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OWSD Ph.D. Fellowships for Women from Developing Countries

As a woman who wants to make an impact in the science world but finance has been a great challenge. Grab this opportunity and get sponsorship to complete your studies and do exploits in the science world now.

Actually, the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) is offering fellowships for women scientists from Sub-Saharan Africa and Least Developed Countries (LDC).

With funds generously provided by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), OWSD has instituted a fellowship program for female students from Sub-Saharan Africa and Least Developed Countries (LDCs), who wish to pursue postgraduate training leading to a PhD, at centers of excellence in the South (developing countries), outside their own country.

The general purpose of the OWSD Postgraduate Training Fellowships scheme is to contribute to the emergence of a new generation of women leaders in science and technology and to promote their effective participation in the scientific and technological development of their countries.

The fellowships are awarded to pursue postgraduate studies leading to a doctorate in all branches of the natural sciences at a center of excellence (renowned research institutions/universities) in the South (developing countries) outside the applicant’s home country. Each fellowship will be offered for up to three years.

However, this article will help you know more about the fellowship, like its eligibility, worth, etc, I also believe it will help you when applying.

Course/Field Study

OWSD PhD Fellowships for Women runs only PhD degree applications are accepted from female scientists in all branches of the natural sciences.

Eligible Scientific fields include Agricultural Sciences; Structural, Cell and Molecular Biology; Biological Systems and Organisms; Medical and Health Sciences; Neurosciences; Chemical Sciences; engineering sciences; Information Technology; Astronomy, Space and Earth Sciences; Mathematical Sciences; Physics.

Please note that applications from students in the Basic (or ‘pure’) Sciences, such as Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry are also encouraged.

Host Nationality

OWSD PhD Fellowships for Women are funded With funds generously provided by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), OWSD has instituted this fellowship program.

If you are an international student and wish to study in the UK, this is for your Complete Guide to Getting A UK Tier 4 Student Visa For International Students.

Eligible Nationality

OWSD PhD Fellowships for Women from Developing Countries 2023 are open to students from some targeted groups of women scientists from South developing countries.

The OWSD Postgraduate Training Fellowships target women scientists from Sub-Saharan Africa and Least Developed Countries (Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros Islands, Congo Dem. Rep., Congo Rep., Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Kenya, Kiribati, Lao.

Read also if you wish to study outside your home country Simple and Detailed Answers about Applying and Winning a Scholarship.

Number of Awards

The number of OWSD PhD Fellowships offered annually is not specified

OWSD PhD Fellowships 2023 Worth

OWSD PhD Fellowships covers:

  • Each fellowship will be offered for up to four years and will cover:
  • A monthly allowance to cover basic living expenses such as accommodation and meals while in the host country
  • A special allowance to attend international conferences during the period of the fellowship
  • A return ticket from the home country to the host institute for the agreed research period
  • Visa expenses Annual medical insurance contribution
  • The opportunity to attend regional science communications workshops competitively
  • Study fees (including tuition and registration fees) in agreement with the chosen host institute which is also expected to contribute
  • Travel expenses to and from the host institute

Eligibility for OWSD PhD Fellowships for Women from Developing Countries

These OWSD Postgraduate Training Fellowships are

  • Open to qualified women science graduates from countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Least Developed Countries (see list below).
  • If applicants are over 40 years of age, they should briefly explain why their research career has been delayed.
  • The minimum qualification is an MSc degree (or equivalent), or an outstanding BSc honors degree in the natural sciences, engineering, or information technology disciplines.
  • Host institutions must be in a developing country. This must be a different country from the applicant’s home country.
  • Applicants must provide a preliminary acceptance letter from at least one host institute. The letter must be prepared based on the sample on page 10 and signed by the department head, potential host supervisor or postgraduate studies coordinator.
  • Students from eligible countries already enrolled in a PhD program in their home country can apply for the sandwich option. This gives them access to expertise and resources that might not be available at the home institute.
  • Applicants already on-site in the host country will not be considered eligible since this implies they have already secured sufficient funding for their studies.
  • The applicant must return to her own country after completing the fellowship.
  • Accompanying persons are not eligible for support.

