Call for Applications: 2024 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards

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

We are pleased to inform you that applications are now open for the 2024 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards. These awards reward and encourage women scientists working and living in eligible developing countries who are in the early stages of their careers, having often overcome great challenges to achieve research excellence. The 2024 Awards are being given in the area of  water, sanitation and hygiene (SDG6).


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 water, sanitation and hygiene.

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 water, sanitation and hygiene and to achieving the SDG6 (Clean water and sanitation).

The application can include, but is not limited to, references to the SDG6 target areas, e.g. universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water; access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all; improvement of water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials; increasing water-use efficiency and ensuring sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity; implementing integrated water resources management at all levels; and protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems.

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.

If in doubt about your eligibility, please contact [email protected].


  • Cash prize of USD 5,000.
  • All-expenses-paid trip to attend a relevant international conference.

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 for the 2024 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 SDG6 (Clean water and sanitation), 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 [email protected] if you are not sure about the eligibility of your documents.

  • Evidence on how your research contributes to advancing the SDG6 (Clean water and sanitation).
  • 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 2024 awards is October 8, 2023.

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

For full information on the eligibility and evaluation criteria and for submitting an application, please visit this page. Information is also available in Spanish and French.

For questions, please contact the OWSD Secretariat at [email protected].


How to apply: 

Visit the 2024 OWSD Awards Call for Applications page here.

Engineering & Technology
Space sciences
Computer Science
Earth Sciences
Application deadline: 
08 Oct 2023
Supporting document: 
21 Aug 2023