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Call for Applications: 2023 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards

Food security, agricultural productivity and sustainable food production

The call for applications for the OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early Career Women Scientists in the Developing World is now open.

Deadline for submitting applications is 15 September, 2022.

All applications must be submitted online. In order to help you prepare, you can see our application guidelines here for your reference.

The official language for the application is English.

If you are submitting any supporting documents (such as residency certificate, degree certificate, etc.) in a language which is not English, you must attach a translation into EnglishDocuments in other languages with no accompanying English translation will NOT be considered.

Eligibility

The applicant must be a woman who has received her PhD in a scientific discipline within the previous ten years and whose current scientific research is related to the area of food security, agricultural productivity and/or sustainable food production.

Given that from 2022-2026 the awards will respond to the call for action set forth by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), applicants must demonstrate how their research contributes to advancing knowledge in the area of food security, agricultural productivity and/or sustainable food production and to achieving the SDG2 Zero Hunger.

The application can include, but is not limited to, references to the SDG2 target areas, e.g. universal access to safe and nutritious food; ending all forms of malnutrition; doubling the productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers; sustainable food production and resilient agricultural practices; and maintaining genetic diversity in food production.

The OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards are offered to women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Applications from women in Social sciences, Humanities, Arts or other are NOT eligible. 

Eligible STEM fields:

  • 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 (including Neurosciences)
  • Physics
  • Structural, Cell and Molecular Biology

Any combination of these fields (i.e. interdisciplinarity) is acceptable. 

In addition, the applicant must have lived and worked for at least 5 of the last 15 years* in one of the 66 scientifically and technologically lagging countries (STLCs) listed here: 

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 & 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.

*Please note:

  • The 5 years of residence in the eligible country do not have to be consecutive.
  • Applicants can be citizens of any country, provided that they fulfil the above residence requirement.

Preference will be given to those candidates not currently (or within the last three years) in receipt of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) or OWSD awards, fellowships or grants. Please note that OWSD Early Career Fellows and Alumnae are not eligible for these Awards.

Please note that in 2022, you will not be able to apply for both the OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards and the Early Career Fellowships. Kindly consider that receiving the OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Award is seen as a good step to receiving the Early Career Fellowship.

If in doubt about your eligibility, please contact owsd@owsd.net.

Prize

  • Cash prize of USD 5,000.
  • All-expenses-paid trip to attend the Awards Ceremony to be held at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in March 2023. The trip will be confirmed in the coming months depending on the global COVID-19 pandemic situation; it may be that the awards ceremony is celebrated online. Awardees will not be required to travel if they judge the situation to be unsafe.

The 5 awards will be distributed as follows: one for each of the four regions of the developing world (Africa, Arab region, Asia & the Pacific and Latin America & the Caribbean), plus an additional ¨floating” award for an outstanding candidate from any of these regions.

Applications

Applications for the 2023 awards are invited from women scientists who have made significant contributions in the area of food security, agricultural productivity and sustainable food production, whose research is linked to the SDG2 (Zero Hunger), and have lived and worked for at least 5 years in an eligible STLC.

Applications must be made online, in English, and must include: 

  • Official documentation proving 5 years’ residency in an eligible STLC .

The following documents can be submitted as proof of residence as long as the name of the applicant (as written in the online form) appears clearly: statement from the local police office or municipality, population registry office, rental agreement, utilities bills, employment contract. This list is not exhaustive and alternative documents can be considered. Please write to owsd@owsd.net if you are not sure about the eligibility of your documents.

  • Evidence on how your research contributes to advancing the SDG2 (Zero Hunger).
  • Short biography of approximately 350 words describing your journey to become an outstanding scientist (for ease, we recommend that you prepare this beforehand and copy-paste into the text box)
  • PhD certificate
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Full list of publications
  • At least 2 reference letters (reference letters must be prepared on official letterhead and should be written and signed by senior scientists familiar with your research).

The deadline for submission of applications for the 2023 awards is 15 September 2022.

Application guidelines and a sample application form can be found here.

Selection

The competition will be judged by a distinguished panel of specialists in the appropriate fields and who are aware of the challenges facing women scientists in developing countries. 

Traditionally, the selection committee has met in person at the OWSD Secretariat based in Trieste, Italy and we have been able to draw on a broad range of expertise from this 'City of Science', including the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), the University of Trieste, Elettra Sincrotrone, The International School for Advanced Sciences (SISSA) and the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB). Since 2020, due to the COVID 19 pandemic and the impossibility of holding face-to-face meetings, we had the opportunity to draw on a broader pool of experts based also in the developing world. The Selection Panel is chaired by the OWSD Coordinator with full administrative support from the OWSD Secretariat.

Assessment will be based on the applicant’s achievements in her scientific field, with additional attention paid to evidence of leadership skills, initiative and innovation, as well as to the candidate’s involvement in capacity building, outreach and civic contribution. Research that demonstrates the use of innovative techniques or methodologies (especially with regard to sustainable development), an awareness of the importance of sex and/or gender considerations in research methodology and content and/or interdisciplinary collaboration may be prioritised.

Successful candidates will be informed of their selection no later than 31 December 2022.

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