The COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis, affecting human health as well as economies of societies worldwide. One consequence will be the slowdown of work towards sustainable development, and the pandemic will hinder efforts of many nations to achieve some of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In this context, the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) would like to  promote and support research on key challenges directly or indirectly related to the COVID-19 pandemic choosing this year to focus on women.

Under this scheme, qualified women researchers from 57 IsDB Member Countries are invited to form a joint research collaboration consisting of two groups working on challenges directly and indirectly related to COVID-19.  One of the two groups must be within an IsDB Least Developed Country (*). Examples of research areas include, but are not limited to:

  • Examples of specific themes include, but are not limited to:
  • Epidemiology of COVID-19 o Dealing with consequences of COVID-19
  • Regional studies of COVID-19 infection o Identification of possible sources of viruses: prevention of new zoonotic diseases of HIV, SARS, MERS, COVID-19: lessons to learn on infections arising through species jump
  • Evolution of viral disease: from animal to human and mutations of human strains
  • Developing an emergency R&D response to any emerging infectious disease
  • Discovery and development of diagnostics and therapeutics in viral outbreak
  • Dealing with viral infections: real-time data collection of the spread and preparation for future outbreaks
  • Remote diagnosis and treatment


The Joint Research & Technology Transfer Grant will be awarded to the project which demonstrates the best potential to advance knowledge and help address the present and future challenges created by the COVID-19 outbreak, while ensuring strong collaboration between the partner institutes. The grant amounts to a maximum of US$ 50,000, per group. 


Eligibility Criteria


  • Both Principle Investigators (PI and PI2) must be female national of an IsDB member country and hold a PhD with good research experience and lead each research group. (Note: The PI will be responsible for the coordination of the research, submission of requested documentation, management of the funds and reporting of the expenses. All TWAS correspondence will be with this PI).
  • Either of the PIs should be a national of an IsDB Least Developed Country.
  • Each member of the group should operate in a university or research institution in one of the 57 IsDB member countries and should be represented in the proposal by a PI. No age limit is applied to the grant.
  • Individual young scientists or leaders of research units currently holding a TWAS Research Grant in the Basic Sciences are not eligible.


How to apply:



(*) IsDB LDMCs 

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Togo, Uganda and Yemen


IsDB member countries

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyz Republic, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen