The 5th Annual Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer Research Grant will open applications from 20 March 2023. The grant seeks to support early-career African researchers focused on innovative research that will contribute to the advancement of environmental and allied sciences; and address relevant, real-world, African issues of current and future importance.

Having received over 1,000 applications since its inception, the JWO Research Grant has awarded $600,000 to African researchers pursuing solutions to the continent’s environmental issues.

Previous recipients such as Dr Gideon Idowu of Nigeria are looking at the potential impact of microplastic pollution not only in terms of the ocean where research has been substantial, but also in Africa’s freshwater systems.

“The grant showcases cutting-edge, innovative scientific research ideas and provides a platform to foster and support Africa’s most brilliant minds. By so doing, it contributes African voices into global conversations on environment and sustainability,” says Oppenheimer Generations research and conservation head, Dr Duncan Mcfadyen says. “The work pitched here is cutting-edge, innovative scientific research, that often has the expert panellists in feverish anticipation of who will ultimately walk away with the prize.”

Grant eligibility

The lead applicant should be an early career African scientist, who has strong links to a credible African institution and is proposing to conduct research on the continent. The 2023 JWO Research Grant is encouraging trans-disciplinary research applications that seek solutions to challenges in Africa.

  1. The applicant must hold a degree (PhD, equivalent or higher qualification), and should have no more than seven years of work and/or research experience post-degree (excluding career breaks, including family-related breaks).
  2. The institution must have a proven ability to manage funding and subscribes to good financial grant practice.
  3. The institutional affiliation may be academic, research, government, NGO and for-profit organisation.


The 2023 JWO grant of $150,000 will be awarded to one successful applicant. The grant will support a research programme of up to three years. There will be an annual call for new applications, and the grant recipient will be announced at the Oppenheimer Research Conference. The funds will be distributed in agreed tranches, based on satisfactory progress as measured against agreed milestones.

Applications officially open on 20 March and close on 24 April 2023.

For more information or to apply, visit:


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