the world academy of sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries


TWAS-CNPq Postgraduate Fellowship Programme
The National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) in Brasilia, Brazil, and TWAS offer up to 50 (30 sandwich and 20 full time) postgraduate fellowships each year to young scientists from developing countries (other than Brazil) who wish to pursue research towards a PhD in natural sciences.
Minimum degree held
Up to 4 years
01-Agricultural Sciences
02-Structural, Cell and Molecular Biology
03-Biological Systems and Organisms
04-Medical and Health Sciences incl. Neurosciences
05-Chemical Sciences
06-Engineering Sciences
07-Astronomy, Space and Earth Sciences
08-Mathematical Sciences
Age limit
Sandwich option

Programme Details

  • TWAS-CNPq Postgraduate Fellowships are tenable at research institutions in Brazil for a period of up to four years and are awarded to students from developing countries (other than Brazil) to enable them to pursue all or part (SANDWICH or FULL-TIME) of their research leading towards a PhD degree in the natural sciences.
  • The academic year in Brazil usually begins on 1 March and the second semester in early August of each year. Candidates will enrol for their PhD at the host institution and must observe the academic calendar of the host institution, i.e. be ready to start their Fellowship on the first day of classes/courses (most likely in Portuguese).
  • A list of research institutions in Brazil where TWAS-CNPq Fellowships are tenable (CAPES-Conceito 5, 6 and 7) is available here: CAPES List.
  • CNPq will provide a standard monthly allowance which should be used to cover living costs, such as accommodation, food and health insurance. The monthly stipend will not be convertible into foreign currency.
  • Information about living conditions, such as possibilities of accommodation, transportation, and any other issues related to the candidate's stay in Brazil must be obtained locally, directly from the host institution. Neither TWAS nor CNPq can provide this information.
  • In most institutions the language of instruction is Portuguese; in a few institutions it is English.



Applicants for these fellowships must meet the following criteria:

  • There is no age limit for this programme.
  • Hold a university degree in the Natural Sciences (minimum Master’s degree).
  • Have good command of Portuguese and/or Spanish and/or English.
  • Be a national of a developing country other than Brazil.
  • Must not hold a visa for permanent or temporary residency in Brazil or in a developed country.
  • Be officially enrolled as a PhD student in the home country for at least 1 (one) year by the date of the application.
  • Provide evidence that s/he will return to her/his home country on completion of the fellowship.
  • Not take up other assignments during the period of her/his fellowship.
  • Provide an official acceptance letter from the host institution (please refer to the sample that will be available here and be willing to register for a PhD degree in the natural sciences at a participating CAPES-listed Brazilian institution (see point 3 above).
  • Prove knowledge of Portuguese or provide a certificate of proficiency in Spanish or English (if these languages are not the candidate's mother tongue).
  • Have an updated Curriculum Vitae on CNPq’s Lattes Platform (see note on online applications below)
  • Present a detailed research plan agreed by her/his host supervisor.
  • Be financially responsible for any accompanying family members.

For sandwich postgraduate fellowship applicants only, must:

  • Be officially registered as a PhD student in her/his home country for at least 12 months before presenting her/his candidacy to the sandwich postgraduate fellowship.
  • Have a letter of agreement of her/his supervisor in her/his home country.


Submitting your application

  • Applications to the TWAS-CNPq Fellowships must be submitted online only.
  • Opening of call and confirmation of deadline for applications will take place later in 2016. The call for applications where you will find the programme details, eligibility criteria, required documents and certificates as well as the online application form is available here
  • Applicants must be aware that CNPq and TWAS will not accept applications submitted by any other means except via the online application form.
  • No applications will be accepted after the deadline. Therefore, it is recommended to submit your electronic application as early as possible.
  • Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
  • Applicants should submit the Acceptance Letter from a CAPES-listed institution to CNPq when applying. Without preliminary acceptance, the application will not be considered for selection.
  • Queries concerning the call for applications online portal to the TWAS-CNPq Fellowships programmes should be directed to CNPq

Applicants should be aware that they can apply for only one fellowship per year from among those offered by TWAS.


Contact Details

• TWAS Fellowships Office
ICTP Campus, Strada Costiera 11
34151 Trieste, Italy
Phone: +39 040 2240-314
Fax: +39 040 2240-689

• National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq)
International Cooperation Office (ASCIN)
SHIS Quadra 01 Conjunto B, Bloco "D", Edificio Santos Dumont
71605-001 Lago sul Brasília, DF, Brazil
Phone: + 55 61 3211 9446, + 55 61 3211 9610
Fax: +55 61 3211-9442


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