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Working With OWSD

OWSD has worked with many different individuals and organizations over the years. For our fellowships programme we have depended on very generous funding from Sida, who have provided full scholarships since 1997. We depend also on the structural, financial and administrative support of both TWAS and ICTP, and on the legal support and structure of UNESCO. The Italian government, as major donors to TWAS and ICTP,  provide the office infrastructure so that OWSD headquarters can operate. We have benefitted from the expertise and networks of organizations working in the same building such as IAP and IAMP and have established important projects with them. We also work closely with the network of scientific institutions in Trieste (Italy) and the surrounding region where our headquarters are based. The Elsevier Foundation has generously sponsored our awards programme since 2010 and we work closely with TWAS and The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to deliver a prestigious award to each of five brilliant women scientists each year.

In-kind contributions have also always been crucial to our success and we have established agreements with a series of host institutes in developing countries who provide facilities and supervision for our PhD fellows to ensure that their studies are effective.

We are always open to establishing new partnerships with like-minded organizations and look forward to hearing from you.                                        Please contact

TWAS The World Academy of Sciences

Collaborating since: 1988

TWAS - The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries - is a global science academy based in Trieste, Italy, working to advance science and engineering for sustainable prosperity in the developing world.
TWAS was founded in 1983 by a distinguished group of scientists from the developing world, under the leadership of Abdus Salam, the Pakistani physicist and Nobel laureate.
TWAS has some 1,100 elected Fellows from 90 countries; 15 of them are Nobel laureates. About 85% come from developing nations, and the rest are scientists and engineers from the developed world whose work has had a significant impact in the South. TWAS and its partners offer nearly 500 fellowships per year to scientists in the developing world who want to pursue PhDs and post-doctoral research. TWAS prizes and awards are among the most prestigious given for scientific work in the developing world.


OWSD is based at the TWAS offices in Trieste, Italy and the TWAS executive director underwrites all OWSD programmes.

The idea to set up what was then a 'third world' organization for women in science was first discussed at a conference convened by TWAS and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in Trieste from 3 to 7 October 1988. 218 leading women scientists from 63 developing countries attended the "Conference on the Role of Women in the Development of Science and Technology in the Third World"  and as a direct outcome of the meeting,  a study group met in March 1989  to look at the possibility of creating an organization specifically for women scientists from the developing world. It was decided to establish the then named Third World Organization for Women in Science (TWOWS) and to adopt a constitution for the organization.

OWSD continues to work very closely with TWAS. The OWSD executive board often meets at TWAS headquarters and new programmes and initiatives are often developed with input fom TWAS staff. The OWSD Programme Coordinator attends all TWAS annual meetings and there is an annual TWAS-OWSD Advisory Panel which meets so that each organization can recommend to the other ways in which they can improve their operations in order to increase the number and quality of women in science.



Collaborating since: 2015

AuthorAID is a free international research network that provides support, mentoring, resources and training for researchers in developing countries. The AuthorAID community, which includes over 10,000 researchers from around the world, helps researchers in developing countries to publish and otherwise communicate their work. It also serves as a wider global forum to discuss and disseminate research.

AuthorAID is based at INASP and supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

AuthorAID at INASP supports researchers in publishing and otherwise communicating their work by providing the following:

  • online and face-to-face training in research writing skills
  • networking and collaboration opportunities through the AuthorAID website:, blog and discussion list
  • formal and informal mentoring support through the online mentoring system and an active and friendly discussion list
  • a resource library with a wide range of resources, in eight languages and with links to many more
  • small grants for travelling to conferences and running writing workshops
  • train-the-trainers programmes aimed at embedding training on research and proposal writing in our partner countries

International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP)


The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) is a worldwide renowned centre of scientific excellence founded in 1964 by the late Nobel Laureate Abdus Salam in order to contribute to the advancement of scientific expertise in the developing world.

To accomplish its mandate, for nearly 50 years ICTP has been providing scientists from developing countries with the continuing education and skills they need to enjoy long and productive careers, by offering them different research opportunities, ranging from Ph.D. programmes to training and research in Italian laboratories.

Thanks to all its initiatives, ICTP is now recognized as one of the major forces in stemming the scientific brain drain from the developing world.

International School for Advanced Studies - Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati (SISSA)


The International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) is an internationally renowned degree-granting Italian institute for research and post-graduate studies, leading to a doctorate degree. It is the only institute of its kind in the Italian university system and presently one of three training schools in Italy designated as a 'centre of excellence'.

At SISSA Ph.D. training is offered in several fields of scientific inquiry, e.g. astrophysics, biophysics, cognitive neurosciences, biology and mathematics.

Women in Global Science and Technology (WISAT)

Collaborating since: 2009

Women in Global Science and Technology is an international non-profit which promotes women's development of science, technology and innovation. It believes that women should have equal access to technologies and participate fully in the knowledge society.

Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste


Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste is a multidisciplinary international laboratory of excellence, specialized in generating high quality synchrotron and free-electron laser light and applying it in materials science. Its mission is to promote cultural, social and economic growth through basic and applied research, technical and scientific training, transfer of technology and know-how.

International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB)


The International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) provides a scientific and educational environment of the highest standard and conducts innovative research in life sciences for the benefit of developing countries.

It strengthens the research capability of its Members through training and funding programmes and advisory services and represents a comprehensive approach to promoting biotechnology internationally.

The Centre performs advanced research and training in molecular biology and biotechnology and is now also focused on advancing knowledge and applying the latest techniques in the following fields:

  • biomedicine
  • crop improvement
  • environmental protection and remediation
  • biopharmaceuticals and biopesticide production

The Marine Biology Laboratory - Laboratorio di Biologia Marina (LBM)


The Marine Biology Laboratory (LBM) is a scientific laboratory managed by a consortium comprised of the municipality and province of Trieste, and the universities of Trieste and Udine.

Through access to its research vessel, LBM conducts research on marine science in coastal and off-shore environments that focuses on biological oceanography, marine biogeochemistry and physical oceanography. LBM also provides a large number of services designed to evaluate the environmental impacts of human activities.

The Laboratory is organized in three sections, all provided with up-to-date scientific equipment:

- Hydrology

- Chemistry, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

-Marine Biology

Since the early 1970s, LBM has studied the causes of marine environmental degradation in the Adriatic Sea and monitored environmental conditions in the Gulf of Trieste.

Research projects are often conducted in collaboration with national and international research institutions.

Center for Theoretical and Applied Ecology - Centro di Ecologia Teorica e Applicata (CETA)


Established in 1987, CETA is a non-profit association dedicated to applied research, experimentation and planning in such diverse areas as land resources management, waste water management, and production and use of biomass as an energy source.

CETA’s main goal is fostering the introduction of real models of sustainable development. To reach such purpose, CETA performs several initiatives, such as collaborating with private companies, laboratories and research institutes to create the right conditions for a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, and supporting the introduction of green infrastructures and innovative sustainable technologies.

CETA's administrative headquarters is located in Gorizia, while the technical laboratory is located in AREA Science Park of Trieste.

The Marine Reserve of Miramare - Riserva Naturale Marina di Miramare (RNMM)


The Marine Reserve of Miramare, managed by the Italian World Wildlife Fund on behalf of Italy's Ministry of the Environment and Protection of the Territory, focuses on issues related to the reproductive biology of fish species.

The main aim of the reserve is to maintain ecological and biological diversity in the marine environment surrounding Trieste through research and monitoring activities. The reserve also supervises educational programs designed for students and the public.

The visitors' centre, located in the Castelletto in Miramare Castle park, is the focal point of the reserve's research, monitoring and educational activities.