The Open Doors Women Fellowship by VIB-IPBO 2022

Applications are welcome for the VIB International Plant Biotechnology Outreach (VIB-IPBO) Open Doors Fellowship 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 the dropout before their consolidation stage.

Creating an awareness culture within their hosting institutions about recruiting women, supporting them along their tenure track, and adapting policies is also paramount to prevent women’s dropping out from STEM research and ensure the next generation of mentors and role models for the younger generation of scientists.  

The program intends to address the needs of early and mid-career women scientists researching at (inter)national research centers and universities in agricultural-related fields in agro-biotechnology, plant breeding, molecular biology & genetics, microbiology, chemical ecology, plant & soil health. Fellows should be in the process of starting up or consolidating their research teams regardless of whether they hold a project-based research position.


  • Through the Open Doors, women will enhance their leadership and communication skills and expand their network of colleagues and mentors in Africa and Belgium.
  • Also, they will improve their competencies and benefit from the training opportunities to increase their chances of leading and participating in new projects, accessing better research resources, and increasing their publication success. 


  • Women researchers in post-doc positions (for at least three years) and mid-career positions experiencing challenges to progress in their career path due to limited access to capacity-building opportunities and international networks.
  • Women researchers can demonstrate that they are implementing their ongoing research in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Benin, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania or South Africa.
  • They must have an employment contract in an (inter)national research centre or university in any of the countries listed above for the fellowship’s time (2022-2024).
  • Women researchers with an active line of research in the following agricultural-related fields: agro-biotechnology, plant breeding, molecular biology and genetics, microbiology, chemical ecology, plant & soil health.
  • Also women researchers that are supervising MSc or PhD students and supporting staff.
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Application Process

Applications should include:

  • A duly filled application
  • A maximum 3-page CV.
  • A list of publications, including papers, book chapters, technical reviews in indexed journals and patents.
  • A signed letter from the applicant’s direct supervisor to indicate how does she/he intend to support the fellow in completing her training program
  • A motivation letter from the candidate.
  • A signed letter from the Human Resources Office of the applicant institution indicating the candidate’s contractual situation during the duration of the fellowship program.

To apply, click here.

Deadline: January 10, 2022.

For more information, visit the official site.

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