Applications open for OWSD Early Career Fellowship

 Deadline Date: March 14, 2024

 Donor Name: Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD)

 Grant Size: $10,000 to $100,000

The Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) Early Career Fellowship is a prestigious award 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).

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 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.
  • 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.

Fellowship Support

  • 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)
  • Overhead and indirect administrative costs are not eligible. If these costs are included, the application will be disqualified.
  • Additional support provided by OWSD:
    • Two training workshops per fellowship on managing the grant, leadership, outreach and entrepreneurial skills.
    • The first workshop (held in Trieste, Italy, 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.

Eligibility Criteria

  • To be eligible to apply for the OWSD Early Career Fellowship applicants must meet the following criteria:
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
      • Research project proposals from other fields (social science, education, etc.) are not eligible and will not be taken into consideration.
    • Eligible academic qualification
      • PhD in one of the above listed study fields.
      • PhD awarded not more than 10 years prior to application.

For more information, visit OWSD.

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