Research grants support 20 early-career women scientists in developing world

The Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) has announced the 2019 recipients of the OWSD Early Career fellowship programme. Twenty women scientists from 14 developing countries will receive up to USD 50,000 to lead research projects at their home institutes, and to build up research groups that will attract international visitors. Funding for the fellowship is generously provided by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

The Early Career fellows were selected from a highly competitive pool of candidates based on the strength of their research proposals and their proven scientific excellence as well as leadership skills. They include a computer scientist from Tanzania building an app to help farmers diagnose poultry diseases through deep learning technology, a biologist from Laos trying to catalog and preserve the diversity of reptiles and amphibians in her country, and a biologist from Guatemala harnessing the natural detoxification properties of aquatic plants to filter harmful contaminants from lakes.

Meet the 2019 Early Career fellows:

The partnership between OWSD and Canada aims to empower women researchers based throughout the developing world to become leaders and role models in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). OWSD has two major fellowship strands: a PhD training programme funded since 1998 by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), and the Early Career Women Scientist (ECWS) programme, funded since 2018 by IDRC.

The two donors, IDRC and the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) agreed to pool resources in order to provide a comprehensive career development programme for women scientists from 66 of the world’s least developed and scientifically lagging countries (STLCs). The aim of the Sida-funded programme is to enable women from STLCs to leave their home countries and travel to better equipped laboratories and departments in other developing countries in order to complete their PhD training to internationally competitive standards. The aim of the IDRC-funded programme is to enable women with PhDs to stay in their home countries and continue their research to international standards, while training new PhDs and building a research team and centre of excellence in their field.

The Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD)

OWSD was founded in 1987 and is the first international forum to unite eminent women scientists from the developing and developed worlds with the objective of strengthening their role in the development process and promoting their representation in scientific and technological leadership. OWSD provides research training, career development and networking opportunities for women scientists throughout the developing world at different stages in their careers. OWSD is hosted by The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries (TWAS), a UNESCO Programme based in Trieste, Italy.

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