Global Affairs Canada Policy Ideas Challenge


Call for proposals:

Global Affairs Canada (GAC), in collaboration with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), is pleased to announce the second edition of the International Policy Ideas Challenge designed to identify concrete innovative solutions to emerging international policy challenges faced by Canada. The objective of the program is to draw on the network of talented Canadian graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and civil society researchers. Applicants are initially invited to submit brief proposals. Ten selected finalists will be given several months to further develop their proposals into policy briefs, which will then be presented to Government of Canada officials. They will be expected to present their research in a special day-long symposium, hosted by GAC in Ottawa in November 2017 on the margins of the Knowledge Summit, to be organized as part of SSHRC’s Imagining Canada’s Future initiative. The proceedings of the symposium will be disseminated by GAC with a disclaimer indicating that the presentations represent the views of the individual presenters. Participants may also be offered the opportunity to participate in a special session with emerging youth leaders at SSHRC’s Knowledge Summit.


Ten winning projects will receive $3,000 each (regardless of whether the proposal is submitted by an individual or a team). The award will be made upon the submission of the final product to Global Affairs Canada. In addition to the award, travel expenses of up to $800 per project will be covered to facilitate the finalists’ participation in the presentation session and the SSHRC Knowledge Summit in Ottawa in November. A supplement may be available to researchers travelling long distances in order to partially offset the higher cost of airfare.


Each proposal should offer solutions bridging at least two of the three policy areas under Global Affairs Canada’s mandate—foreign policy, trade, and international development. Ideas should be linked to the priority themes indicated below. However, proposals related to other emerging issues and trends affecting Canada’s international policy will also be considered.

  • Strengthening Canada’s relations with major traditional and emerging partners;
  • Applying a Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) approach to Canada’s global engagement;
  • Strengthening Canada’s capacity to meet its goals and major international commitments, in particular the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; the Paris Agreement on climate change; the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States; the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security; and the Global Compacts on refugees and migration;
  • Identifying best ways for Canada to support fragile and conflict-affected states;
  • Advancing Canada’s progressive trade agenda in a way that promotes Canada’s prosperity, while supporting inclusive growth and sustainable development globally;
  • Populism, extremism, and challenges to governance and democratic development.


The Policy Ideas Challenge invites applications from:

  • graduate students (MA and PhD level) or post-doctoral fellows;
  • civil society researchers affiliated with a non-profit organization (e.g., a non-governmental organization or a think tank) who are within five years of graduation from a graduate program at a recognized Canadian post-secondary educational institution.

Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada.

For team applications, only the lead researcher is expected to meet the above requirements. The lead researcher may include collaborators from another country or sector to support the project in an advisory capacity. No monetary award will be given to collaborators.

Learn more and apply here

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