The OWSD Early Career Fellowship is a prestigious award of up to USD 50,000 offered to women who have completed their PhDs in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and are employed at an academic or scientific research institute in one of the listed Science and Technology Lagging Countries (STLCs). The OWSD Early Career fellows are supported to establish environments at their institutions where they can maintain an international standard of research and attract scholars from all over the world to collaborate.
The fellowship programme supports early career women scientists to lead important research projects in those countries which have been identified as especially lacking in scientific and technological resources.* The fellows will undertake their research projects in one of the eligible countries and applicants must demonstrate that they have spent significant periods of time in that country (at least 5 years in total). Applicants must also have a guarantee of employment at the institution where they intend to carry out the research.
During the 2-year fellowship, fellows will build on their leadership and management skills, develop connections with a variety of public and private sector partners to potentially convert their research into marketable products or guarantee its impact on a broader scale. By improving their communication and outreach skills, fellows will also learn to effectively present their research to various audiences, thus attracting new collaborators and potential funders to ensure the sustainability of the research project.
About Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD)
The Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) is an international organization founded in 1987 and based at the offices of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), in Trieste, Italy. It is a programme unit of UNESCO.
OWSD is the first international forum to unite eminent women scientists from the developing and developed worlds with the objective of strengthening their role in the development process and promoting their representation in scientific and technological leadership.
OWSD provides research training, career development and networking opportunities for... read more
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OWSD Early Career Fellowship
Aim and Benefits of OWSD Early Career Fellowship
The OWSD Early Career Fellowship is for two years and provides up to USD 50,000.
Please note that the OWSD Early Career Fellowship does not provide for the fellow’s salary which must be guaranteed by the fellow’s institution.
The fellow’s institution must waive any overhead or indirect costs on the research project. However, applicants can include in their budget break-down any direct costs for support from the institution that will directly benefit the research project (for example, lab technician’s time, maintenance and utilities costs, administrative officer’s time, etc.).
The fellowship entails an initials:
- An inital advance payment of 33% percent of the total grant value
- Reimbursements of expenses made with funds advanced by the Administering Institute
- Support for direct procurement done by the OWSD Secretariat on fellows’ behalf (only for purchases above USD 4,500)
Requirements for OWSD Early Career Fellowship Qualification
To be eligible to apply for the OWSD Early Career Fellowship applicants must meet the following criteria:
1. Eligible countries
- Applicants must have been resident in one of the listed Science and Technology Lagging Countries (STLCs) for at least 5 years. The 5 years do not have to be consecutive.
- Applicants can be citizens of any country, provided that the above residence requirement is fulfilled.
2. Eligible employment
- At the time of application, applicants must provide proof of being employed at the university or research institute where the research project will be carried out. If employment has not yet commenced, a proof of employment offer and confirmation of acceptance is required.
- The institution where the research project will be carried out must be in one of the listed STLCs.
- Applicants must provide evidence that they will receive a salary from their university/research institute for the duration of the two-year fellowship.
3. Eligible STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
- Agricultural Sciences
- Astronomy, Space and Earth Sciences
- Biological Systems and Organisms
- Chemical Sciences
- Computing and Information Technology
- Engineering Sciences
- Mathematical Sciences
- Medical and Health Sciences
- Structural, Cell and Molecular Biology
Research project proposals from other fields (social science, education, etc.) are not eligible and will not be taken into consideration.
4. Eligible academic qualification
- PhD in one of the above listed study fields.
- PhD awarded not more than 10 years prior to application.
Interview date, Process and Venue for OWSD Early Career Fellowship
The applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Problem identified: original, relevant, important. A clear demonstration of research expertise and innovation that will be recognized at national, regional and international level.
- Feasibility: methodology, infrastructure, timetable/work schedule.
- Context: the applicant’s institution has sufficient resources to support the applicant. The relevant heads of department/ institution demonstrate that they are supportive of the applicant and the research project.
- Collaborations and networking: the applicant and the institution have and will have developed links to relevant organisations and individuals at national, regional and international level.
- Linking with industry and other sectors: a distinct feature of the OWSD Early Career Fellowship is to promote collaboration between scientists and industry, private or civic partners in order to develop innovations for more inclusive economies and societies. Which strategies have been put into place to establish such links? Have efforts been made to convert research findings into marketable products or processes? Have prototypes been developed at this stage or planned for the near future? What support mechanisms have been put in place or planned at the institution to facilitate the relationship building with private sector partners (e.g. technology transfer office, intellectual property/legal office, or career center)?
