The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) is taking a new step toward transforming its application and nomination process, moving nominations for its TWAS Prizes to a powerful online form system.
The new process, launched today within the TWAS Online Forms system, will make nominating and judging candidates easier then ever. With the system, all nominations and supporting documents can be completed and submitted online at a single location. This should result in streamlined process for nominators, nominees and judges.
The online forms are available immediately to support the 2017 call for prize nominations, which opened 27 January. The call closes on 31 March.
The TWAS Online Form system was launched for the TWAS Research Grants programme in March 2016, and in the past year a range of improvements have been implemented. The call for research grant applications is scheduled to open in mid-February.
Beginning in late winter, PhD and postdoctoral fellowship applications will begin to go online, starting with PhD fellowships offered by the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD).
The online forms for TWAS Prizes allow nominators to begin a nomination, store it online, and if needed, to resume work on it at a later time. The completed nomination is then submitted online, along with supporting documents such as CVs and the list of publications.
The TWAS Prizes programme is among the most prestigious given to scientists in the developing world, and for some three decades they have served as successful incentives for the pursuit and achievement of excellence in scientific research and related fields.
The prizes offer financial resources to the winners that can contribute to their work and visibility, which are especially important in developing countries. In addition, the honours often raise the public profile of the winners, supporting their efforts to attract additional funding or to weigh in on important science policy issues.
"Last year we received about 400 nominations for TWAS prizes and awards," explained TWAS' Programme Coordinator Max Paoli. "Typically, we need at least four to five steps to screen the nominations and draft a reliable short-list of candidates. We believe that the new system will help TWAS accelerate the intermediate steps, providing more user-friendly procedures for everyone."
The TWAS Prizes are awarded in nine different fields, to acknowledge research of outstanding significance for the development of scientific knowledge. The fields are: agricultural sciences; biology; chemistry; earth, astronomy and space sciences; mathematics; medical sciences; physics, and social sciences.
Candidates for a TWAS Prize are scientists who have been working and living in a developing country for at least ten years immediately prior to their nomination. In addition, candidates must demonstrate:
• Scientific research achievement of outstanding significance for the development of scientific thought.
• Outstanding contribution to the application of science and technology to sustainable development.
The selection of candidates is made solely on the basis of scientific merit, but the judging committee is asked to consider also existing opportunities or constraints that might have eased or hampered the research.