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Saturday, August 6, 2011

TWAS Research Grants Programme in Basic Sciences

Under this scheme, grants are awarded to high-level promising research projects in biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics carried out by either individual scientists or research units in the 80 S&T-lagging countries (S&TLCs) identified by TWAS. Deadline: 31 August. 
 
The TWAS Research Grants Programme in Basic Sciences was established in response to the needs of promising young researchers in developing countries, particularly those attached to institutions that lack appropriate research facilities.

Under this scheme, grants are awarded to individual researchers and research units in 80 science-and-technology-lagging countries (S&TLC) to enable them to purchase the research facilities they need to enhance their productivity.

The programme aims to:
  • Reinforce and promote scientific research in basic sciences in developing countries;
  • Strengthen developing countries' endogenous capacity in science;
  • Reduce the exodus of scientific talents from the South;
  • Build and sustain units of scientific excellence in S&TLC over a longer period to help them achieve a critical mass of highly qualified and innovative scientists capable of addressing real-life problems facing their countries.
The TWAS Research Grants Programme in Basic Sciences complements that of the International Foundation for Science (IFS). The two organizations maintain close contact to ensure the complementarity of the two schemes and to avoid duplication.

Please note that the TWAS Research Grants Programme supports research in the basic sciences. Proposals focusing on more applied research should be submitted to IFS. Thus, projects submitted to TWAS that relate to applications in agriculture or medicine or that use existing techniques to screen, for example, medicinal plants for bioactive substances or to monitor an environment for pollutants will be rejected.
The programme is generously supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Italian government. The Sida contribution is mainly intended to support research proposals from African countries and other developing countries in dire need of basic research tools.

Programme Details

TWAS Research Grants are awarded to high-level promising research projects in biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics carried out by either individual scientists or research units in the 80 S&T-lagging countries  (S&TLC) identified by TWAS.
  • Research Grants to individual scientists amount to a maximum of US$15,000.
  • Research Grants to research units amount to a maximum of US$30,000.
The grants, which are normally provided for a period of 18 months, may be used to purchase scientific equipment, consumables and specialized literature (textbooks and proceedings only). They do not cover salaries of researchers and/or students, field expenses, travel expenses or participation in international conferences.

Eligibility

Individual applicants must be nationals of developing countries. They must hold a PhD, be at the beginning of their careers, but already have some research experience. They must hold a position at a university or research institution in one of the 80  S&TLCs. As a general rule, the grants are awarded to competent scientists under the age of 45 years.

• Applying research units must be led by a renowned researcher who is a national of a developing country, who holds a PhD and who has good research experience. The research unit must operate within a university or a research institution in one of the 80  S&TLCs and consist of a core number of research scientists, postgraduate students and technicians. There is no age limit for unit leaders.

Individual scientists and research unit leaders who submit a satisfactory final report on a previous grant may apply for a renewal.

Agreement

If selected, a trilateral written agreement is drawn up between TWAS, the individual grantee or leader of the research unit and the home institution. The institution undertakes to administer the grant according to the agreement and to provide laboratory space, salaries and other facilities necessary for the project. Equipment, consumables and literature provided for the project through the TWAS Research Grants Programme remain the property of the home institution after the project is completed.

In general, the grant funds are kept at TWAS for the purchase of items requested by the grant holder. TWAS places the orders with the supplier(s) upon receipt of proforma invoices submitted by the grant holder in accordance with the approved itemized budget.

Grant holders (both individual grantees and heads of research units) must submit a final report within one year of receipt of the last purchase.

How to apply

Download the application form (Word document) from the link below (see "Related Content" at the bottom of this page) and complete it on your computer.

Applications should preferably be submitted by e-mail to mahdavi@twas.org. Since the first page of the application must bear the handwritten signatures of the applicant and the head of the applicant's institution, please print the page after completing it, sign it/have it signed, and then attach it as a scanned image or PDF-document to your application.

Incomplete and/or unsigned applications cannot be considered. An ideal application consists of one e-mail message with one attached zipped file that carries the applicant's surname as filename and contains:
  1. the completed application form;
  2. the scanned image of the signed first page of the form;
    1. a separate document with the detailed curriculum vitae, if the applicant is an individual researcher
    2. as many separate documents with the detailed curricula vitae as there are scientists working in the unit (except the students), if the applicant is a research unit
    1. a separate document with the full list of publications, if the applicant is an individual researcher
    2. as many separate documents with the full lists of publications as there are scientists working in the unit (except the students), if the applicant is a research unit
Please note that a researcher may only submit one application at a time and for only one kind of grant (either as an individual applicant or as a research unit).

TWAS will acknowledge receipt of an application by e-mail within two weeks of its receipt. If the acknowledgement fails to reach you within this period, please contact Mrs. M.T. Mahdavi, phone: +39 040 2240-325, fax: +39 040 224559, e-mail: mahdavi@twas.org.

When to apply

The deadline for receiving applications is 31 August. We strongly recommend that you do not wait until the deadline but submit the application as early as you can to enable us to process your application as quickly as possible.

Notification

Please note that the assignment meetings of the TWAS Research Grants Committees will be held by March of the following year. Applicants will be notified of the outcome shortly after the meeting.

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