IDRC seeks proposals for action research projects to generate evidence on innovative legal empowerment approaches and experimentation from the field. Lasting three years, the research projects can be either single country studies led by local organizations or multi-country studies led by local organizations across countries.

Projects should support the generation of knowledge, evidence, and learning on what works, and under what conditions legal empowerment approaches can contribute to achieving systems change, especially for women and vulnerable groups.

The research will contribute to building a comparative evidence base on how legal empowerment approaches draw on the grassroots and community-level experiences of addressing specific violations and the leadership of those who are directly affected. In particular, we will focus on how legal empowerment approaches can help address the root causes of inequality and exclusion and promote public accountability.


This call for proposals is open to applicants from non-governmental organizations, academia, and private and public-sector organizations with a strong research focus.

We encourage applications from multi-disciplinary consortia of organizations within a country, or across countries, bringing together capacity in terms of community-level or grassroots support, applied research, and national-level advocacy. Given the focus on action research, strong preference will be given to consortia that include organizations engaged in community-based justice work.

Applicants from the United Nations system may not apply to this call as leads or co-applicants. UN organizations may participate as collaborating organizations.

Funding Available

CA $450,000 for individual country studies and up to a maximum of CA$800,000 for multi-country studies (up to three countries)

Internal Contacts

For proposal development/substantive review, please contact your Faculty Research Facilitator

If you are interested in applying, please contact Heloise Emdon.


Faculty Deadline Consult your Faculty Research Facilitator.
OVPRI Deadline (Approval Form and Application) March 15, 2021
Submission to Sponsor March 22, 2021 by 23:45 EDT

Submitting Your Application

  • Step 1) Submit an internal Carleton Approval Form
    Submit an internal Approval Form through our central awards management database CUResearch:
    For a user’s guide on submitting an Approval Form, click here.
  • Step 2) Submit an external application to the granting agency
    Submit an external application to the corresponding grant or award agency. For further details about funding categories, eligibility criteria and deadlines for this opportunity, click here.