TWAS-USM Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme
For young scientists from developing countries (other than Malaysia) who wish to pursue advanced research in the natural sciences at the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in Penang, Malaysia.
Due to open in April 2016
Partner Organizations
Host country
Eligible nationalities
All developing countries
Minimum degree held
PhD 5 - years
Minimum of 12 months and maximum of 3 years
01-Agricultural Sciences
02-Structural, Cell and Molecular Biology
03-Biological Systems and Organisms
04-Medical and Health Sciences incl. Neurosciences
05-Chemical Sciences
06-Engineering Sciences
08-Mathematical Sciences
Age limit
Sandwich option

From 2017 applications can only be submitted via online portal once the call is open.

Please use the “apply now” button at the bottom of this page to start your application once the call is open.

Opening date of this fellowship: 15 April 2019

Closing date of this fellowship: extended to 31 July 2019

Applicants are encouraged to apply for the preliminary acceptance letter as early as possible, even before the opening date of the call. Keeping in mind that only Acceptance letters dated the same year as the year of application are eligible.


Programme Details

  • TWAS-USM Postdoctoral Fellowships are tenable in the departments, institutions and laboratories of the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) for a minimum period of twelve (12) months to a maximum period of two (2) years and are awarded to young scientists from developing countries (other than Malaysia) to enable them to pursue advanced research in the natural sciences.
  • USM will provide a standard monthly allowance which should be used to cover living costs, such as accommodation, food and health insurance.
  • The award of the fellowship is subject to obtaining in due course a final offer letter of admission from USM. Upon receipt of the USM-TWAS award letter from TWAS, candidates will need to contact in due course the Institute of Postgraduate Studies (IPS) of USM to apply for the final offer letter. In case the application for the final offer letter of admission is not approved by USM, the award will become null and void.
  • The language of instruction is English.



Applicants for these fellowships must meet the following criteria:

  • be nationals of a developing country (other than Malaysia);
  • must not hold any visa for temporary or permanent residency in Malaysia or any developed country;
  • hold a PhD degree in a field of the natural sciences;
  • apply for the fellowship within five years of having obtained a PhD degree in a field of the natural sciences;
  • be regularly employed in a developing country (other than Malaysia) and hold a research assignment there;
  • be financially responsible for any accompanying family member.
  • provide evidence that s/he will return to her/his home country on completion of the fellowship;
  • not take up other assignments during the period of her/his fellowship.


Finding a Potential Supervisor

  • Finding a supervisor is compulsory before submitting to USM an application for a preliminary acceptance letter. The supervisor must be a USM Lecturer (Permanent Appointment).
  • The supervisor must have an active research grant within a minimum of one (1) year on the date when the application is received by the USM Human Resources Division, AND has graduated PhD students as Main Supervisor.
  • A list of potential supervisors can be found at http://experts.usm.my/
  • After having found a supervisor, the applicant must request the supervisor to fill in Section B (Supervisor’s Particulars) of the TWAS-USM Postdoctoral Application Form (Note: The form can be downloaded from this link: http://www.ips.usm.my/index.php/download/category/19-twas)

Request for a Preliminary Acceptance Letter

  • After having found a potential supervisor, applicants must contact the Dean of the USM Institute of Postgraduate Studies (IPS) to request a Preliminary Acceptance Letter.
  • In contacting the Dean of the USM Institute of Postgraduate Studies (IPS), applicants must accompany their request for a Preliminary Acceptance Letter with the documents listed below. These documents must be sent by email in a zip file to elisulastri@usm.my
  • The following documents are compulsory for the evaluation by the USM Human Resource Board (USM HR):
  1. TWAS-USM Postdoctoral Application Form. NB: To download the form, kindly click on the link http://www.ips.usm.my/index.php/download/category/19-twas
  2. Latest Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  3. Certified copies of the Bachelor, Master and PhD certificates
  4. List of Publications (ISI/SCOPUS): NB. Candidates must have a good academic merit and research output with at least two (2) publications in ISI Web of Science (scientific candidates) or Scopus (non-scientific candidates) within the last three (3) years.
  5. Front page of publications (ISI/SCOPUS)
  6. Letter of recommendation/supporting letter from current employer (Date: DD/MM/2019)
  7. A summary proposal / Research Plan


Submitting your application

  • The deadline for receipt of applications by TWAS is extended to 31 July 2019.
  • Applicants must submit the Acceptance Letter from the USM Institute of Postgraduate Studies (IPS) when applying to TWAS or by the deadline at the latest. Without the acceptance letter, the application will not be considered for selection.
  • Applications for the TWAS-USM Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme can ONLY be submitted via the online portal. A tutorial on how to use the online application form is available below for download.
  • Please be advised that applicants may apply for only one programme per calendar year in the TWAS and OWSD portfolio. Applicants will not be eligible to visit another institution in that year under the TWAS Visiting Professor programmes.One exception: The head of an institution who invites an external scholar to share his/her expertise under the TWAS Visiting Professor programmes may still apply for another programme.


Contact Details

TWAS Fellowships Office
ICTP Campus, Strada Costiera 11
34151 Trieste, Italy
Phone: +39 040 2240-687
Fax: +39 040 2240-689
E-mail: fellowships@twas.org

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)
Prof. Rozman Hj Din
Dean, Institute of Postgraduate Studies (IPS)
11800 Penang, Malaysia
Phone: +604 6532930
Fax: +604 6532931
dean_ips@usm.my, twasusm@gmail.com, elisulastri@usm.my
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