Happy New Year to IFS at 50 Years of Age!

Published: 2022-12-19

This year of 2022 marked a milestone in the history of IFS and its support of early-career scientists in the Global South. We turned 50 years old and we celebrated joyfully throughout the year, by highlighting our past achievements and demonstrating the impact of IFS’s work so as to motivate our stakeholders and constituencies to carry the IFS mission even further.

Nighisty Ghezae, DirectorNighisty Ghezae, IFS Director

Among other 50th anniversary activities, we published a series of historical and survey-based blog posts, organized three well-attended events with IFS grantees and Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) members, compiled and disseminated our IFS 50th Anniversary Booklet, which is available for downloading here, and held a Forum on Science for Peace, Prosperity and Justice (see last month’s blog post).

Most importantly, however, as we organised the various celebratory activities and gathered for the virtual and in-person events, we met, reminisced and collaborated with our long-time IFS friends and family members. To a person, their commitment and passion for IFS’s role in the world are what reminds us of what IFS stands for and who we are as professionals. Whether they be grantees or alumni, IFS Secretariat staff, SAC or Board members, strategic partners, or donors, we thank all who have contributed to the IFS vision, especially in the midst of a particularly challenging time as IFS transitions into its next chapter.

While celebrating the past and looking ahead to a promising future, in 2022 we continued with the essential every-day work of IFS with achievements such as:

  • Following up on the outputs and results of the 196 people awarded IFS grants in 2018, with 124 of their publications submitted
  • Organising eleven capacity-enhancing workshops, by IFS on its own, or in collaboration with strategic partners or alumni associations, most in response to requests from grantees and partners
  • Awarding 139 grants through a 2022 call upon invitation for applications within the regular IFS programme
  • Opening a call upon invitation for 2023, with a plan to award 83 first grants and 30 renewal grants of one-year duration each
  • Continuing our collabroation with Philippines-based SEARCA to pilot the IFS-SEARCA Mentorship Program for Advanced Grants, with ten early-career scientists making progress on their research into pandemic-related food security issues in Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam, and
  • Working with alumni in Benin and Nigeria on several activities, including organising workshops and coordinating IFS alumni participation in and contributions to our anniversary celebrations.

As I wrote here a year ago, I am confident that the years and decades ahead hold boundless opportunities for IFS’s work and for the many early-career women and men scientists who will walk into the future with us. To quote C S Lewis again, “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind”. From and to all of us in Stockholm and around the world, may you have a happy, healthy and successful 2023.

With thanks
Nighisty Ghezae



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