The JWO Research Grant was founded in honour of Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer. The grant aims to continue her contribution to and passion for Africa, the environment, and pioneering science. The purpose of the grant is to support early-career scientists that are conducting impactful research that will provide solutions to some of Africa’s most pressing problems.

Over the past five years, early-career scholars and scientists specializing in various environmental disciplines such as biodiversity, microplastics, and disease vectors have eagerly sought this grant to explore innovative research topics aimed at addressing the unique challenges confronting Africa’s natural environment.


A grant of $150,000 will be awarded to one successful applicant. The grant will support a research project or programme for up to three years (previously funded research not eligible).


The lead applicant should be:

a.      An early career scientist

Applicant must already hold a PhD degree and should have no more than seven years of work and/or research experience post-degree (excluding time taken for family responsibilities).

b.    Have strong links to a credible African institution

The institution should have a proven ability to manage to fund and subscribes to good financial grant practice and can be any of the following: academic institution, research institution, government institution, NGO, for-profit organisation

Selection Process

What the judges look for:

  • Advances the frontiers of knowledge within the chosen field
  • Facilitates solutions to African challenges: The research should try and solve an African challenge that occurs in more than one geography and is scalable to other areas. The research should include multiple research sites
  • Demonstrates innovative methodologies and approaches
  • Exhibits scientific rigour and excellence
  • Contributes to human capital development (e.g. mentorship, support, and professional development opportunities) for the next generation of researchers.
  • Incorporates a holistic perspective and involves inter-and multi-disciplinary collaboration with partners (preference intra-African) to leverage time, expertise, skills, materials, and resources and reduce duplication
  • Articulates the potential to create impact both during and beyond the grant period
  • Displays knowledge of associated recent or ongoing work on the continent.
  • Defines a clear plan for disseminating research outcomes both inside and outside the scientific community
  • Endeavours to open access publications (popular and scientific
  • Does not present unacceptable ethical or safety risk


  • 2 April 2024: Online applications open
  • 03 April 2024: Q&A Webinar
  • 3 May 2024: Online applications close
  • 10 June 2024: Full proposal invitation
  • 8 July 2024: Full proposals due
  • 12 – 16 August 2024: Interview week for Top 3
  • 10 October 2024: ORC Conference 9-11 October 2024

Method of Application

Click Here to Apply

All data collected in this application will only be used during the review process by the expert panel. The information collected builds a profile of each applicant and provides additional information which is used during the review process. No identifying information will be shared and any information used will be aggregated, for example, the gender split of applicants or the total number of applicants with the same nationality. The data will only be kept till 7 October 2024. It will be encrypted and kept on a secure server.

For More Information,

Visit the Official Webpage

Application Deadline: May 3, 2024.