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 OWSD Early Career Fellowship Programme is administered by OWSD 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 carry out the research.
During the 3-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.
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 three-year fellowship.
- 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.
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 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 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 initial advance payment, disbursements at regular intervals, reimbursements of expenses made with funds advanced by the Administering Institute, and also support for direct procurement done by the OWSD Secretariat on fellows’ behalf (only for purchases above USD 10,000).
Additional support provided by OWSD:
Two training workshops per fellowship on managing the grant, leadership, outreach and entrepreneurial skills.
- The first workshop (held online soon after being awarded the fellowship) will establish communication and networking between fellows and provide guidance on how to set up a lab, manage a research group and link with industry. Fellows will present their research projects and work plans and receive feedback.
- The second workshop (held towards the end of the second year of the fellowship) will provide feedback on the fellows’ work during the first two years and discuss the best ways to ensure the research project is sustainable beyond the duration of the fellowship. This workshop will be hosted by one of the four OWSD regions, possibly by an appropriate OWSD national chapter or national academy.
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.
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).
Application Deadline: September 19, 2022
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