- Impact: how will communities be affected by the research (e.g. increased access of marginal groups to resources, goods and services, improved quality of knowledge and training in a specific subject, product developed and used by local communities).
- Inclusiveness: research design and product development must demonstrate awareness of and relevance to diverse members of the community e.g. women, indigenous, ethnic, sexual minorities, possible links between disability and development.
- Sustainability: after OWSD Early Career Fellowship funding has ended, how will the applicant secure funding, partnerships, links with industry and the private sector or in-kind contributions to ensure the work can continue?
- Ethical, environmental and risk factors: the applicant has considered these aspects and addressed their mitigation.
- Scientific excellence based on evidence of scientific activities such as publications, invitations to speak at international and regional conferences; chair and convenor of panels and meetings; reviewer of journal manuscripts or research grant proposals; recipient of national, regional and international grants and awards; membership of academic boards, committees, associations.
- Leadership skills based on evidence of engagement in supervision; heading a team; coordinating a programme; organizing events; founding a group, committee, task force; leading a campaign or movement; evidence advising roles to e.g. ministers, academic bodies, civil society organizations; evidence of having influenced positive change in practices and policies in academia and beyond.
- Outreach skills based on evidence of engagement in community activities e.g. mentoring, tutoring, science communication, advocacy, volunteering, networking, support for youth.
The OWSD Early Career Fellowship is intended for research that will have a demonstrable impact on the local, national or regional community.
Applications will be reviewed by a panel of eminent scientists who are specialists in each of the STEM subjects and have knowledge of the challenges facing women scientists from developing countries. Committee members will be appointed by OWSD and the selection meeting will be chaired by OWSD.
Applications will be evaluated based on scientific quality, project feasibility, geographical and scientific fields’ distribution.
The Selection Committee’s decision is final and not eligible for appeal. It cannot be contested or subject to explanation or justification. Individual feedback will not be provided.
Successful candidates will be notified by September 2024. Please note that this year, the expected duration of the fellowship is two years (24 months) from the date of contract signing (end 2026). No extension will be granted.
Documents Required for Application
- A scanned copy of the passport page containing personal details (photo, document number etc).
- Passport-size portrait photo
2. Proof of residence
- Official documentation that proves residency for at least 5 years in one of the eligible STLCs. As long as the address and the name of the applicant appear clearly, the following documents can be submitted as proof of residence: certificate of residency, statement from the local police office or municipality, population registry office, rental agreement, utilities bills, employment contract. This list is not exhaustive and alternative documents can be considered.
- If you are submitting any supporting documents in your local language, you must attach at least an informal translation into English. Documents without any English translation will not be considered.
3. PhD certificate
- A scanned copy of the PhD certificate or proof of PhD issued by the University.
4. Proof of employment
- A letter from the employer (dean, vice-dean or equivalent head of the applicant’s institution) on headed paper confirming applicant’s position at the institution and that the applicant will receive a salary for at least two years starting from the year of application. IMPORTANT: Please use the template that can be downloaded here.
- If employment has not been undertaken yet, a proof of employment offer and confirmation of acceptance will be requested from the applicant, to be submitted together with the above-provided template, duly completed and signed.
5. Curriculum Vitae
- Complete list of publications.
7. Reference letters
- Applicants must submit two (2) reference letters; at least one must be from a senior scientist familiar with the applicant’s recent research.
- The letters must include the referee’s contact details for follow up from Selection Committee.
8. Supporting statement of head of applicant’s institution
- The supporting statement of the head of the applicant’s institution completed and signed by the dean, vice-dean or equivalent head of institution. The supporting statement can be downloaded here.
9. Budget file
- Applicants must upload a standardised budget file in Excel format inserting all items and related costs requested in order to undertake the research project. The file will be available for download from the online application system.
10. Additional documentation
- The applicant may wish to provide additional documents which provide evidence of skills, qualities or actions described in the research project (e.g. certificate of awards, memberships etc).
Application DeadlineMarch 14, 2024
How to Apply
Interested and qualified? Go to Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) on onlineforms.twas.org
For more details, visit OWSD website