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


TWAS-USM Postgraduate Fellowship Programme
For young scientists from developing countries (other than Malaysia) who wish to pursue studies towards a PhD degree in the natural sciences at the Universiti Sains Malaysia.
15 September 2016
Partner Organizations
Minimum degree held
Up to 3 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-USM Postgraduate Fellowships are tenable in the departments, institutions and laboratories of the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) for a period of up to three years for studies leading to a PhD degree in the natural sciences.
  • The academic year in Malaysia begins in September and the second semester in February of each year, following the year of application. Candidates will enrol for their PhD at a USM department/laboratory and must observe USM's academic calendar and be ready to start their fellowship on the first day of classes/courses.
  • The award of the fellowship is subject to obtaining in due course a final offer letter of admission from USM that must be approved by the relevant USM School. Upon receipt of the USM-TWAS award letter from TWAS, candidates will need to contact in due course the Institute of Postgraduate Studies (IPS) of USM to apply for the final offer letter. In case the application for the final offer letter of admission is not approved by USM, the award will become null and void.
  • USM will provide a standard monthly allowance which should be used to cover living costs, such as accommodation and food
  • The language of instruction is English.



Applicants for these fellowships must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a maximum age of 35 years on 31 December of the application year.
  • Be nationals of a developing country (other than Malaysia).
  • Must not hold any visa for temporary or permanent residency in Malaysia or any developed country.
  • Hold a Master's degree in a field of natural sciences.
  • Provide an official Acceptance Letter from the USM Institute of Postgraduate Studies (IPS) (see sample on page 5 of the application form). Requests for Acceptance Letters must be directed to Prof. Rozman Hj Din,  Dean, Institute of Postgraduate Studies (IPS) (at emails: and who will facilitate assignment of a host supervisor. The acceptance letter must come from the IPS Dean (and not from any Head of Department or supervisors at USM).
  • In contacting the IPS Dean applicants must accompany their request for an Acceptance Letter with ALL the following documents:
    - copy of an updated CV;
    - a short write-up of research proposal (maximum 5 pages);
    - scanned copies of certificates, academic transcripts (certified true copy of Bachelor and Master degree certificates) with CGPA 3.5 and above and related credentials;
    - two referee letters;
    - provide evidence of proficiency in English (TOFEL or IELTS);
    - a scanned copy of the front page of their publications.
    Only requests for acceptance letters that contain ALL the above required documents will be processed by the IPS, USM.
  • The deadline for submitting requests for an acceptance letter to the Dean of the Institute of Postgraduate Studies (IPS), USM, is 1 September 2016. Therefore, please apply for the acceptance letter from the IPS Dean before this date. NB: Acceptance letter will not be issued by the Dean of IPS, USM after 1 September.
  • Be financially responsible for any accompanying family members.
  • Provide evidence of proficiency in English, if medium of education was not English;
  • 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.


Submitting your application

  • The deadline for receipt of applications to TWAS is 15 September of each year.
  • Applicants must submit the Preliminary Acceptance Letter from the Institute of Postgraduate Studies (IPS), USM when applying to TWAS or by the deadline at the latest. Without Preliminary Acceptance Letter, the application will not be considered for selection.
  • Reference letters must be on letter-headed paper, SIGNED and sent as attachments via e-mail to TWAS and USM. The subject line must contain USM/PG/ and the candidate’s surname. N.B. Only signed reference letters can be accepted. The letters can be submitted either by the referee or by the applicant directly.
  • Applicants for the TWAS-USM Postgraduate Fellowship Programme should send their application to TWAS and USM (by email).


Are you a potential applicant for a full-time PhD in a field related to atmospheric science, climate and climate change, hydrology, multi-hazard early-warning or disaster-risk reduction? If so, you may be interested in applying for a World Meteorological Organization (WMO) travel grant as a complement to the PhD fellowship.

Contact Details

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

Prof. Rozman Hj Din
Institute of Postgraduate Studies (IPS)
Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)
11800 Penang, Malaysia
Tel:          +60 4 6532 930
Fax:         +60 4 6532 931

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