Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada: 2020 National Essay Challenge

To promote policy-relevant research by emerging scholars, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is running the 2020 National Essay Challenge for graduate students in Canadian universities.


  • You must be a graduate student enrolled at a Canadian university for the 2019 to 2020 academic year.
  • Your essay must be an empirical research paper, using qualitative or quantitative methodologies.
  • The essay can’t be co-authored and you must have the support of a professor.

Selected students will receive

  • an IRCC certificate of achievement
  • an invitation to present their essay in Ottawa at an IRCC Research Matters event (with travel paid)
  • a sum of $500 going toward participating in an academic conference

How to enter

  • First, send an email to to access the 2020 National Essay Challenge group on GCcollab, where you’ll find information about the Challenge requirements.
  • Once you’re a member of the 2020 National Essay Challenge GCcollab group, you’ll need to submit your expression of interest by January 31, 2020.
  • If you’re planning to access Statistics Canada’s Research Data Centres, you’ll need to have submitted your application by November 6, 2019.
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