Request for Proposals: Beyond the Gender Binary Research Project

Request for:  Research and Consulting Partner

Request Date: February 1, 2021 

Submission Deadline: March 15, 2021

Contact Name:  Greer Gemin

Address Enquiries to:


Canadian Women & Sport is issuing a request for proposals to procure a Research and Consulting Partner who will conduct a scoping review and key informant interviews to inform future recommendations, programs and position papers on inclusion of nonbinary people in sport.


Canadian Women & Sport has a mandate to advance equity and inclusion for girls and women and sport. If organizations, including Canadian Women & Sport, advocate for gender equity without an informed understanding of the variety of ways in which exclusion and access in sport is gendered beyond the binary, attempts to create inclusive conditions for one marginalized group may diminish equity overall.

Canadian Women & Sport supports inclusion of all individuals in sport. We wish to use this project as an opportunity to expand our approach to advancing equity for women and girls to go beyond the gender binary. We are seeking to build our understanding of barriers facing nonbinary people in sport and to identify approaches that can support both women and non-binary people to benefit from gender equity, in the context of barriers for transgender people more broadly. 

To this end, we are developing a position paper on the topic of advocating for gender equity beyond the binary to inform our work and advocacy. This paper will articulate the organization’s approach to addressing key barriers to sport participation that impact individuals of marginalized gender identities, including nonbinary people.

To support us to ground our position statement in research, address gaps in our current knowledge, and to identify barriers to sport participation that are common between people of marginalized genders, we are seeking an expert consultant to conduct research and produce a report on the subject.

Scope of Work

In collaboration with the Canadian Women & Sport team (staff and consultants), the Research Partner(s) will:

  • Refine the research questions guiding the project;
  • Conduct a scoping review of grey and academic literature to compile the researched barriers and supports that exist for nonbinary people to engage and participate in sport, both as sport participants and as leaders (coaches, staff, officials, etc).
  • Identify commonalities in the literature on barriers in sport for cis and trans women and girls and for nonbinary people, in the context of barriers for transgender people more broadly.
  • Develop interview questions informed by the scoping review;
  • Conduct individual or focus group interviews with individuals self-identifying as nonbinary to explore their experiences in sport;
  • Identify other key informants and conduct individual or focus group interviews as necessary with other organizations and sport stakeholders to inform research.
  • Analyze data to produce a report for Canadian Women & Sport on the factors and solutions that influence inclusion for nonbinary people in the context of barriers for transgender people more broadly.
  • Present the report to Canadian Women & Sport and respond to questions from the Canadian Women & Sport team.

Required Skills

  • Only submissions made reflecting meaningful leadership and representation of non-binary people on the research team will be accepted.
  • Expertise and proven experience in conducting scoping reviews, interviews, and developing and presenting research reports.
  • Expertise in intersectional gender equity principles across the gender diversity spectrum
  • Expertise in research with vulnerable populations
  • Experience in sport system research and/or practice


Scoping Review

  • Produce a scoping review of academic and grey literature
  • The research should be grounded in sport but may include relevant literature from sectors outside of sport, such as education or healthcare.

Key Informant Interviews

  • Identify appropriate qualitative research study design.
  • Design interview questions and identify interview subjects with support from Canadian Women & Sport staff.
  • Conduct an appropriate number of interviews aligning with the study design Complete appropriate analysis to inform the research report.

Research Report

  • Produce a report on research findings and themes from both the scoping review and informant interviews that outlines key considerations in developing inclusive sport environments for nonbinary people in the context of barriers for transgender people more broadly and for cisgender women and girls.

Budgeting and Schedule

The project will start as soon as possible, and all work must be completed by June 30, 2021. It is our preference due to funding timelines that the report is complete before June 1, 2021 but this timeline can be discussed.

The budget for this project must not exceed $17, 000.

Proposal submission requirements 

  1. Proposals must be submitted online through Canadian Women & Sport’s submission portal at
  2. Only submissions made reflecting meaningful leadership and representation of non-binary people on the research team will be accepted.
  3. Proposal should be addressed to: Greer Gemin, Marketing and Communications Coordinator,
  4. Proposals have a 10-page limit, excluding work samples. For ease of reading use 1.5 spaces and 12-point font size. 
  5. The deadline for proposal submissions is March 15, 2021.

All proposals must include: 

  • A cover letter
  • Experience and qualifications: 
    • Describe your level of knowledge/experience on gender equity and inclusion for trans and nonbinary people, including intersecting barriers to participation such as ability, race, and socio-economic status.
    • Describe your level of knowledge/experience in working in the sport sector or with sport participants.
  • A project summary outlining your approach to accomplishing the Scope of Work
  • A detailed work plan including a description of the services to be provided and proposed detailed budget  
    • If the research is to be undertaken through a University, the process of securing ethics approval must be reflected in the work plan
    • If there are activities within the proposed plan that are not covered by the proposed budget and would be an additional cost to Canadian Women & Sport, please outline those activities and associated costs
  • If the execution of work to be delivered under your RFP requires sub-contractors, this must be clearly stated in the proposal. The sub-contractors must be identified and the work that they will perform be identified. 

Criteria for evaluating proposals 

Proposals will be evaluated on a rolling basis and evaluations will be complete by March 31. Evaluations may include a follow-up with shortlisted candidates and a request for additional information.  

Canadian Women & Sport is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion in all respects, including hiring consultants who are reflective of the diverse population of Canada with respect to age, gender, ethnicity, religion, ability, sexual orientation, education and culture.

Elements of the proposals that will be evaluated, include (but are not limited to): 

  • Expertise/qualifications
  • Approach and direction 
  • Project budget
  • Diversity in perspective/background of the researcher or research team
  • Alignment with Canadian Women & Sport’s guiding values
  • Ability to meet all standards and timelines noted in this document

Terms and Conditions 

The successful candidate will be awarded a short-term contract for the services identified in this RFP. 

Issuance of this RFP does not commit Canadian Women & Sport to award a contract or to pay any costs incurred in preparation of proposals responding to the RFP. 

For the purposes of this proposal, the official language of general communications with Canadian Women & Sport will be in English.