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Apply for The Open Doors Fellowship Program for Women Researchers in Africa




The Open Doors Fellowship Program for women researchers in Africa is a holistic program that shall target women researchers in Africa to help them acquire the necessary hard and soft skills to strengthen their placements within their hosting institutions and, ultimately, avoid dropping out before their consolidation stage.

The VIB-IPBO is committed to supporting women scientists in African research institutions and universities. They are working hard to ensure that through our hard work, outreach efforts, and fruitful partnerships with several African organizations and Belgian institutions, the Open Doors program shall grow, expand and contribute to the empowerment of many more women scientists in Africa.




  • Applicants are post-doc female scholars (minimum one year after defending their Ph.D.) or in mid-career positions who experience challenges to progress in their career path due to limited access to training, infrastructure, and international networks. There are no age limits.
  • Scholarship candidates should be national and resident in one of the VLIR- UOS scholarship countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, or Uganda); or employees of a target organization in one of these countries (candidates exceptionally can have a different nationality). Candidates from Nigeria will also be supported despite not being VLIR-UOS scholarship countries through our program.
  • Applicants’ research fields must be plant breeding, agrobiotechnology, molecular biology and genetics, microbiology, chemical ecology, plant & soil health, livestock, or aquaculture.
  • Applicants must have an active employment contract in a High Education institution or an (inter)national research center in any of the countries listed above for the duration of the fellowship (20 months), where they conduct research and teach.
  • Applicants are supervising MSc or Ph.D. students and supporting staff.



How to apply

  • A duly filled application (Template for Modality A or B).
  • A motivation letter from the candidate.
  • A maximum 3-page CV. Please note that a CV with more than three pages will not be reviewed.
  • Soft copies of the academic transcripts of the Ph.D. and the diploma.
  • A list of publications, including papers, book chapters, technical reviews in indexed journals, and patents. Only articles in the Web of Science: Master Journal List will be considered valid publications.
  • A signed letter from the applicant’s direct supervisor to indicate how she/he intends to support the fellow in completing her training program
  • An official signed letter from the Human Resources Office of the applicant’s institution to prove that the applicant has a valid contract in SSA for the duration of the fellowship. The letter also should inform on what support the fellow will receive during the training period. An HR focal point should commit to participating in the four webinars related to gender-equitable practices in the workplace during the 20 months of the fellowship.
  • A signed letter from the research center in Belgium supporting the applicant’s short research stay (only for Modality B applications).




Participants receive training on scientific communication and financial incentives to attend congresses and open-access publication fees.



End date

10 January 2023





Apply here