VIB International Plant Biotechnology Outreach Open Doors Fellowship Program 2024

The Open Doors Fellowship Program for women researchers in Africa is a holistic program that targets 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 dropping out before their consolidation stage.  Rationale of the initiative The ODFP targets post-doctoral and mid-career women researchers conducting agricultural research in African (inter)national research centres. Our program aims to contribute to the consolidation of mid-career researchers and avoid them leaking from the scientific pipeline. Therefore, through its unique conceptualization and implementation, the program is tailored to our participants' training needs to provide a fulfilling, nurturing and empowering learning experience. Two-Phase Curriculum that includes a research stage in Belgium The program is structured in two phases. In Phase 1 (1-4 months), our fellows expand their research horizons and scientific network in Belgium through a fully-funded short research stage of three months. This stage occurs in a laboratory where fellows can use equipment not accessible in Africa and learn new techniques and skills relevant to fast-track their research. Yet, our program pursues to actively connect the Belgian laboratories with the existing African research to generate long-term and mutual learning for enriching collaborations. To this end, the continuous North-South and South-South collaborations between the labs are fostered after this phase through diverse projects managed by IPBO.   Fellows chose what to learn and when While in Belgium, the fellows receive courses on cross-cultural communication, public presentation skills, and how to submit competitive project proposals under the EU Horizon funding scheme, together with their Belgian counterparts. In Phase 2, upon returning to Africa, our fellows can tailor their training curriculum over16 months by accessing six courses from the VIB training online portfolio on soft, hard skills and coaching courses during this period. Beyond these, the training package includes Negotiation Skills, Project Management and Self-Leadership modules to help our beneficiaries navigate their careers more confidently.  

VIB International Plant Biotechnology Outreach  Open Doors Fellowship Program 2024
The Open Doors Fellowship Program for women researchers in Africa is a holistic program that targets 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 dropping out before their consolidation stage.  Rationale of the initiative The ODFP targets post-doctoral and mid-career women researchers conducting agricultural research in African (inter)national research centres. Our program aims to contribute to the consolidation of mid-career researchers and avoid them leaking from the scientific pipeline. Therefore, through its unique conceptualization and implementation, the program is tailored to our participants' training needs to provide a fulfilling, nurturing and empowering learning experience. Two-Phase Curriculum that includes a research stage in Belgium The program is structured in two phases. In Phase 1 (1-4 months), our fellows expand their research horizons and scientific network in Belgium through a fully-funded short research stage of three months. This stage occurs in a laboratory where fellows can use equipment not accessible in Africa and learn new techniques and skills relevant to fast-track their research. Yet, our program pursues to actively connect the Belgian laboratories with the existing African research to generate long-term and mutual learning for enriching collaborations. To this end, the continuous North-South and South-South collaborations between the labs are fostered after this phase through diverse projects managed by IPBO.   Fellows chose what to learn and when While in Belgium, the fellows receive courses on cross-cultural communication, public presentation skills, and how to submit competitive project proposals under the EU Horizon funding scheme, together with their Belgian counterparts. In Phase 2, upon returning to Africa, our fellows can tailor their training curriculum over16 months by accessing six courses from the VIB training online portfolio on soft, hard skills and coaching courses during this period. Beyond these, the training package includes Negotiation Skills, Project Management and Self-Leadership modules to help our beneficiaries navigate their careers more confidently.