Call for Applications

IDRC Research Grant: Breaking systemic barriers to women’s participation in science

International Development Research Centre


Call Website



Available in Spanish This call is open to research institutions, consortia, or non-governmental organizations with proven research capacity. The institutions should have a strong presence in eligible low and middle-income countries. The research must be proposed and executed by an institution or group of institutions that are independent of the institution(s) to be studied. Donors, UN entities, multilateral organizations, independent researchers, and for-profit consulting firms are not eligible for this call.


This call for research proposals aims to identify and address systemic barriers that stand in the way of greater participation by women and other underrepresented groups in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in the public and private sectors in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). These systemic barriers are a result of institutional values, cultures, policies, and practices that implicitly or explicitly restrict the institutions from successfully attracting, recruiting, retaining, and promoting women scientists and other groups with a minority presence in STEM fields. In high-income countries, extensive research into STEM career choices, opportunities, and pathways has identified a variety of obstacles preventing women from achieving their full potential in science. This evidence has helped institutions and organizations active in STEM to develop more effective initiatives and measures to eliminate or reduce systemic barriers. However, a similar understanding of how institutional values, cultures, policies, and practices affect the participation and success of women and other underrepresented groups in LMICs does not exist. Such evidence is necessary to improve LMIC capacity to develop STEM human capital by improving gender equality and diversity in science education and in the various sectors of the economy. There is a need for research that identifies existing initiatives and their results, as well as new initiatives that are being introduced by institutions. Research is also needed to identify other innovative approaches that could be piloted for learning, potential mainstreaming within institutions, or inspiring larger communities in LMICs to do likewise.

More details

For more information about the call objectives, eligibility, timelines, selection criteria, review process, application guidelines, and suggested research topics, please refer to the updated call for proposals document You are strongly encouraged to read the detailed call for proposals document before applying.