Open Doors Fellowship Program - Call to host African female scholars



Call to Flemish labs to host women scholars from African research institutions under 'The Open Doors Fellowship Program'.


The Open Door Fellowship Program, developed by the International Plant Biotechnology Outreach (VIB-IPBO), targets post-doctoral and mid-career women researchers conducting agricultural research in African (inter)national research centres. It is a two-year training and mentoring program that aims to contribute to the consolidation of mid-career researchers and avoid them leaking from the scientific pipeline. The program includes a 3-month research stage in Belgium and a subsequent phase of 20 months of continuous training and mentoring when fellows are back home. It also provides incentives to increase the scientific visibility of our participants (e.g. open access fees, travel to international conferences). Therefore, the ODFP is more than just a short research stage in Flanders. It is a holistic program to meet participants' training needs to provide a fulfilling, nurturing and empowering learning process.

To provide a fruitful and sustainable collaboration between the Flemish High Education and Scientific institutions and the centres in Africa, the ODFP has a unique approach to matching the interest of both research groups. Researchers and fellows who want to participate in the ODFP can opt for two pathways: 


Modality A: The applicants must align the scope of their research with the requirements of the SRS slots offered by the Flemish HE&SIs. We will publish the SRS vacancy by the Flemish HE&SIs through the project's website and in different channels by 1st November. The applicants fulfilling the selection criteria can apply for the offered slots and demonstrate how the SRS in the EU will impact their line of research in SSA. Also, based on the mutual benefits that will arise from the collaboration and the expected deliverables from their action plan. Candidates will be selected based on the quality of the research proposal, its complementarity with the Flemish HE&SIs, the potential impact on SSA, the feasibility of the action plan and its deliverables. 


Modality B: Under this modality, previous research collaborations between the Flemish and SSA HE&SIs must exist. The applicants work directly with the Flemish HE&SIs counterparts to create an SRS slot in Belgium, and their joint proposal should demonstrate the impact of their collaborative research and synergies. The submission deadline will be 31st December 2022.


The ODFP fully covers the expenses derived from the fellows' SRS in Belgium, including travel, stipend, travel insurance, and bench fees for the hosting labs. The period for the SRS in Belgium is from May to July 2023. 

The OPDF is looking for HE&SI in Flanders willing to open a SRS slot under Modality A. This pathway is relevant for those centres willing to expand their research network and activities in SSA with target research groups from universities and (inter)national research centres (e.g. One-CGIAR, NARS). Flemish HE&SIs can open research slots for a short research stage (SRS) until 30th October 2022. You can learn here how. 

Also, it is an appeal to centres willing to explore Modality B to contact their African counterparts. 


You will find more information on our website, or you can address your queries to 


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