TWAS-COMSTECH Science in Exile PhD fellowship programme for displaced and refugee scientists
UNESCO-TWAS has partnered with the Ministerial Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (COMSTECH) for TWAS-COMSTECH Science in Exile Fellowship Programme for displaced and refugee scholars and scientists. This PhD Fellowship Programme aims to provide displaced and refugee scholars and scientists, who have not yet found a safe and long-term host country, to pursue doctoral studies in Pakistan, at institutions members of the COMSTECH Consortium of Excellence.
The call is closed
Host country
Eligible nationalities
Developing countries in the South
Minimum degree held
Up to 12 months
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

Opening date of this fellowship: 15 December 2021

Closing date of this fellowship: 4 February 2022, 11.59 p.m., Rome time.


Programme details

  • The Programme aims to provide displaced and refugee scholars and scientists who have not yet found a safe and long-term host country to pursue doctoral studies in Pakistan.
  • Fellowships will be full-time and tenable in Pakistan at one of the academic and science, technology and engineering research institutions members of the COMSTECH Consortium of Excellence (CCoE).
  • Fellowships will be tenable for a duration between 6 and 12 months.
  • The language of instruction is English.

N.B. Applicants may apply for only one of the two types of the UNESCO-TWAS – COMSTECH Science in Exile Fellowships Programme. To learn about the Postdoctoral fellowships, please visit: https://twas.org/opportunity/twas-comstech-postdoctoral-fellowship-programme-displaced-and-refugee-scientists



Applicants for these fellowships must meet the following criteria:

  • They must be displaced or refugee scholars and scientists.
  • They must be currently living in Pakistan and holding the right to live and study in the country, OR able to travel to Pakistan. Please note that the Programme is not suitable for scholars at risk who need specific assistance to leave their home country. Awardees are responsible for arranging the logistics and safety of their own relocation. Please note there is only a very small number of competitive travel bursaries available.
  • They must hold a Master’s Degree as well as a Bachelors in the field of natural sciences, applied sciences, engineering and technology, health sciences, software engineering and computer.

N.B. Applicants who hold citizenship or permanent residency in Pakistan or in safe third countries are not eligible to apply.

In the evaluation of the applications, priority will be given to applicants who:

  • demonstrate scientific excellence and high academic merit.
  • demonstrate high humanitarian need.
  • have experienced gender-based discrimination.
  • demonstrate interest in rebuilding the scientific infrastructure of their home countries.
  • are nationals of Afghanistan, Syria or Yemen.

Women scholars/scientists are particularly encouraged to apply.

DATA SECURITY FOR AT-RISK SCHOLARS: Please note that this opportunity is not suitable for scholars who wish to keep their identity private (i.e., scholars who are currently at risk). Please note that the information and data provided by applications will be used by UNESCO-TWAS and COMSTECH to process your application (eligibility, evaluation), report to the donor, and for programme statistics. Some information you provide may also be shared with external reviewers for evaluation purposes under suitable confidentiality agreements.


Submitting your application

  • The call for applications is open from 15 December 2021 until 4 February 2022, 11.59 p.m., Rome time.
  • Before the deadline, applicants must:
  1. Complete the PhD online application form in English: https://forms.office.com/r/QME5sXFhTh
  2. Send an email with the requested documents to displacedscientists@twas.org and events@comstech.org (please keep both addresses in your correspondence). Subject line must be “Application UNESCO-TWAS – COMSTECH Science in Exile Fellowships_PhD”

N.B. Applications with no supporting documents will be deemed ineligible. No documents will be accepted after the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be eligible.


Contact details

Email: displacedscientists@twas.org, events@comstech.org (please keep both email addresses in your correspondence).


N.B. Please note that the deadline for submitting queries on the Programme is 21 January 2022, 11.59 p.m., Rome time. Queries should be sent to both following email addresses: displacedscientists@twas.org and events@comstech.org (please keep both addresses in your correspondence).

Kindly note that UNESCO-TWAS offices are closed from 24 December 2021 to 7 January 2022, so there will be a delay in answers during that time.


The Science in Exile fellowships programme is financially supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). For more information on the Science in Exile initiative, please visit www.scienceinexile.org.

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