UNESCO-L’OREAL International Fellowships

Deadline: 30 June 2011
Open to: young woman, PhD applicants or holders under 35
Fellowship: for a maximum period of 12 months, for a maximum sum of $ 20,000.

The UNESCO-L’ORÉAL fellowships scheme focuses on UNESCO’s premise that people are the world’s greatest resource and that innovation and excellence, especially among the young women community, deserve to be supported and encouraged through the concerted efforts of the international community. The award of the fellowships constitutes a key strategy through which impetus is being given to the enhancement of the role of women in devising scientific solutions to problems confronting humankind in the twenty-first century.


Candidates must already be engaged in pursuing research at the doctoral or post-doctoral level in one or allied fields of life sciences including biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, agriculture, medicine, pharmacy and physiology. Projects involving animal models (i.e. experimentation using vertebrate laboratory animals) are rejected, and proposals in the area of cosmetics research are NOT encouraged; preference is given to non cosmetic research.

Applicants (maximum four from each applying National Commission) must meet the following general criteria:

  1. The National Commission must endorse all applications. UNESCO cannot entertain applications from individuals.
  2. Candidates must be no more than 35 years old. Thus, applicants born before 1 January 1977 will not be considered under this programme.
  3. Preference will be given to candidates already possessing at the time of application a Ph.D. degree (or equivalent) in the field of the life sciences. However, candidatures from students pursuing studies/research leading to a Ph.D. degree (or equivalent) will also be entertained.
  4. Only candidates with the necessary qualifications, who demonstrate outstanding intellectual promise and personal qualities, will be considered under this programme.
  5. Candidates must be proficient in reading and writing the language of instruction in the proposed country of study.
  6. Applicants must be in good health, both physically and mentally.
  7. Candidates may not be in receipt of another fellowship/grant for the project or for the period covered by the fellowship application. If the candidate receives another award, scholarship or fellowship for the proposed research project, she should inform UNESCO immediately to verify whether her application is still valid.

The Research Project

The research proposal should cover the following points:

  • Why? The concrete nature of the proposed project’s contribution to the life sciences; its innovative, original aspects; and the scope and purpose of the research project. The candidate should demonstrate that the reasons of the theoretical and practical knowledge or training acquired at the host laboratory would be beneficial to her on-going research project.
  • What? The expected results or impact of the research project being undertaken.
  • How? Describe the proposed arrangements for conducting the research.
  • Where? The proposed country, where research will be undertaken and the name and address of the host institute/laboratory.
  • When? The time-framework explicitly stating the proposed starting date and the suggested duration of research which should be of twelve months maximum. Because the possibility for extension exists, it would be useful also to give an indication of further development of the project beyond the 1-year time frame.
  • How much? A detailed budget estimate indicating the resources required for the candidate to undertake the proposed research. The amount should not exceed USD20,000. All figures must be shown in US dollars and must be stated on a separate page. The total amount indicated should cover, exclusively, the international or domestic travel costs for the proposed itinerary and tuition fees, if any, including personal subsistence abroad, etc. Applicants should be realistic in compiling their estimated budgets, and consider that an average of USD1500 per month for accommodation and meals (including local transportation and incidentals) should not be exceeded. Applications where funds requested are judged to be excessive in relation to the objectives and importance of the project are likely to be considered for a smaller grant.

How to Apply

All applications must be submitted with the required documentation on the prescribed and enclosed application forms. Each Member State may nominate up to a maximum of four candidatures. It is the National Commission’s responsibility to select candidates that it wishes to submit to UNESCO.

The application must have the following attachments:

  1. The UNESCO Fellowship application form duly completed, in English or in French, in duplicate. Two recent photographs should be included with the form.
  2. An e-mail address regularly used by the candidate.
  3. Certified copies of degree or diplomas (including transcript of grades) in duplicate. Proof either of having obtained a Ph.D. degree or of being in the process of studying for a Ph.D. degree must be included.
  4. A list of publications, if any.
  5. A letter of recommendation from someone familiar with the candidate’s work.
  6. A host institute’s letter of acceptance (i.e. the institute that has accepted the candidate for work should she be selected for a fellowship). This letter of acceptance must indicate the name of the academic supervisor, the date and duration, and the host institute’s willingness to provide the relevant training facilities required by the candidate in the chosen field of specialization.
  7. The certificate of language proficiency (on UNESCO form) duly completed in duplicate for the language of the country of study (should this be different from the candidate’s mother tongue) and signed by the competent authority.
  8. Detailed proposal for the research project: one to two page(s) (maximum), in either English or French.

The application(s) should reach the Fellowships Programme Section (ERC/RPO/FEL), UNESCO (7, Place de Fontenoy 75352 Paris 07P) before 30 June 2011. An electronic copy of this letter and the application form is available in the UNESCO Fellowships’ website.

Advance copy may be sent by fax: +331. or by e-mail: [email protected] / [email protected] (MSWord or PDF format document exclusively).

Application Form

The Official Website




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