The Early Career Women Scientists (ECWS) 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). ECWS fellows will be supported to continue their research at an international level while based at their home institutes and to build up research groups that will attract international visitors.
You will find all the information you need to prepare your application below and this same information is also available for download.
All applications must be submitted online. The online system will be activated by 30 June 2018 and so the application form itself is not yet available, but we recommend that you start to prepare the project proposal and collect the necessary documents as soon as possible.
Deadline for completed online applications will be 31 August 2018.
The official language for the application is English.
Successful candidates will be notified by October 2018 and expected to attend a first workshop in Trieste, Italy, in December 2018. Each fellowship lasts for two years from the date of acceptance.
The ECWS fellowships programme is administered by OWSD with funds generously provided by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada.
The ECWS fellowship specific objectives are:
1. Empower ECWS fellows to lead important research projects with practical applications for low and middle income countries (LMICs), including through strengthening their collaboration with industry.
2. Build the leadership and business skills of ECWS fellows needed for the dissemination and uptake of research results, and for career advancement.
3. Consolidate a network of outstanding women scientists that provides mentorship for the next generation of women leaders in STEM.
These objectives will be combined with the overall long-term objectives of the OWSD programme in general, which are to:
The ECWS fellowship is for two years and provides up to USD 50,000 to enable fellows to maintain an international standard of research as well as initiate collaborations and partnerships with industry and the private sector.
Please note that the ECWS fellowship does not provide for the fellow’s salary which must be guaranteed by the fellow’s institute. However, the ECWS fellowship can be used to cover the costs of assistance to the fellow for teaching duties not directly related to the fellow’s research in order for the fellow to focus on carrying her own research forward to an international standard.
The objective is to develop a center of specialist research recognized at national, regional or international level which can then attract internationally recognized researchers.
The eligible expenses are listed below.
a) Research-related costs
Research visits, exchanges and programmes
Teaching and Assistance
Publication costs (e.g. in peer-reviewed journals, open source)
b) Linking with industry
c) Outreach, communication and networking
Please note that this list is not exhaustive. In addition, selection for a fellowship does not imply that all costs requested will be automatically granted. The Selection Committee will evaluate each expense requested in the proposed budget and take a final decision on related costs to be awarded.
Additional support provided by OWSD:
Two training workshops per fellowship on leadership and entrepreneurial skills.
To be eligible to apply for the ECWS fellowship applicants must meet the following criteria:
1. Eligible countries
|Central African Rep.||Niger|
|Chad||Palestine (West Bank and Gaza Strip)|
|Ivory Coast||Sao Tome and Principe|
|Dem Rep. Congo||Senegal|
|El Salvador||Solomon Islands|
|Lao People’s Dem Rep.||Vanuatu|
Please note this list may be subject to slight variation each year according to criteria established by our donor, IDRC, and in agreement with OWSD. Each year the list will be updated when the call for applications is opened.
2. Eligible STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
3. Eligible academic qualification
PhD in one of the above listed study fields.
4. Eligible employment
The documents listed below may take some weeks to prepare, especially when they require official signatures. We strongly encourage eligible applicants start gathering all requested documentation as soon as possible.
Applicants must submit:
2. Proof of residence
3. PhD certificate
4. Proof of employment
5. Curriculum Vitae
7. Reference letters
8. Supporting statement of head of applicant’s institute
9. Additional documentation
All documents must be uploaded through the online application system which will be activated by 30 June 2018. Do not email any documentation to OWSD.
The applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
Research proposal (50%)
Applicant’s profile (50%)
The ECWS fellowship is intended for research that will have a demonstrable impact on the local, national or regional community. More theoretical, “basic” research may also be considered if it contributes substantially to local/national/regional research needs. Although collaboration with industry is not mandatory, preference will be given to proposals including such collaborations. Applicants whose proposals emphasize basic research may consider applying to TWAS Research grants (https://twas.org/opportunities/research-grants).
Applications will be reviewed by a panel of eminent scientists who are specialists in the eligible 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.
The Selection Committee’s decision is final and not eligible for appeal. It cannot be contested or subject to explanation or justification.
Only selected applicants will be notified.
If selected for an ECWS fellowship, kindly note that OWSD must be informed by the fellow of additional/supplementary grants, funds and bursaries that have been awarded in connection with her research, specifying the donor, amount, duration and purpose of the grant.
Please note that funding from other sources is seen as a positive demonstration of concept and feasibility as long as resources requested expand and supplement activities and resources rather than duplicating them.