Fellowships & Grants Archive

Fellowships & Grants Archive

GWI International Fellowships

GWI’s fellowships programme makes it possible for women graduates to complete exciting research in many important fields. For example, they are exploring new frontiers in medicine, analysing the impact of global trends on women and children and assessing conservation efforts. Many are working in areas directly related to GWI priority interests. Their studies will have far-reaching benefits, for their own careers, and for the communities and countries from which they come.

2012 Conchita Poncini Jimenez Human Rights Fellowship

The International Federation of University Women is pleased to announce the winner of the 2012 Human Rights Fellowship, dedicated to the memory of its long-term member and representative to the United Nations, Conchita Poncini Jimenez, a distinguished and determined advocate for the human rights of women.

The Fellowship was offered to a woman activist or scholar who, having a history of engagement with human rights issues, wished to increase her commitment by a project of research, study or internship that would promote the use of human rights instruments and agreements for the advancement of women and girls and the protection of their human rights.

The Federation received over one hundred and forty applications from women of forty-eight different nationalities and the awarding Committee was almost overwhelmed by the task of selecting one single application from among the great variety of excellent proposals put forward. Nonetheless the final unanimous decision was to make the award to Bahija Alvan Aliyeva, a lecturer in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Psychology at Baku State University of Azerbaijan, for her independent research project “Skewed sex ratio at birth in Azerbaijan: de-jure protection of a woman’s right to bodily integrity versus de-facto misuse of abortions for the purposes of sex selection.” Ms Aliyeva has acted for several years as a gender program analyst for the  United Nation Population Fund in Azerbaijan.

The citation for the award, prepared by the international expert on human rights, Eileen Fegan, reads:

Bahija-picture 2012 resize The judging panel agreed that the proposed research on how reproductive rights for women are misused for the purpose of sex selection, with serious implications for the future male to female population ratio, was highly relevant to the intended purposes of the CPJ Fellowship.

Ms. Aliyeva’s study will draw upon the aspirations of CEDAW and guarantees la id down in the Convention on Rights of the Child, exploring their potential in addressing the cultural preference for sons in Azerbaijan. The public benefit of this research extends not only to the existing and future population of Azerbaijan, but to all countries and cultures where sex selection is practiced.

The panel was deeply impressed by Ms Aliyeva’s evident commitment to human rights and her dedication to redressing women’s human rights issues in her home country. She has a sound background in the area, having studied ‘Theory and Practice of Human Rights’ at Master’s level at the University of Essex, United Kingdom, and having held a ‘Human Rights Education Internship’ at the International Association for Religious Freedom, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Her references showed that she has both the support of the UNFPA and the personal qualities needed to conduct effective research on such a sensitive cultural issue. Her expertise in employing human rights instruments to implement women’s rights was also reflected in the regard in which she is held by those working at high levels in area of women’s rights internationally.

In the field of excellent and accomplished candidates who applied for the CPJ Fellowship, Ms Aliyeva’s awareness of, and ability to initiate an inclusive and informed debate on the implications of sex selection practices on the female population worldwide, was key to the panel’s unanimous decision that the award be used to facilitate this timely and very necessary human rights study.

The Federation of University Women congratulates Ms Aliyeva and looks forward to receiving news of the outcomes of her project.

This Fellowship was financed from the Federation’s own funds and by generous donations from Conchita’s family, friends and colleagues, and IFUW members who wished to share in the commemoration of her work.

Those interesting in supporting this award can contribute by clicking on the donate button to the right.

To see a brief account of the other five short-listed candidates please click here.

International human rights instruments and agreements to protect women human rights, such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), have been adopted, but much work is needed to ensure their implementation at the national  and local level. The Conchita Poncini Jimenez Human Rights Fellowship has been awarded for advanced research, an internship or study related to the use of human rights instruments and agreements for the advancement of women.

Conchita PConchita Poncini Jimenez IFUW Representative to the United Nations 1994-2011


Albert Rickard-Poncini on behalf of the Conchita Poncini Jimenez Family

Murielle Joye-Patry

Willilam and Leigh Bradford Ratteree

Cherie Brade

2011 / 2012- Grantees

GWI International Fellows and Grantees 2011 /2012

See the winners of the 2011/2012 GWI fellowships competition below:


Borbála KOVACS (Romania) – British Federation Crosby Hall Fellowship of £2,500 Social Policy – Childcare arrangements in Romania and the role of childcare policies University of Oxford, UK

Enkeleida RAXHIMI (Albania) – CFUW/A. Vibert Douglas Fellowship of 12,000 Canadian dollars Anthropology – Roma women in Eastern Europe: between ostracism and racism University of Montreal, Canada

Oluwasefunmi Tale AROGUNDADE (Nigeria) – Ida Smedley Maclean Fellowship of 8,500 Swiss francs Computer Science – The integration of non-functional requirements engineering techniques and risk analysis for a cost effective and trustworthy information system. Graduate University Chinese Academy of Science, China

Oluwasefunmi’s testimonial:

“I was a PhD student at the Academy of Mathematics and System Science, Graduate University Chinese Academy of Science from 2009-2012. My research focused on knowledge-based security requirement engineering. During this period I was being sponsored under a post-grauate fellowship provided by Organization for Women in Science for the Developing Countries (OWSD). After one year of my study, I succeeded in publishing two papers. I got to know about GWI by searching the internet for sponsorship for women in science. I applied and I was fortunate to be selected. The award I received from GWI enabled me to attend a major Advancing Technology for Humanity (IEEE) conference, which was the first international conference I attended. I was also able to purchase a handy computer system to faciltate my research and some books that are relevant to my research. Since receiving the award I have published 3 papers from the work in which I duly acknowledge GWI. A copy of each paper was sent to GWI headquarters. Presently I am a researcher and a lecturer at Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Nigeria.”

Tirhas HABTU (Eritrea) – Ida Smedley Maclean Fellowship of 8,500 Swiss francs. African Studies – Gender equality and the political participation of women in Eritrea. University of Vienna, Austria


Jummai Othniel YILA (Nigeria) – Dorothy Leet Grant of 4,000 Swiss francs

Gender and Development – Gender-based analysis of vulnerability and adaptability to climate change among smallholder farmers in the semi-arid Nguru District, Northeastern Nigeria

Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand

Chelsea ROBLES (USA) – Winifred Cullis Grant of 4,000 Swiss francs

Education – Education, tradition and modernisation in Bhutan

Oxford University, UK

Wenxi LI (China) – Winifred Cullis Grant of 4,000 Swiss francs

Law – Developing a regional convention on educational rights in Asia

Queen Mary, University of London, UK

Ligia Margarita BRANDT (Ecuador) – Daphne Purves (NZFGW) Grant of 4,000 Swiss francs

Marine Ecology – To what extent are species unique in the Galápagos Marine Reserve? An examination of functional redundancy across conservation management zones and seasons

Brown University, USA


Danika KLEIBER (Canada/USA) – GWI Recognition Award of 1,000 Swiss francs

Resource Management and Environmental Studies – Gender and community conservation in the central Philippines: Marine protected areas effects on the “invisible fisher folk”

The University of British Columbia, Canada

Peace MEDIE (Ghana) – GWI Recognition Award of 1,000 Swiss francs

International Development Policy, Foreign and Security Policy, African Studies – Theorising policy implementation: enforcing anti-gender-based violence laws in post-conflict Liberia.

University of Pittsburgh, USA

Fabiola MIERES (Argentina) – GWI Recognition Award of 1,000 Swiss francs

International Labour Migration and Development – Private labour contractors in the global political economy of migration

University of Manchester, UK

2008 / 2009 - Grantees

GWI International Fellows and Grantees 2008 /2009

See the winners of the 2008/2009 GWI fellowships competition below:


Midori SATO (Independent, Japan) – British Federation Crosby Hall Fellowship of £2500. Policy process evaluation of free essential health care for the poor and marginalized in Nepal. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, England.

Anke KREY (Independent, Germany) – CFUW/A. Vibert Douglas Fellowship of 12,000 Canadian dollars. Neurochemical disruption associated with mercury exposure in ringed seals & polar bears. University of Northern British Columbia, Canada.

Cristina CAMMARANO (Independent, Italy) – Ida Smedley Maclean Fellowship of 10,000 Swiss francs. Teacher education for a multicultural classroom: Suggestions for a philosophy of multicultural education for teachers. Columbia University, USA.

