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Following the success of 1st, 2nd and 3rd Edition, the Women for Africa Foundation (FMxA), in line with its mission of contributing to the development of Africa through its women, is launching the 4th Edition of SCIENCE BY WOMEN programme, with the aim to promote African women’s leadership in scientific research and technology transfer and to foster the capacity of the research centres in their home countries. The main goal is to enable African women scientists and researchers to tackle the great challenges faced by Africa through research in health, agriculture and food security, water, energy and climate change, as well as mathematics and economic science.

Women’s lives are significantly affected by the repercussions of uncontrolled development; however, social, structural and economic barriers limit their capacity to tackle the great challenges faced by the continent. The gender disparities in science and technology in both the public and private spheres affect Africa’s population as a whole. Narrowing this gap, which has severe consequences on the balanced and sustainable development of African countries, is vital to achieve long-term progress and equal growing.

The programme´s ultimate goal is to enable African women researchers to play a leading role in the transition of Africa to a knowledge-based and innovation-led economy through research that can be transferred into products, processes, services and technologies having impact on people´s lives.

To achieve this ambitious goal, FMxA collaborates with the Spanish Centres of Excellence, whose prestige is unanimously recognized throughout Spain and internationally, thereby ensuring excellence in scientific research in various fields. In this 4th edition our associated research centres are:

Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO)
Centre for Genomic Regulation
Barcelona Graduate School of Economics
Vall d´Hebron Institut de Recerca (VHIR)
Institute for Neuroscience (IN)
Kronikgune Research Center
Biocruces Bizkaia
DeustoTech
Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO)
Institute of Health Carlos III (ISCIII)
Donostia International Physics Center
Material Physics Center – (MPC-CFM)
Principe Felipe Research Center (CIPF)
Repsol Technology Center

Each of these centres will host 1 senior women researcher with at least 3 years of post-doctoral experience for a six-month fellowship. Applications will be subjected to a rigorous selection process, evaluating the academic merits and leadership of the applicants as well as the scientific quality and expected impact of their research projects. Selected candidates will receive training and integration in a dynamic, multidisciplinary and highly competitive working team, where they will be able to develop their research projects and acquire complementary skills, empowering them to transfer their research results into tangible economic and social benefits.

What does the Science by Women program consist of?

The Science by Women program will fund a total of 14 six-month visiting senior research fellowships for 14 experienced African women researchers in 14 different international research centres of excellence based in Spain.

Each research centre will host one researcher. Here below the list of participating centres:

The preferred areas of research include:

  1. Health and Bio-medicine
  2. Energy, Water and Climate Change
  3. Agriculture and Food Safety
  4. Mathematics, Information and Communication Technologies
  5. Economic Science
  6. Physics and Materials Sciences
  7. Nanotechnology

Fellowship duration

In general, the duration of the research stays will be six continuous months. Nevertheless, depending on personal and professional needs, and with approval of the host research centre, the planned research may be split in two stays to be completed within two years after the fellowship has been awarded.

Who can apply for a fellowship? (Eligibility requirements)

Any person who meets the following requirements can apply:

  • Being a woman
  • Having the nationality of an African country
  • Having a PhD with at least 3 years of post-doctoral professional experience
  • Current contractual relationship with a university or a public or private non-profit organization based in Africa dedicated to significant scientific research in the areas indicated above
  • Excellent academic record and proven track of relevant research experience
  • Solid working knowledge of English
  • Proven experience leading a research group

Beneficiaries of first, second and third editions of this program are not eligible.

When applying, candidates must have already identified research groups in the host centres to confirm that their proposed research can be carried out in collaboration with those research groups and, when needed, in their laboratories.

What are the general benefits and conditions?

Successful candidates will have access to the following benefits:

  • Return flight from their centre of origin to the host institution
  • Living allowance of 2.400 Euros (before taxes) per month to cover accommodation, personal expenses and health and occupational accident insurance coverage.

Beneficiaries must devote themselves entirely to research at the assigned research centre and may not be beneficiaries of any other fellowship, grant, stipend or regular income during their research stay.

Beneficiaries might be asked to formalise their relationship with the research centre in writing. In compliance with local laws, the Woman for Africa Foundation or the research centre (as the case may be) will, if so required in each particular circumstance by the tax and/or social security regime, retain or withhold the compulsory amounts from the living allowances.

Women for Africa Foundation, in collaboration with the research centre, will help beneficiaries with the compulsory formalities in order to obtain the visa with Spanish Embassies and Consulates.

How to apply

The deadline for applications is September 30, 2018. Only applications submitted in English via the Science by Women microsite at www.mujeresporafrica.es will be accepted.

Candidates must submit the following documents:

  • Letter of Interest (max. 1 page)
  • Full curriculum vitae
  • Fully filled form
  • Brief but concise description of the project to be developed in the Spanish host centre (max. 2 pages).

Research proposals should fall within the main research strands of the chosen centre, as specified in section 6 of the Rules & Guidelines document.

For more information and application, visit the website of the The Women for Africa Foundation (FMxA) Science by Women Program