OSWD PhD Fellowships for Women Scientists 2023

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The OSWD PhD Fellowships for Women 2023-2024 offer comprehensive funding opportunities for female students from around the world pursuing their PhD studies. These fully funded scholarships cover various expenses, including tuition fees, a monthly allowance, return ticket, visa costs, medical insurance, and an additional allowance specifically designated for attending international conferences.

The OSWD PhD Fellowships for Women Scientists is accepting applications from women residing in Science and Technology Lagging Countries (STLCs) who are interested in pursuing PhD research in the fields of Engineering and Information Technology, as well as Natural Sciences. This fellowship program provides an opportunity to study at an educational institution located in the southern region.

The fellowship program aims to foster the growth of a new cohort of women leaders in the fields of science and technology, with the goal of enhancing their active involvement in the scientific and technological progress of their respective nations. This program is managed with the support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), which generously provides the necessary funding. Additionally, the program is implemented in collaboration with partner institutions located in various developing regions around the world.

Scholarship Objective:

The fellowship program aims to achieve the following objectives through its initiatives:

  • Enhance access to educational and training opportunities in science and technology for young and talented women graduates from Science and Technology Lagging Countries (STLCs).
  • Foster increased scientific productivity and creativity among women scientists in STLCs.
  • Empower and cultivate a new generation of talented women to assume leadership roles in the fields of science and technology.
  • Encourage women scientists to actively contribute to the sustainable development of their respective home countries.
  • Facilitate collaboration and networking opportunities for women scientists from the Southern region, both on a regional and international scale.

Scholarship Summary:

  • Level of Study: Doctoral
  • Institution(s): Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
  • Study in: Developing countries.

Courses Offered:

  • 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

Program Period:

  • Full-time Fellowship: The research is conducted entirely at a host institute in another developing country in the South, with a maximum program period of 4 years.
  • Sandwich Fellowship: The candidate is a registered PhD student in her home country and carries out part of her studies at a host institute in another developing country.
  • Minimum and Maximum Research Visits: The sandwich fellowship includes a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 3 research visits at the host institute. The first visit must have a minimum duration of 6 months. The total number of months spent at the host institute cannot exceed 20 months.
  • Funding Period: The fellowship program’s funding period cannot exceed 4 years.

Scholarship Coverage:

The OSWD PhD Fellowships for Women Scientists offer the following benefits to the recipients:

  • Monthly Allowance: A stipend provided to cover essential living expenses, including accommodation and meals, while staying in the host country.
  • Modest Annual Support Allowance: A yearly financial allowance provided to the student, which can be used at their discretion to enhance their research environment.
  • Return Ticket: A round-trip ticket from the student’s home country to the host institute for the duration of the agreed-upon research period.
  • Visa Expenses: The costs associated with obtaining the necessary visa for the student to study at the host institute.
  • Annual Medical Insurance Contribution: An annual contribution towards medical insurance coverage for the student.
  • Opportunity for Science Communications Workshops: Eligibility to participate in regional science communications workshops, based on a competitive selection process.
  • Study Fees: Agreement on study-related fees, including tuition and registration fees, to be determined in collaboration with the chosen host institute, which is also expected to contribute.

The OSWD Fellowship Doesn’t Cover:

  • Bench Fees and Consumables: Funding support for laboratory bench fees and research consumables required for the fellowship program.
  • Language Training Support: Assistance provided for language training, either before or during the fellowship program, to facilitate effective communication.
  • Shipment of Research Samples: Financial support for the transportation of research samples to and from the host institute.
  • Personal Computer or Software Costs: Coverage of expenses related to the purchase of a personal computer or software necessary for the research work.
  • Support for Family Members: Provision of support for family members accompanying the recipient during the fellowship program.
  • Additional Return Tickets: Financial assistance for additional return tickets to the home country for personal reasons during the fellowship period.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Required Language: Proficiency in English is mandatory.
  • Eligible Countries: Citizens of Sudan, Yemen, Syria, Palestine, Comoros, and other countries not from the Middle East and North Africa are eligible. A comprehensive list of eligible countries can be found on the program’s website.
  • Minimum Qualification: Applicants must possess at least an MSc degree in one of the study fields mentioned above.
  • No Active TWAS Grant or Fellowship: Applicants must not hold an active research grant or fellowship with The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) at the time of application. Additionally, they should not have already submitted an application for a TWAS program in the same year.
  • Host Institute Location: The host institute for the fellowship must be situated in a developing country in the South, distinct from the candidate’s home country. A list of recommended institutes is available on the program’s website. Other institutes not included in the provided link may also be considered if they demonstrate suitable resources and expertise.
  • On-site Candidates: Typically, candidates who are already present in the host country will not be considered eligible for the fellowship.
  • Host Institute Selection: Candidates are required to choose a host institute located outside of their home country. They may also identify up to two additional host institutes if they wish.
  • Intent to Return: Candidates must provide confirmation that they have the intention to return to their home country promptly after completing the fellowship.

How to Apply:

  1. Candidates must submit following documents:

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). All university degree certificates; and all university-issued transcripts, indicating all courses and grades. Candidates must submit their complete CV (including a list of publications, if available). Candidates must submit a preliminary acceptance letter from at least one host institute. The sample available here must be used for the preparation of this document. 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.

  • Letter of Recommendation: The letter must be signed by the head of the department or the postgraduate studies coordinator.
  • Study Starting Date: The preliminary acceptance letter should indicate the study starting date as the year following the application (e.g., if applying for a fellowship in 2023, the starting date should be mentioned as 2024).
  • Academic Documents: Copies of all university degree certificates and university-issued transcripts, providing a comprehensive record of all courses taken and corresponding grades obtained.
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV): A complete CV, including a list of publications if available.
  • Preliminary Acceptance Letter: Submission of a preliminary acceptance letter from at least one host institute is mandatory. The provided sample, available here, must be used for preparing this document.
  • Letter of Commitment: Candidates must include a letter of commitment from the prospective host supervisor, confirming that the host institute possesses the necessary resources, such as bench fees and laboratory equipment, required for the proposed project.
  • Host Institute Suitability: The letter of commitment should provide a description of why the chosen host institute is suitable for the candidate’s field of study. It should also confirm the supervisor’s interest in working with the candidate.
  • Reference Letters: Candidates must submit two reference letters from senior scientists who are familiar with their work.
  • Note for Sandwich Candidates: For candidates pursuing a sandwich fellowship, it’s important to note that the home PhD supervisor cannot serve as one of the two referees.
  • Scanned Passport Copy: Candidates must include a scanned copy of the passport page that contains their personal details, such as their photo and document number.

2. Candidates applying for a SANDWICH study scheme must also submit the following documents:

  • Registration and No Objection Certificate: Sandwich candidates must provide a Registration and No Objection certificate issued by their home institute. This certificate confirms that the candidate is a registered PhD student and that there are no objections to their study at the chosen host institute abroad.
  • Supporting Statement from Home Supervisor: Sandwich candidates must submit a supporting statement written and signed by their home supervisor on official letter-headed paper. The supervisor should include the following information:
  • Willingness to Support: The supporting statement from the home supervisor should explicitly state their willingness to support the candidate in undertaking part of their studies at the chosen host institute abroad.
  • Impact on Research Project: The statement should also describe how the research visit abroad will have an impact on and benefit the candidate’s research project.

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