Supporting Women in Science

​​​About the Project​

Supporting Women in Science' is an innovative research capacity-building programme for early-career women researchers/practitioners pursuing careers in reproductive, maternal, fetal, and newborn health, nutrition and development, climate change, and SDGs. Under the leadership of the IGHD, AKU and the University of Oxford, this programme aims to enhance women's scholarly output and curtail gender-based leadership biases in the low- and middle-income countries of South and Central Asia and East Africa.​

Areas of Focus

This programme is focused on the following research areas:

  • Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) 

  • Pregnancy, perinatal and newborn care 

  • Maternal and child nutrition challenges 

  • Optimizing child and adolescent growth and development  

  • Climate change and its impact on maternal, newborn, and child health 

  • Health and health-related SDGs implementation and monitoring ​


The programme will be delivered in phased approach:

I. Application call and selection

Early-career women faculty and research managers from South and Central Asia and East Africa with a commitment to pursue a research career in sexual reproductive health, feto-maternal medicine, perinatal and newborn health and nutrition, climate change, and SDGs will be asked to apply. A select group of women scientists/researchers and practitioners will be shortlisted for the self-learning online modules.​

 II. Evaluation through self-learning certified courses

Select candidates would be asked to take a set of online courses. Offered by the University of Oxford and the Aga Khan University, the course catalogue will comprise of mandatory and elective courses. Formal evaluation will be based on a combination of participatory analysis, followed by an InterSCALE membership certification of online learning.

 III. Fellowship with University of Oxford or Aga Khan University

A panel of 15 InterSCALE fellows will be shortlisted based on the summative core course evaluation from the previous step. The selected candidates would be invited to a one-year 'distant-learning blended research fellowship' at University of Oxford or Aga Khan University (Karachi and Nairobi) with an assigned supervisor. The fellows would develop a research protocol for a grant of 12 months. All fellowship applicants would be required to provide a proof of clearance in an English proficiency online course available at AKU. 

 IV. Supervised, fully funded research project

InterSCALE fellows will be funded for supervised funded research project of 12 months with a named mentor.

 V. Presentations at international conferences or select webinars

These candidates would also be given an opportunity to present their work at an international conference or webinar.

​Eligibility Criteria

  • ​Assistant professors and below or postdoctoral fellows
  • Research managers
  • Scientists undertaking research in South and Central Asia and East Africa
  • Scholars pursuing careers in reproductive, maternal, fetal, and newborn health, nutrition and development, climate change, and SDGs

Research Partners

This research project is jointly implemented by the Institute for Global Health and Development at the Aga Khan University, Centre for Global Child Health at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), and University of Oxford, with the funding support of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Dr. Zulfiqar A Bhutta, Distinguished University Professor and Founding Director, Institute for Global Health and Development and Dr. Jai K. Das, Assistant Professor, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health & Assistant Director, Institute for Global Health Development are the leads of the program.  

Applications for the 2023 cycle are now open.​ Click here​. ​

​For more information on the programme, click he​re​. ​​