Funding remains one of the main problems associated with Open Access. If readers do not have to pay for access to scientific knowledge, someone else has to cover costs of publishing. There is a growing number of so-called author-pays journals that offer high quality editorial services and global dissemination of research, but their charges are sometimes too high for researchers from low-income countries. Fortunately, although the majority of funders that support Open Access are based in Western Europe, some offer funding for researchers working in the developing world. One of them is The World Academy of Sciences, established by Abdus Salam, the Pakistani physicist and Nobel laureate.
The World Academy of Sciences is based in Triest (Italy), but offers grants mostly to scientists from low-income countries. TWAS grants may cover Article Processing Charges (APC) in Open Access journals. Thanks to them, academics from the developing world may reach a broad audience by publishing in international, Open Access publications. Application calls are open at the moment and August 31 is the deadline for all calls, so there is not much time left.
TWAS offers four research grant programs. Three of them are included in the ‘TWAS Research program in basic sciences’ (for individuals, groups and institutions), where grants can be spent on research in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics, conducted in one of 81 science-and-technology-lagging countries in Asia, Africa and Americas (full list is here). To apply for a grant in basic sciences individually you have to hold a PhD and be under the age of 45.
The fourth, ‘TWAS-COMSTECH Joint Research Grants’, is a program intended for scientists under the age of 40, holding PhD and based in countries belonging to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Grants may cover research in earth sciences, engineering sciences, information technology and computer sciences, and materials science including nanotechnology, pharmaceutical sciences and renewable energy.
All grants from TWAS may be used to purchase scientific equipment, consumables and specialized textbooks and proceedings. They do not cover salaries or travel expenses. The purchase of laptops and laboratory animals is not supported.
See more about grant opportunities on the TWAS web page. If you are a researcher based in a middle or low-income country, have a look also at my post on Wellcome Trust funding opportunities. Visit also a ‘Funding Open Access‘ tag on our blog for more information.