The OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards 2022 for Early Career Women Scientists in the Developing World are now accepting applications

The deadline for submissions:15 September, 2022

The OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards 2022 for Early Career Women Scientists in the Developing World are now accepting applications

The OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards 2022 for Early Career Women Scientists in the Developing World are now open for applications in the area of food security, agricultural productivity and/or sustainable food production before the closing date (15 September, 2022).


  • A cash reward of USD 5,000 is available.
  • 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 next months; the awards ceremony may be held online. If awardees believe the situation is risky, they will not be forced to travel.

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


  • The applicant must be a woman who has recently completed a PhD in a scientific subject and whose present scientific research is focused on food security, agricultural productivity, and/or sustainable food production.
  • Given that the awards will respond to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call to action from 2022-2026, applicants must demonstrate how their research contributes to advancing knowledge in the areas of food security, agricultural productivity, and/or sustainable food production, as well as achieving SDG2 Zero Hunger.
  • The application may include, but is not limited to, references to SDG2 target areas, such as universal access to safe and nutritious food, the abolition of all forms of malnutrition, doubling the productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, sustainable food production and resilient agricultural practices, and the preservation of genetic diversity in food production.
  • Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics are eligible for the OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards (STEM). Women’s applications in the social sciences, humanities, arts, and other fields are ineligible.

STEM fields that are eligible:

  1. Agricultural Sciences
  2. Astronomy, Space and Earth Sciences
  3. Biological Systems and Organisms
  4. Chemical Sciences
  5. Computing and Information Technology
  6. Engineering Sciences
  7. Mathematical Sciences
  8. Medical and Health Sciences (including Neurosciences)
  9. Physics
  10. Structural, Cell and Molecular Biology

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

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.


  • It is not necessary for the 5 years of residence in the qualified country to be consecutive.
  • Applicants can be citizens of any nation as long as they meet the residency requirements listed above.

Candidates who have not received The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) or OWSD prizes, fellowships, or grants in the recent three years will be given priority. Please note that these awards are not open to OWSD Early Career Fellows or Alumnae.

You will not be allowed to apply for both the OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards and the Early Career Fellowships in 2022. Please keep in mind that winning the OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Award is a good first step toward winning the Early Career Fellowship.


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

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

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

As long as the applicant’s name (as written in the online form) appears clearly, the following documents can be submitted as proof of residence: a statement from the local police office or municipality, a population registry office, a rental agreement, utility bills, and an employment contract. This list is not exhaustive, and other documents should be considered.

  • 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 two letters of recommendation (reference letters must be prepared on official letterhead and should be written and signed by senior scientists familiar with your research).


For more information, go here.