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


TWAS Research Grants Programme in Basic Sciences (Consortia)
Qualified researchers in one or more of the 81 S&T-lagging countries identified by TWAS are invited to form a research consortium with one or two collaborating groups to work on a common problem in basic sciences.
31 May 2016
Country where tenable
Science- and technology-lagging countries
Minimum degree held
Age limit

The TWAS Research Grants Programme in Basic Sciences was established in response to the needs of researchers in developing countries, particularly those attached to institutions that lack appropriate research facilities. Under this scheme, grants can be awarded for research projects in biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics either to individual young researchers or to research units in the 81 science-and-technology-lagging countries (S&TLC) identified by TWAS, to enable them to purchase the research facilities they need to enhance their productivity.

The information on this page refers to proposals submitted by research consortia. For proposals submitted by individual young researchers, please see TWAS Research Grants Programme in Basic Sciences (Individuals) and for proposals by research groups see TWAS Research Grants Programme in Basic Sciences (Groups).

The TWAS Research Grants Programme in Basic Sciences 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 the 81 S&T-lagging countries identified by TWAS 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. The TWAS Research Grants Programme supports research in the basic sciences only; proposals focusing on more applied research should therefore be submitted to IFS. TWAS cannot accept projects relating 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; TWAS will have to reject such proposals.

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 S&TLCs 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 research consortia (formed by one or two collaborating groups to work on a common problem and possibly located  within the same country or region) in the 81 S&T-lagging countries identified by TWAS.
  • Research Grants to research consortia amount to a maximum of USD 20,000.
  • 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, or travel expenses. In addition, the purchase of laptops and laboratory animals is not supported.
  • Awarded research consortia will also be able to support an MSc student as part of the project (full details will be provided to successful candidates).


  • Applying research consortia must be led by a principle investigator (PI) who is a national of a developing country, who holds a PhD and who has good research experience. (Note: The PI will be responsible for the coordination of the research, submission of requested documentation, management of the funds and reporting of the expenses. All TWAS correspondence will be with this ‘consortium PI’).
  • Each member of the consortium should operate in a university or research institution in one of the 81 S&T-lagging countries and should also be represented in the proposal by a PI. No age limit is applied to the consortia PIs.
  • Applications from women scientists and those working in Least Developed Countries are especially encouraged.
  • Individual young scientists or leaders of research units currently holding a TWAS Research Grant in the Basic Sciences are not eligible.


  • On selection by an expert committee and approval by the TWAS executive director, a written agreement is made between TWAS, the grantee (‘consortium PI’) and his/her institute, plus the other members of the consortium. The consortium institutes undertake 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 relevant institute after the project is completed. Items may be dispatched to any of the participating institutions.
  • 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.
  • The agreement will also provide details on how to activate other benefits of the grant such as support for travel for young scientists to attend international scientific meetings, and support for publishing in Open Access journals.
  • Grant holders must submit a final report within one year from the date of the last purchase.

How to apply

  • TWAS Research Grant applications can now be submitted online by clicking on the “Apply Now” link at the bottom of this page.
  • Please note that a researcher may only submit one application at a time and for only one kind of grant (as an individual applicant, as a research unit, as a research consortium or COMSTECH).
  • For any queries please contact Ms. P. Patel, e-mail:

When to apply

  • The deadline for receiving applications is 31 May. 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.


  • Please note that the assignment meetings of the TWAS Research Grants Committees will be held by the end of the year. Applicants will be notified of the outcome shortly after the meeting.
Application doc(s): 
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