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Early Career Women Scientists (ECWS) Fellowships; Call for Applications

Early Career Women Scientists (ECWS) Fellowships; Call for Applications

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.

All information about the programme will be available in French shortly.

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.

If your questions are not answered in the information provided, contact earlycareer@owsd.net.



Fellowship support

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 recognised at national, regional or international level which can then attract internationally recognised researchers.


To be eligible to apply for the ECWS fellowship applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Eligible countries
  • Applicants must have been resident in one of the listed Science and Technology Lagging Countries(STLCs) for at least 5 years.
  • At the time of application, applicants must be already employed at the university or research institute where the project will be carried out.
  • This university/institute where the project will be carried out must be in one of the listed STLCs.

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.

  1. 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
  1. Eligible academic qualification

PhD in one of the above listed study fields.

  • PhD awarded not more than 10 years prior to application.
  1. Eligible employment
  • At the time of application, applicants must be already employedat the university or research institute where the project will be carried out.
  • The university or research institute must be based in one of the eligible countries.
  • Applicants must provide evidence that they will receive a salary from the above institute for the duration of the two-year fellowship.

Research project proposal

For information concerning the section of the application dedicated to describing the details of the research project please click here.

Required documents for application

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:

  1. Passport
  • A scanned copy of the passport page containing personal details (photo, document number etc).
  • Passport-size portrait photo
  1. Proof of residence 
  • Official documentation that proves residency for at least 5 years in the eligible STLC where the research will be undertaken (e.g. certificate of residency).
  1. PhD certificate
  • A scanned copy of the PhD certificate or proof of PhD issued by the University.
  1. Proof of employment
  • A letter from the employer (dean, vice-dean or equivalent head of the applicant’s institute) on headed paper confirming applicant’s position at the institute and that the applicant will receive a salary for at least two years starting from the year of application.
  1. Curriculum Vitae
  • Complete updated CV.
  1. Publications
  • Complete list of publications.
  1. Reference letters 
  • Applicants must submit two (2) reference letters; at least one must be from a senior scientist familiar with the applicant’s recent research.
  • The letters must include contact details for follow up from Selection Committee.
  1. Supporting statement of head of applicant’s institute
  1. Additional documentation
  • The applicant may wish to provide additional documents which provide evidence of skills, qualities or actions described in the research project (e.g. certificate of awards, memberships etc).

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.

For more information, click the link below:

ECWS fellowship