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


TWAS-DFG Cooperation Visits Programme
Postdoctoral researchers from sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa, can go on a ‘Cooperation Visit’ lasting three months to an institute in Germany.
Call to be opened in October
Partner Organizations
Hosting Countries
Eligible nationality
DFG countries
Minimum degree held
3 months
All academic fields
Age limit

The TWAS-DFG Cooperation Visits Programme provides postdoctoral researchers from sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa, with the opportunity to make a ‘Cooperation Visit’ to an institute in Germany of no more than 3 months.

Under this programme, researchers are assisted in making a ‘Cooperation Visit’ to an institute in Germany. Such visits will have a duration of no more than three (3) months and must be undertaken within 12 months of the award.

The aim of the visit is to discuss research collaboration with German scientists with the ultimate goal of developing longer-term collaboration, perhaps through other Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, or German Research Foundation) programmes. TWAS will cover health insurance and travel expenses, while DFG will provide subsistence costs for the stay in Germany. The administration and financial operation of TWAS is undertaken by UNESCO in accordance with an agreement signed by the two organizations.

Deadline: 31 March each year. Successful applicants will be informed three months after the deadline.



  • Applicants must hold a PhD and must have obtained it not earlier than 2011;
  • Applicants must be nationals of a sub-Saharan African country, including South Africa, and hold a research position in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Applicants already on site in Germany are not eligible.
  • Successful applicants can only reapply once for another cooperation visit.
  • Women scientists are especially encouraged to apply.
  • All academic fields will be considered.



Applicants must complete the application form (see link at the bottom of the).

Applicants also need to submit:

  • CV, maximum two pages and a list of 6 publications.
  • a recent invitation letter from a German host – on the host institution’s letterhead paper – which should contain the proposed time of the visit (up to 3 months) and should refer to the proposed cooperation. It should be made evident that the applicant and the proposed host have been in contact regarding the scientific work to be done during the visit and that the conditions for conducting the work have been agreed in terms of the timing of the visit and the facilities available. Eligible institutions in Germany are all universities, universities of applied sciences, institutes or member organizations of the Max Planck Society, Fraunhofer Society, Helmholtz Association or Leibniz Association. If in doubt, contact either or
  • two reference letters from senior scientists familiar with your work. Referees must send signed letters as attachments via e-mail directly to TWAS. The subject line should contain the text ‘TWAS-DFG programme’ and the candidate’s surname. Alternatively, letters should be sent in sealed envelopes by post.
  • A copy of your PhD certificate plus evidence of proficiency in either English or German. 

Completed applications, together with the supporting documentation, should be sent either:

  • by email to
  • by fax to +39 040 224 559 or
  • as hard copies to TWAS secretariat, ICTP Campus, Strada Costiera 11, 34151 Trieste, Italy


Other information

  • Applicants must provide evidence that they will return to their home country upon completion of their Cooperation Visit.
  • TWAS-DFG Cooperation Visits do not include provisions for accompanying family members.
  • Applications for part-time visits will be considered ineligible.
  • Incomplete/unsigned applications will not be accepted. This also applies to submissions by fax and electronic mail, which must include all enclosures and be signed (either digitally or by including a scanned signature).
  • Successful applicants must not take up other assignments during the period of their Cooperation Visits.
  • TWAS shall be entitled to a repayment of all or part of any funds paid to an applicant hereunder, in the event that the applicant intentionally or negligently fails to fulfil any or all of the above conditions. The applicant agrees to pay any reasonable legal and/or collection costs incurred by TWAS to obtain the repayment.
Application doc(s): 
Microsoft Office document icon dfg-twas_application_form_2016.doc178 KB
Contact email: 
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