OWSD Early Career Fellowship Programme 2020 for Women Scientists (Up to $50,000)

OWSD Early Career Fellowship Programme 2020 for Women Scientists (Up to $50,000)

Deadline: April 15, 2020

The 2020 Call for Applications for the OWSD Early Career Fellowship 2020 for women scientists is now open. The Organisation for Women in the Science for the World (OWSD) 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.

Program Details

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 60 Early Career fellows by December 2021, OWSD will create a network of outstanding women scientists who can provide mentorship and be role models for the next generation of women leaders in STEM.

The OWSD Early Career Fellowship programme is administered by OWSD with funds generously provided by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada.


  • The OWSD Early Career Fellowship is for two years and provides up to USD 50,000.


  • Applicants must have been resident in one of the listed Science and Technology Lagging Countries (STLCs) for at least 5 years.
  • Applicants can be citizens of any country, provided that the above residence requirement is fulfilled.
  • 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.
  • Applicant should have a PhD in one of the fields listed below. The PhD must have been awarded not more than 10 years prior to application.

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


The applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

Research proposal (50%)

  • Problem identified: original, relevant, important. A clear demonstration of research expertise and innovation that will be recognized at national, regional and international level.
  • Feasibility: methodology, infrastructure, timetable/work schedule.
  • Context: the applicant’s institution has sufficient resources to support the applicant. The relevant heads of department/ institution demonstrate that they are supportive of the applicant and the research project.
  • Collaborations and networking: the applicant and the institution have and will have developed links to relevant organisations and individuals at national, regional and international level.
  • Linking with industry and other sectors: a distinct feature of the OWSD Early Career Fellowship is to promote collaboration between scientists and industry, private or civic partners in order to develop innovations for more inclusive economies and societies. Which strategies have been put into place to establish such links? Have efforts been made to convert research findings into marketable products or processes? Have prototypes been developed at this stage or planned for the near future? What support mechanisms have been put in place or planned at the institution to facilitate the relationship building with private sector partners (e.g. technology transfer office, intellectual property/legal office, or career center)? 
  • Impact: how will communities be affected by the research (e.g. increased access of marginal groups to resources, goods and services, improved quality of knowledge and training in a specific subject, product developed and used by local communities).
  • Inclusiveness: research design and product development must demonstrate awareness of and relevance to diverse members of the community e.g. women, indigenous, ethnic, sexual minorities, possible links between disability and development.
  • Sustainability: after OWSD Early Career Fellowship funding has ended, how will the applicant secure funding, partnerships, links with industry and the private sector or in-kind contributions to ensure the work can continue?
  • Ethical, environmental and risk factors: the applicant has considered these aspects and addressed their mitigation.

Applicant’s profile (50%)

  • Scientific excellence based on evidence of scientific activities such as publications, invitations to speak at international and regional conferences; chair and convenor of panels and meetings;  reviewer of journal manuscripts or research grant proposals; recipient of national, regional and international grants and awards; membership of academic boards, committees, associations.
  • Leadership skills based on evidence of engagement in supervision; heading a team; coordinating a programme; organizing events; founding a group, committee, task force; leading a campaign or movement; evidence advising roles to e.g. ministers, academic bodies, civil society organizations; evidence of having influenced positive change in practices and policies in academia and beyond.
  • Outreach skills based on evidence of engagement in community activitiese.g. mentoring, tutoring, science communication, advocacy, volunteering, networking, support for youth.


Click here to apply

For more information, visit OSWD Fellowships.