• Partially Funded

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.

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Please note that an applicant, at the time of application, must NOT have an active research grant or fellowship with The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) or have already submitted an application for a TWAS programme within the same given year. Only one application per year is possible across all TWAS and OWSD programmes. Applicants will not be eligible to visit another institution in that year under the TWAS Visiting Professor programmes.

However, candidates can still apply for the OWSD-Elsevier Foundation awards (please note that previous OWSD-EF winners are also eligible).

Successful candidates will be notified by December 2022 and expected to attend a first online meeting soon after. The expected duration of the fellowship is three years from the date of contract signing (early 2023).

OWSD administers the OWSD Early Career Fellowship programme with funds generously provided by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada.

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 conduct the research.

During the 3-year fellowship, fellows will build on their leadership and management skills, and 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.

By supporting an increasing number of Early Career fellows, OWSD is creating a network of outstanding women scientists who can provide mentorship and be role models for the next generation of women leaders in STEM.

* as defined by the TWAS-OWSD Coordinating Committee.


  • The OWSD Early Career Fellowship is for three 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 the fellow’s institution must guarantee.
  • 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 charges for support from the institution that will directly benefit the research project (for example, lab technician’s time, maintenance and utility costs, administrative officer’s time, etc.).
  • The fellowship entails an initial advance payment, disbursements at regular intervals, reimbursements of expenses made with funds advanced by the Administering Institute, and support for direct procurement done by the OWSD Secretariat on fellows’ behalf (only for purchases above USD 10,000).
  • Two training workshops per fellowship on managing the grant, leadership, outreach and entrepreneurial skills.


  • Applicants must have been residents 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 the above residence requirement is fulfilled.
  • 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 three-year fellowship.
  • 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, Neurosciences, Physics, Structural, Cell and Molecular Biology
  • PhD in one of the above-listed study fields. PhD awarded not more than 10 years prior to application.
Eligible Regions: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Rep., Congo, Dem. Rep. of the Côte d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Kingdom of, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Kiribati, Lao People's Dem. Rep., Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, Vanuatu Djibouti, Palestine (West Bank and Gaza Strip), Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Yemen Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay.

Application Process

  • All applications must be submitted online.
  • The official language for the application is English.
  • If you are submitting any supporting documents (such as a residency certificate, degree certificate, etc.) in your local language, you must attach at least an informal translation into English. Documents without any English translation will not be considered.
  • In order to help you prepare, the application is also available as a pdf for your reference only.
  • Applicants must submit a Passport, Proof of residence, PhD certificate, Proof of employment, Curriculum Vitae, Publications, Reference letters, Supporting statement of the head of the applicant’s institution, Budget file,
  • 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).
  • All documents must be uploaded through the online application system. Do not email any documentation to OWSD.

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Application Deadline: September 19, 2022

Application ClosedOfficial link

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