Supporting women applicants in the 2023-S grant call

Published: 2022-12-02

As part of the gender strategy, IFS provides additional support for women to minimise the barriers many encounter when accessing resources. This year, IFS provided personalised support for women invited to apply in the 2023-S grant call. Applicants were supported by a group of expert facilitators through an online chat forum and in an online workshop.

On the chat forum, volunteer expert facilitators answered questions and shared knowledge and resources through. Facilitators included Rebecca Boulton (University of Stirling), Dr Ruth Odhiambo (University of Nairobi), Dr Beth Ndunda (University of Nairobi), and Dr Valère Kolawolé Salako (University of Abomey-Calavi). The latter three were IFS alumni who have been involved in previous workshops supporting IFS grantees. Other facilitators from IFS included Bahati Orlendo, Ingrid Leemans, Jennifer Sjölund, and Jill Wallin.

A needs-assessment survey was sent to all women applicants, which was used to select priority topics that were covered in an online workshop held on the 24th of November, 2022.

The five priority topics covered in the workshop were:

  • Problem statement / Knowledge to date 
  • Objectives / Hypothesis / Outputs / Outcomes 
  • Project Design / Research Plan 
  • Research Budget 
  • Responding to reviewers’ comments  

105 participants joined the workshop from 30 different countries. Participants received information on priority topics and were able to ask questions in smaller groups. Peer-to-peer mentorship was encouraged and an open networking session at the end of the workshop allowed participants to meet and connect with their peers.

The post-workshop survey completed by 21 people, reported an average increase in their confidence levels on all aspects of the covered topics. The organising team received positive feedback on the workshop and on the facilitators that helped ease many of the applicants’ worries surrounding the preparation of their proposal. The workshop was a successful initiative for capacity-enhancement of early-career researchers and IFS is looking into developing similar initiatives that can be offered to all applicants, regardless of gender, in the future.

Dr Saima Qadeer.

IFS applicant, Dr Leila Landicho participates in the support workshop from the Philippines

Facilitators and participants from all over the globe



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