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 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 units. For proposals submitted by individual young researchers, please see TWAS Research Grants Programme in Basic Sciences (Individuals).
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 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. 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.
- TWAS Research Grants are awarded to high-level promising research projects in biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics carried out by research units in the S&T-lagging countries (S&TLC) identified by TWAS.
- Research Grants to research units amount to a maximum of USD 30,000.
- The grants, which are normally provided for a period of 24 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 units will also be able to support an MSc student as part of the project (full details will be provided to successful candidates).
- 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 should operate within a university or a research institution in one of the S&TLCs and should include a minimum of the Principle Investigator (group leader), plus at least two PhD-qualified researchers and a number of PhD and MSc students, technicians, etc. There is no age limit for unit leaders.
- Each applicant must have at least one MSc student under his/her supervision.
- Applications from women scientists and those working in Least Developed Countries are especially encouraged.
- Research unit leaders who submit a satisfactory final report on a previous grant may apply for a renewal.
- If selected, a trilateral written agreement is drawn up between TWAS, the 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.
- 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 or COMSTECH).
- For any queries please contact Ms. P. Patel, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.