with other universities?

Yes. While we do welcome partnerships with other institutions, civil society actors, policy actors and other actors working on forced displacement, it is not a requirement to do so.

Selection of the Research Chair  .

Is this call to establish 1 Research Chair per university or 2?

Funding granted to a selected institution will be to establish one Research Chair in that university. Two universities per region will ultimately be selected to receive funding. (i.e., two chairs in Central and South America and two chairs in South and Southeast Asia – hosted in four different universities).

Who can apply to be the Research Chair? Should a Chair already be selected at the time of application?

At this first phase, applications should detail the process by which the Research Chair will be selected, including details on how this will be an open and competitive process. On that basis, IDRC will select up to four universities to receive funding to establish a Research Chair position. In a second phase of the process, successful universities will recruit the Research Chair, either internally or externally to the university, following the criteria and the process detailed in the application.

Can an internal candidate from the applying university be recruited to fill the research chair position? 

Yes. The research chair can be recruited internally or externally.  

Can a candidate from the diaspora be recruited to fill the research chair position?   

The selection of a research chair should reflect the aim of the call and IDRC’s mandate to support researchers in developing countries. The candidate selected to fill the research chair position should have deep knowledge of the region, political context, and relevant local language(s). 

Does the Research Chair need to have the same nationality as the country in which the university is based?

No. If selected for funding, the university establishing the Research Chair can recruit the occupant of that position from the region in question or the diaspora, so long as the recruitment process is open and competitive and complies with the objectives of the call for proposals in terms of localizing research on forced displacement.

What is IDRC’s role in the selection of the candidate to fill the Research Chair position?

At this first phase, applications should detail the process by which the Research Chair will be selected, including details on how this will be an open and competitive process. On that basis, IDRC will select up to four universities to receive funding to establish a Research Chair position. In a second phase of the process, successful universities will recruit the Research Chair, either internally or externally to the university, following the criteria and the process detailed in the application. IDRC will be kept closely informed of this process.

Can the fund go towards an endowment?

No, the funds cannot go towards an endowment. The grant is meant to establish a new Research Chair position.

What are the expected deliverables for the Chair? Are hiring postdocs and PhD students part of these expectations?

Duties of the Chair should include:

  • supporting timely, innovative research in contexts of forced displacement that scales up learning from best practices to local, national, regional, and global levels and provides evidenced-based policy recommendations
  • identifying and targeting from the outset potential research users and ensure that recommendations and outputs are designed to be accessible and relevant to these groups
  • promoting policy dialogues and inform public debates that help shape discourses on forced displacement at local, national, regional, and global levels based on local knowledge and practice, and that help define future research agendas
  • using their platforms and partner with others to amplify local voices, including those of forcibly displaced communities, in the design and implementation of sustainable and gender-transformative solutions
  • identifying and implementing sustainability strategies for the continuation of the Research Chairs beyond initial funding
  • mentoring and supervising early-career scholars and scholars in forced displacement studies
  • engaging with an emerging network of Research Chairs established in the other regions by collaborating and exchanging shared learning agendas

How should the Research Chair interact with the other selected Research Chairs?

We are looking to facilitate a community of Global South researchers exchanging knowledge, lessons learned and best practices to ultimately amplify the voices of researchers and communities of practices on forced displacement. It will be up to selected Research Chairs to co-design what the network of Chairs will look like. IDRC will support the coordination of collaboration inter and intra regionally.

Budgetary considerations  .

Which currency should I submit the budget in?   

Budgets must be submitted in the applicant’s working currency (the currency in which the books of accounts are maintained). However, as a Canadian Crown Corporation, IDRC restricts all of its contractual obligations for grants and contributions to the approved Canadian dollar amount. See section D of the Grant Application Kit: Quick Tour  for more information about project currency and conversion.  

Does the budget need to follow a set template?   

Applicants can submit their budget in the format of their choice. The budget should indicate planned expenses over the duration of the grant. Categories include personnel, consultants, evaluation, equipment, international travel, training, research expenses, and indirect costs. For guidance on eligible expenses, please see Section D of the Grant Application Kit: Quick Tour on the proposed budget and timeline of the document.

What is the total value of the grant? Does this amount include in-kind contributions from the applying institution? Can applicants count in-kind contributions of time from NGOs and community partners?

The total amount of each grant will be up to CAD 500,000 to cover the salary, research expenses, and operational expenses of the Research Chair position. For more detail, please consult the detailed call for proposal. In-kind contributions would be in addition to this amount. In-kind contributions of time from NGO or other partners external to the university are welcome, but the selection committee will also be looking  for evidence of sustainability of the position beyond the grant. For more information, please consult the selection criteria.

