OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards 2023 for Early Career Women Scientists in Developing Countries

Opportunity Detail

  • Language Requirement Not required
  • Gender Female
  • Level Non-Degree /Short program
  • Number of Opportunity: 5
  • Eligible Region/Countries
    Applicants can be citizens of any nation as long as they meet the residency requirements listed below.
  • Medium of Instruction English
  • Opportunity ID 41410
  • Funding Type Fully Funded

Opportunity Description

The Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD)Elsevier Foundation Awards 2023 is accepting applications. The Awards honor and encourage women in developing nations in the early phases of their scientific careers who have surmounted significant obstacles to attain excellence in research. Awardees must have demonstrated impact on the research environment, both locally and globally, and must have gotten their Ph.D. within the last 10 years.

Organized by: Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) & Elsevier Foundation
Application Deadline: September 15, 2022
Annual Meeting Host Organization: American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Selection Notification: December 31, 2022

Eligible Countries: 

  • Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Dem. Rep. Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
  • Arab Region: Djibouti, Palestine (West Bank & Gaza Strip), Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Yemen.
  • Asia and Pacific: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Kiribati, Lao People’s Dem. Rep., Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Timor Leste, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.
  • Latin America & Caribbean: Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay.

Award Overview:

The awards program came from a one-time award granted to 11 early-career women from developing countries working in STEM subjects by OWSD, the Elsevier Foundation, and TWAS, the World Academy of Sciences, in 2011. The awards program began in 2013 with a five-year rotation of award categories reducing the number of prizes to five per year. Each year, the eligible scientific subjects were divided into three categories: biological sciences, engineering, innovation and technology, and physical sciences. After ten years of honoring women in science, they have decided to refocus the awards in 2021 to react to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals’ call to action (SDGs). For the next five years, the number of prizes will remain at five each year (one from each OWSD region plus one additional outstanding candidate) (2022 – 2026).

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The new rewards cycle will rotate every five years, and scientists seeking to enhance knowledge in the following research fields will be eligible to apply:

  • 2022 Awards: Climate action & the environment (SDG13, SDG14, or SDG15)
  • 2023 Awards: Food Security, agricultural productivity & sustainable food production (SDG2)
  • 2024 Awards: Water, sanitation & hygiene (SDG6)
  • 2025 Awards: Inclusive Health (SDG3)
  • 2026 Awards: Sustainable, affordable & reliable energy (SDG7)


  • A cash prize of USD 5,000
  • An all-expenses-paid trip to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in March 2023 to attend the Awards Ceremony. Depending on the global COVID-19 pandemic scenario, the trip will be confirmed in the following months; the awards ceremony may be held online. If awardees believe the situation is risky, they will not be forced to travel.
  • One prize will be given to each of the four developing world areas (Africa, the Arab world, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean), plus a “floating” award for an outstanding candidate from any of these regions.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • The applicant must be a woman who has recently acquired a Ph.D. in a scientific discipline and whose present scientific study is in climate action and the environment.
  • Applicants must have spent at least 5 of the previous 15 years living and working in one of the Scientific and Technology Developing Countries listed above (STLCS)
  • Applicants can be citizens of any nation as long as they meet the residency requirements.
  • Given that the awards will be given from 2022 to 2026 in response to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), applicants must show how their research contributes to the advancement of knowledge in the areas of climate action and the environment, as well as the achievement of SDG13 (Climate Action), SDG14 (Life Below Water), and SDG15 (Environmental Sustainability) (Life on Land). 
  • Reference to SDG13, SDG14, or SDG15 sub-targets, such as effective climate change-related planning, protecting marine and coastal ecosystems, halting biodiversity loss, conserving and sustainably using ecosystems, strengthening resilience to climate-related hazards, and more, can be included in the application.

Note: Candidates who have not received The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) or OWSD prizes, fellowships, or grants in the past three years will be prioritized.

Eligible scientific fields:

  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Astronomy, Space & Earth Sciences
  • Biological Systems & Organisms
  • Chemical Sciences
  • Computing & Information Technology
  • Engineering Sciences
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Medical & Health Sciences (including Neurosciences)
  • Physics
  • Structural, Cell & Molecular Biology

Application Requirements:

  • Proof of residency in an eligible STLC for the previous five years.
  • Demonstration of how your study helps to achieve SDG2 (Zero Hunger).
  • A short biography of about 350 words outlining your road to becoming an outstanding scientist (we recommend writing this ahead of time and pasting it into the text box for convenience).
  • Curriculum vitae with a doctorate
  • Publications list in its entirety
  • At least two letters of recommendation (reference letters must be written and signed by prominent scientists familiar with your research and must be prepared on official letterhead).

How to apply for OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards?

Eligible Women Scientists can apply for OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards through the online application form linked below.

Apply Now

For more information about OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards, please refer to OWSD’s website.

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