Africa Women Researchers 2023 Open Doors Fellowship Program


Africa Women Researchers 2023 Open Doors Fellowship Program

For the Open Doors Fellowship Programme 2023, applications are being accepted. The Open Doors Fellowship Program for Women Researchers in Africa is an all-encompassing initiative that will assist women researchers in Africa in developing the hard and soft skills they need to improve their placements within their host institutions and, ultimately, prevent leaving before they reach the consolidation stage.

The VIB-IPBO is dedicated to assisting female researchers at African universities and research centers. They are putting a lot of effort into making sure that the Open Doors program grows, expands, and contributes to the empowerment of many more women scientists in Africa through their hard work, outreach initiatives, and successful partnerships with several African organizations and Belgian institutions.

Africa Women Researchers 2023 Programme Details

The curriculum is divided into two halves. In Phase 1 (1-4 months), fellows do a fully funded three-month short research stage to broaden their research interests and professional networks in Belgium. This step takes place in a lab where fellows can use technology not available in Africa and learn brand-new methods and skills necessary to advance their study.

However, the program actively seeks to link Belgian labs with ongoing African research in order to foster long-term, mutual learning for fruitful partnerships. In order to do this, various programs managed by IPBO are used to develop ongoing North-South and South-South interactions between the labs following this period.

Along with their Belgian counterparts, the fellows take cross-cultural communication, public speaking, and how to submit successful project proposals under the EU Horizon funding initiative courses while in Belgium. When they return to Africa for Phase 2, fellows can customize their training over a 16-month period by enrolling in six courses from the VIB training online portfolio that cover coaching, hard skills, and soft skills. In addition to this, the training package contains lessons on negotiation skills, project management, and self-leadership to support our beneficiaries in making more confident professional decisions.

Africa Women Researchers 2023 Financial Support

  • Fellows receive financial incentives to enhance their scientific visibility.

Africa Women Researchers 2023 Eligibility

  • Applicants are post-doc female scholars (minimum one year after defending their PhD) or in mid-career positions who experience challenges to progress in their career path due to limited access to training, infrastructure and international networks. There are no age limits.
  • Scholarship candidates should be national and resident in one of the VLIR- UOS scholarship countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania or Uganda); or employee of a target organization in one of these countries (candidates exceptionally can have a different nationality). Candidates from Nigeria will also be supported despite not being VLIR-UOS scholarship countries through our program.
  • Applicants’ research fields must be plant breeding, agrobiotechnology, molecular biology and genetics, microbiology, chemical ecology, plant & soil health, livestock or aquaculture.
  •  Applicants must have an active employment contract in a High Education institution or an (inter)national research centre in any of the countries listed above for the duration of the fellowship (20 months), where they conduct research and teach.
  • Applicants are supervising MSc or PhD students and supporting staff.

Africa Women Researchers 2023 Application

The following documents are required for application:

  • A duly filled application (Template for Modality A or B).
  • A motivation letter from the candidate.
  • A maximum 3-page CV. Note that a CV with more than three pages will not be reviewed.
  • Soft copies of the academic transcripts of the PhD and the diploma.
  • A list of publications, including papers, book chapters, technical reviews in indexed journals and patents. Only articles in the Web of Science: Master Journal List will be considered valid publications.
  • A signed letter from the applicant’s direct supervisor to indicate how she/he intends to support the fellow in completing her training programme.
  • An official signed letter from the Human Resources Office of the applicant’s institution to prove that the applicant has a valid contract in SSA for the duration of the fellowship. The letter also should inform on what support the fellow will receive during the training period. An HR focal point should commit to participating in the four webinars related to gender-equitable practices in the workplace during the 20 months of the fellowship.
  • A signed letter from the research centre in Belgium supporting the applicant’s short research stay (only for Modality B applications).

All these documents are compulsory for a valid application. Submissions shall be reviewed upon receipt of the documents via e-mail to [email protected].

For more information, visit ODFP.


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