Organization for Women in Science for Developing Countries (OWSD Programmes
PhD Fellowships in Science for Women from Developing Countries*
Deadline for applications: 31 July
This OWSD fellowship - offered in partnership with host institutes throughout the developing world and generously funded by Sida, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency - covers all the costs related to undertaking scientific training leading to a doctorate degree while at the host institute.
Women from Sub-Saharan Africa or Least Developed Countries (see list below) can apply for a PhD programme or for an MSc converting to a PhD programme. Grantees can choose either a full-time three year fellowship option, where the research is undertaken entirely at the host institute, or a sandwich option, where applicants are registered as PhD students in their home country and spend a minimum of six months at a host institute abroad.
We particularly encourage women to consider the sandwich option, which allows them to earn the PhD in their home country while accessing specialist researchers and equipment at the host institute.
In partnership with host institutes, all expenses are covered including:
- Travel to and from the host institute and visa expenses;
- A monthly allowance to cover accommodation and meals while in the host country;
- Study fees (including tuition and registration fees), negotiable with host institutes;
- A yearly medical insurance contribution;
- An annual allowance to attend conferences during the period of the fellowship.
The fellowship scheme in general aims to provide mobility. Young women are encouraged to seek out research opportunities and expertise outside the home country. OWSD recognizes, however, that it is not always possible for applicants to commit to 3 years abroad. We thus offer and encourage applications for the sandwich option.
This enables applicants to register for the PhD in their home country but undertake research abroad at times throughout their PhD to suit them. Applicants can, if they wish, spend 6 months of each year of the PhD at the host institute. The minimum length of each visit is 6 months and at least one visit must be undertaken.
Alternatively, an applicant can enrol as a full-time research student at an institution outside her country. In this case the fellowship will provide full support (travel, accommodation and living expenses) for 3 years.
This is a South-South fellowship scheme, promoting scientific exchanges among young researchers from developing countries. While applicants must come from a more restricted list of least developed countries (see list below), host institutes can be located in any developing country.
Host institutes should be proven centres of scientific excellence in the applicants' chosen field.
The OWSD Secretariat can provide a list of recommendations but institutes not in the OWSD list will also be considered, especially when there are supporting letters and recommendations.
Applicants who have made positive contact with their chosen host institute and/or supervisor will be viewed very favourably.
- Open to qualified young women science graduates (generally below 40 years of age) from countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Least Developed Countries (see list below).
- The minimum qualification is an MSc degree (or equivalent), or an outstanding BSc honours degree in the natural sciences, engineering or information technology disciplines (see list below).
- Host institutions must be located in a developing country. This must be a different country from the applicant's home country.
- Students from eligible countries already enrolled on a PhD programme in their own home country can apply for the sandwich option.
- This gives them access to expertise and resources that might not be available at the home institute.
- Applicants already on site in the host country will not be considered eligible.
- The applicant must be willing to return to her own country after completion of the fellowship.
Eligible scientific fields include:
- Agricultural Sciences; Structural, Cell and Molecular Biology; Biological Systems and Organisms; Medical and Health Sciences; Neurosciences; Chemical Sciences; Engineering Sciences; Information Technology; Astronomy, Space and Earth Sciences; Mathematical Sciences; Physics.
Please note that applications from students in the Basic (or 'pure') Sciences, such as Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry are encouraged.
Eligible countries in alphabetical order (includes all Least Developed Countries* and ALL sub-Saharan African countries).
- Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros Islands, Congo Dem. Rep., Congo Rep., Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Kenya, Kiribati, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Niger, Réunion, Rwanda, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tuvalu, Uganda, Uganda, Western Sahara, Vanuatu, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
*As defined by The United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and the Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS).
Application form available on:
The Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) is an international organization affiliated with TWAS (see below) and based in Trieste, Italy. Headed by eminent women scientists from the South, OWSD has more than 4,000 members. The Organization's central role is to promote women's access to science and technology, enhancing their greater involvement in decision-making processes for the development of their countries and in the international scientific community. Created in 1989, OWSD works to bridge the gender gap in science and technology and uses its forum to promote leadership, exchanges and networking for women scientists. (www.owsd.net )
The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries - TWAS - works to advance sustainable prosperity through research, education, policy and diplomacy. TWAS was founded in 1983 by a distinguished group of scientists from the developing world, under the leadership of Abdus Salam, the Pakistani physicist and Nobel Prize winner. Today, TWAS has some 1,150 elected Fellows from 90 countries; 15 of them are Nobel laureates. The Academy is based in Trieste, Italy, on the campus of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP). Since 1983, its mission has focused on supporting and promoting excellence in scientific research in the developing world and applying scientific and engineering research to address global challenges. TWAS receives core funding from the Government of Italy. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) administers TWAS funds and personnel.