The Fellowship is offered to women scientists from Science and Technology Lagging Countries (STLCs) to undertake PhD research in the Natural, Engineering and Information Technology sciences at a host institute in the South.
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.
An exception is made for the OWSD-Elsevier Foundation awards (since applications are submitted by a nominator).
In addition, the head of an institution who invites an external scholar to share his/her expertise under the TWAS Visiting Professor programmes may still apply for another programme.
Pour l'appel à candidatures en français, cliquez ici.
The programme is administered with funds generously provided by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and is offered in partnership with host institutes throughout the developing world.
The general purpose of the fellowship programme is to contribute to the emergence of a new generation of women leaders in science and technology, and to promote their effective participation in the scientific and technological development of their countries.
The specific aims of the fellowship programme are:
Candidates can choose between two study schemes:
The sandwich fellowship is awarded for a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 3 research visits at the host institute.
OWSD particularly encourages candidates to consider the sandwich option, which allows them to earn the PhD in their home country while accessing specialist researchers and equipment abroad, at the host institute.
The fellowship support is only provided while the student is on site, at the host institute.
The OWSD fellowship covers:
The OWSD fellowship does not cover:
1. Candidates must confirm that they intend to return to their home country as soon as possible after completion of the fellowship.
2. Eligible countries
The list of eligible countries is also available here.
*Please note that following the counsel of Sida, and owing to scientific and economic changes in a number of developing nations, OWSD and TWAS have intensified the focus of our programmes on the countries where science and technology are significantly lagging.
The immediate effect is that OWSD Fellowships will now be open to applicants from 48 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) identified by the United Nations, plus 18 countries selected because of their low income levels and specific needs for support in building research capacity.
Formerly, OWSD had a list of eligible countries which included all LDCs and any additional countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
With this new list, effective for any fellowship from 2017 onward, some countries in Africa (including Nigeria) are no longer considered low income and are therefore no longer eligible for fellowships support. Some new countries outside Africa have been added.
We will do our best to work with those countries that are no longer on the list to see if we can provide partnership funding for fellowships in the future.
3. Eligible scientific fields
4. Eligible academic qualification
The minimum qualification is an MSc degree in one of the above listed study fields.
5. Eligible host institutes
Host institutes must be located in a developing country in the South (not the candidate's home country).
Other institutes, not included in the link above, will also be considered if they demonstrate appropriate resources and expertise.
Candidates should identify a host institute outside their home country. They can identify a further two host institutes if desired.
Candidates who are already on site in the host country will not usually be considered eligible.
Required Documents for Application
We strongly encourage eligible applicants to start gathering all requested documentation as soon as possible; sometimes it takes weeks to receive all relevant letters.
1. PhD research proposal outline
Candidates must submit a PhD research proposal outline (max 2.000 words) which should be a summarized description of the PhD research proposal.
Guidelines for writing a good research proposal outline are available here.
Candidates are invited to study carefully these guidelines and ensure that their proposal is well structured and clear. The project proposal is given particular attention at selection.
2. Degree certificates and transcripts
Candidates must submit copies of:
3. Curriculum Vitae
Candidates must submit their complete CV (including a list of publications, if available).
4. Preliminary acceptance letter
Candidates must submit a preliminary acceptance letter from at least one host institute.
The letter must be signed by the head of department or by the postgraduate studies coordinator.
The study starting date on the preliminary acceptance letter must be the year following the application (e.g. if you apply for a fellowship in 2018 the acceptance letter should indicate the starting date as 2019).
The sample available here must be used for the preparation of this document.
5. Letter of commitment
Candidates must submit a letter of commitment from the prospective host supervisor confirming that the host institute has the resources (e.g. bench fees, laboratory equipment) required to undertake the project.
The letter should also describe why the host institute is appropriate for the subject of study and confirm the supervisor’s interest in working with the candidate.
6. Reference letters
Candidates must submit two reference letters from senior scientists familiar with their work.
For SANDWICH candidates only: please note that the home PhD supervisor cannot be one of the two referees.
Candidates must submit a scanned copy of the passport page, which contains personal details (photo, document number etc.).
Candidates applying for a SANDWICH study scheme must, in addition, submit also the following documents:
8. Registration and No objection certificate
Sandwich candidates must submit the Registration and No objection certificate prepared by the home institute confirming that the candidate is a PhD registered student and that there is no objection to her studying at the chosen host institute abroad.
The certificate template can be downloaded here and must be completed and signed by the head/director of the home institute.
9. Supporting statement from home supervisor
Sandwich candidates must submit a supporting statement, prepared and signed by the home supervisor on letter-headed paper. The supervisor should:
state that he/she is willing to support the candidate undertaking part of her studies at the host institute abroad; and describe how the research visit abroad will impact/benefit the candidate’s research project.
The online application system will only accept applications complete in all parts, including the required documents.
All documents must be uploaded through the online application system. Do not email any document to OWSD unless requested.
The OWSD Secretariat reserves the right to judge an application ineligible if the answers and/or documentation do not correspond to the specific question asked (e.g. blank documents, false certificates, outdated reference letters).
The fellowships are highly competitive and selection is based on scientific competence and merit.
The candidate’s project proposal is given particular attention.
The applications will be reviewed by a panel of eminent scientists, appointed and chaired by OWSD.
The Selection Committee’s decision is final and without appeal. It cannot be contested or subject to explanation or justification.
Any breach of this rule could lead OWSD to cancel the fellowship.
If the awardee is recipient of a significant grant, OWSD may decide to reduce the fellowship support accordingly.
Deadline for submission:
30 May 2019.
For more information and application details, see; OWSD PhD Fellowships for Women Scientists
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