Is there any flexibility in the duration of the funding offered?

We consider four to five years as the minimum duration of funding for the research chair to ensure sustainability of the position over the long term. We welcome proposals between four and five years. Applicants may propose strategies to extend the duration of the chair beyond five years through supplementation or other means.

How much of the 20%-30% expected contributions from the university should be financial contributions, rather than in-kind ones?

To support the sustainability of the Chair beyond IDRC funding, we encourage a contribution from the university in the range of 20-30%. In the case that the university is not able to do so, either financially or a mix of financial and in-kind donations, we look for a sustainability plan that outlines how the university will bring in other resources to sustain the Research Chair beyond IDRC funding.

Proposal submission .

When is the application due?  

The application must be submitted by 4:00 p.m. EDT on September 30, 2021.  

Is there a template/specific structure that proposals should follow?

The full application for this call for proposals should be completed via the online application platform: Forced Displacement Research Chairs - IDRC - CRDI ( Once you create an application, you will be prompted to answer a series of questions which will form the basis of your application/proposal. We encourage applicants to consult the selection criteria in the detailed call for proposal when completing these questions.

Should the call include letters of engagement (or interest) of NGOs and other stakeholders associated to the application?

We welcome letters of engagement with NGOs and other stakeholders, and these can be uploaded as supporting documents as part of the online application. These are not required.

Who should submit the proposal to IDRC?

For this call, applications must be made on behalf of university institutions rather than individual researchers/professors. The focus of this call is to establish the Research Chair within the applying university, rather than to select a researcher to occupy the Research Chair position. The applying institution must be based in an eligible country. Depending on the structure of the university, the application may be best submitted by a department head, a director of research, or similar university staff member.

Are there two stages in the submission process? Please explain.

Yes. In the first stage, we are looking for the application to provide details on the design of the Chair, which focuses on three key areas: 1) carrying out research and support to early career researchers; 2) working directly with community organizations, civil society organizations and exploring the links between the work of the Chair and the ongoing work being done at the community level; 3) developing clear and concrete ways to engage with policy makers at local, regional, national and international levels. The successful applications will be selected based on the initial application. If your application is successful, you will be invited to the second stage, during which you will develop a full proposal based on feedback received by the selection committee.

Which browser is best to use to open the online application platform?  

We recommend that you use one of the following browsers: Safari, Chrome, or Microsoft Edge. It is not recommended that you use Internet Explorer.   

Can an institution submit more than one application?   


Can applications be submitted in French or Spanish?   

Yes. Applications for this call can be submitted in English, French, or Spanish. 

Can our application provide electronic signatures where signatures are required?  

Yes, electronic signatures are permitted.  

Can I submit my application by email?  

We require applicants to apply using the Survey Monkey Apply system and submit all required information and documents before the deadline. However, we do understand that some applicants may face technical difficulties in uploading the required information. If this is your case, please follow these steps:    

  • If you are having technical problems uploading the required documents, please write immediately to describing the problem. We will connect you with our IT system specialist who will work with you to solve the problem.   

  • If you continue to have a problem and our IT specialist is unable to solve the issue, please send an email requesting permission to submit the application via email.  

  • Once you have received permission from IDRC, you can then submit via email.   

  • Applications submitted directly by email WITHOUT HAVING OBTAINED PRIOR APPROVAL from IDRC WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.   

  • Please do note that, in any case, applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.   

If I have questions on the call for proposal, where should I turn?   

The call documents and this FAQ page should address most relevant application questions and are updated regularly. However, if additional technical questions or difficulties arise, please contact 

All enquiries should be received on or before 5 p.m. EDT on September 23, 2021, in order to receive a response prior to the deadline date.    

Selection and feedback .

When can applicants expect to receive a response to their proposal?  

We aim to provide notification of results (technical selection) by October 22, 2021, or as soon as possible thereafter. Following this, the applicant will receive correspondence from an IDRC Program Officer, who will communicate the further process and issues to be addressed (technical, timelines, milestones, budget, etc.) in the Grant Agreement.   

Will applicants receive feedback on their application? 

IDRC will share the feedback on the selected proposals with successful applicants. Given that the volume of applications is not yet known, at this time IDRC is not planning to provide feedback on unsuccessful applications. In this case, you will receive a notification following review that your submission was unsuccessful.