Selection Criteria for OWSD Postgraduate Training Fellowships

  • The fellowships are highly competitive, and the selection will be based on scientific competence and merit.
  • A panel of eminent scientists will review the applications, appointed by the Executive Board of OWSD

Scholarship Application Method 

Please send your applications via email.

For details, please go to the relevant OWSD website:

The country where tenable (by subset): OWSD countries

Required documents for OWSD PhD Fellowships For women application

We strongly encourage eligible applicants to gather all requested documentation as soon as possible; sometimes it takes weeks to receive all relevant letters.

 PhD research proposal outline

  • Candidates must submit a PhD research proposal outline (max 2.000 words), which should summarize the PhD research proposal.
  • Guidelines for writing a good research proposal outline are available here.
  • Candidates are invited to study these guidelines carefully and ensure that their proposal is well-structured and clear. The project proposal is given particular attention at a selection.

 Degree certificates and transcripts

Candidates must submit copies of the following:

  1. All university degree certificates; and
  2. All university-issued transcripts, showing all courses and grades.

 Curriculum Vitae

Candidates must submit their complete CV (including a list of publications, if available).

 Preliminary acceptance letter

Candidates must submit a preliminary acceptance letter from at least one host institute.

  • The letter must be signed by the head of the 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 2023. The acceptance letter should show the starting date as 2023).
  • The sample available here must be used for preparing this document.

Letter of commitment

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.

  • The letter should also describe why the host institute is appropriate for the subject of study and confirm the supervisor’s interest in working with the candidate.
  • Guidelines for letter drafting are available here.

 Reference letters

Candidates must submit two reference letters from senior scientists familiar with their work.

  • Guidelines for reference letter drafting are available here.
  • For SANDWICH candidates only: please note that the home PhD supervisor cannot be one of the two referees.


Candidates must submit a scanned copy of the passport page containing personal details (photo, document number, etc.).

Registration and No objection certificate

  • Sandwich candidates must submit the Registration and No objection certificate prepared by the home institute confirming that the candidate is a PhD registered student and that there is no objection to her studying abroad at the chosen host institute.
  • The certificate template can be downloaded here and must be completed and signed by the head/director of the home institute.

Supporting statement from home supervisor 

Sandwich candidates must submit a supporting statement, prepared and signed by the home supervisor on letter-headed paper. The supervisor should:

  1. State that he/she will support the candidate undertaking part of her studies at the host institute abroad; and
  2. Describe how the research visit abroad will impact/benefit the candidate’s research project.

The online application system will only accept applications complete in all parts, including the required documents. All documents must be uploaded through the online application system. Do not email any document to OWSD unless requested.

The OWSD Secretariat reserves the right to judge an application ineligible if the answers and/or documentation do not correspond to the specific question asked (e.g. blank documents, false certificates, outdated reference letters). 

If selected for an OWSD fellowship, kindly note that OWSD must be informed by the awardee of additional/supplementary grants, funds, and bursaries that have been awarded in connection with her PhD research program, specifying the donor, amount, duration and purpose of the grant (which costs are meant to be covered).

Any breach of this rule could lead OWSD to cancel the fellowship. If the awardee is recipient of a significant grant, OWSD may decide to reduce the fellowship support accordingly.


Download OWSD PhD Fellowships applications_ Downloadable Version of the Call for Apllications.pdf

Scholarship Application Due Date

The deadline for submission of applications is  30 June Annually. The scholarship will open in early 2023.


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Ajah Excel is a team growth and performance expert with over nine years of experience in blogging and personal development.
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He is a vibrant learner who yearns to share his knowledge to educate and inspire young Africans.
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