David Hopper Prizes for Leadership in Research for Development




Agriculture and Environment, Inclusive Economies, Technology and Innovation


March 18, 2020 by 16:00 (EDT)




24 Months




2 prizes of CA$50,000 each






These prizes are available to outstanding researchers from low or middle-income countries who have previously received or currently receive IDRC support. The application process is by nomination only; an institution must nominate a candidate.

See details below.


The David Hopper Prizes for Leadership in Research for Development are awards for outstanding achievement in the field of international development, bestowed in memory of IDRC’s first president . The prizes are intended to recognize two individuals for whom IDRC support has been foundational to their careers and whose sustained original thought and leadership have led to significant positive societal impact within a development context.

More details



How to nominate

The prizes will be granted following a nomination process. A nomination package must be submitted online by an eligible institution with whom the nominee has had or still has a significant association. Consult the list of required documents for submission.

Who can nominate

An institution eligible to nominate a researcher must be an institution legally recognized as such in a low or middle-income country (i.e. listed on the current or a previous OECD DAC list of low and middle-income countries).

Who can be nominated

Institutions may nominate individuals with whom they have had or still have a significant association, meaning one where the nominee works or has worked, or has been on the Board or a key Board committee for a minimum of two years.

To be eligible for nomination, nominees must meet the following requirements:

  • The nominee must be a citizen of a low or middle-income country (as listed on the current or a previous OECD DAC list of low and middle-income countries).
  • The nominee must have received funding from IDRC. It is the nominating institution’s responsibility to describe how the funding was “foundational” to the nominee’s career path and/or accomplishments.
  • The nominee must still be actively working for the public good in one or more low or middle-income countries or regions.
  • The nominee must demonstrate one or more of the following leadership traits:
  1. ability to lead/manage high-quality research projects/teams;
  2. ability to translate research outputs and outcomes into impactful policy and/or practice;
  3. ability to mentor, nurture, and promote others.
  • The nominee must have produced research of exceptional quality that has an active legacy of significant positive impacts related to the Sustainable Development Goals. The nominee’s IDRC-supported research must have played a considerable role in the construction of this body of work in one or more fields in which IDRC has supported research for development.

NB: The nominee must be able and prepared (over 24 months) to allocate the prize funds to research and/or research-related activities and/or training/mentoring and/or knowledge mobilization, including promotion of the impact and outcomes of research achievements.

Evaluation criteria

Applications that are complete and meet the eligibility criteria will be forwarded to an IDRC selection committee. The following criteria will be used to evaluate nominations:

  • Overall appropriateness, completeness, quality, and clarity of the nomination (25%)
  • Fit with SDGs and IDRC fields of research (25%)
  • Demonstration of leadership traits listed above (25%)
  • Impact of the nominee’s research and related activities (on a field or sector, on beneficiaries, on policy and/or practice, etc.) (25%)

The selection process will also be guided by IDRC’s Equality Statement.

Announcement of results

A nominee recommended for a prize and the nominating institution will be notified via email by mid-May 2020.

Nominating institutions whose researcher was not recommended for an award will be informed by email in the weeks that follow, but no comments or feedback will be provided. Note that this email will be sent via the online system. Please note that your server may not recognize the address and may send it to your junk or spam folder.


Before submitting a nomination package, please review our Frequently asked questions page. We suggest you consult it often as it will be updated regularly.

Contact us

If you still have a question after reading the above, you may contact us at awards@idrc.ca. Inquiries will be answered until two working days before the nomination deadline (i.e. until 4:00 pm EDT, March 16, 2020).

Technical inquiries about difficulties encountered in the online system should also be directed to awards@idrc.ca.

Interested in nominating a researcher?

If you know a researcher eligible for this prize, we welcome you to submit a nomination package with all required documents:

Apply online