Alma PEKMEZOVIC (Australia) – Ida Smedley Maclean Fellowship of 10,000 Swiss francs. SJD degree in comparative corporate governance. La Trobe University, Australia and Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany.

Eshani Samantha RUWANPURA (Sri Lanka) – Marjorie Shaw International Fellowship of £3500. Socio-cultural constructions of sexuality: implications for the reproductive health status of young Sri Lankan women. University of Edinburgh and Queen Margaret University, Scotland.


Carla BRAGA (Independent, Mozambique) – Ruth Bowden International Fellowship of 8000 Swiss francs. Pregnant women in Central Mozambique: Biopower, transnational governmentality & women’s experience of living with AIDS. State University of New York, Buffalo, USA.

Dalma DEMETER (Independent, Hungary) – Australian Universities Grant of 5000 Swiss francs. Cohabitation & conflict between different sources of norms governing international commercial arbitration. La Trobe University, Australia.

Chinwe UZOECHINA (Independent, Nigeria) – Dorothy Leet Grant of 6000 Swiss francs. Female genital mutilation as it affects the health of women & young girls . Memorial University, Canada.

Sinith SITTIRAK (Thailand) – NZFGW Daphne Purves Grant of 3000 Swiss francs. The politics of knowledge production in the Thai women’s movement: A critical postcolonial-feminist reclaiming of subaltern knowledge utilizing the grassroots archives of Pornpel Meuansri, a farmer woman. Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

Esmat Samir ZAGHLOUL (Egypt) – Winifred Cullis Grant of 6000 Swiss francs. Helicopter blades & wind turbine aeromechanical design. Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands.


Btihaj AJANA (Independent, France/Morocco) – GWI Recognition Award of 1000 Swiss francs. Biopolitics & bioethnics of biometrics: ID cards & the will to low risk identities . London School of Economics, England.

Einat ALBIN (Israel) – GWI Recognition Award of 1500 Swiss francs. Revisiting the universal approach adopted in labour-protective legislation: A socio-legal analysis of socially & economically disadvantaged workers in the British hospitality industry, University of Oxford, England.

Sandra Bibiana CORREA (Independent, Colombia) – GWI Recognition Award of 1500 Swiss francs. Frugivory in fishes: ecological & evolutionary perspectives, with implications for aquatic ecosystem functioning & conservation, Texas A&M University, USA.

Arwen CROSS (Australia) – GWI Recognition Award of 1500 Swiss francs. Characterisation of protein complexes implicated in blood cell development and leukaemias, University of Sydney, Australia.


Anca GHEAUS (Independent, Romania) – GWI Recognition Award of 1500 Swiss francs. Care & justice in Feminist Ethics: How to make room for human decency, University of Oxford, England.

Iliaria PICCIOLI (Italy) – GWI Recognition Award of 1500 Swiss francs. When nationalism threatens stability: Europe in need of a common approach, Universidad de Deusto, Spain.

Rosario Jessica QUEVADO PEREYRA DE PRIBYL (Independent, Peru) – GWI Recognition Award of 1500 Swiss francs. Ethnomedical practices of traditional healers in Lima: Patterns and examples within the medical pluralism in Peru, Universität Alma Mater Rudolphina, Austria.

Jessica Margaret SCOTT (Canada) – GWI Recognition Award of 1000 Swiss francs. The effects of prolonged exercise on cardiac calcium sensitivity: Underlying mechanisms of cardiac fatigue in male and female triathletes, Liverpool John Moores University, England.

Earlier Grantees

GWI Fellowship 1992

Kamelia Assenova, co-founder and member of the Bulgarian Association of University Women


“My Happy Story”

1992 – In Sofia, Bulgaria, I met a German woman – a member of the EU Parliament – who recommended that I study Finance abroad because of Bulgaria’s transition to a new economic system. I prepared the research project even though my colleagues and I did not have any personal connections with foreign professors to recommend my work. At that time, in our local association in Bulgaria we received information about potential asssistance from the Fellowship Committee of the Graduate Women International (GWI). Within two weeks, three universities in Great Britain offered me a place as a postgraduate student on the basis of my research proposal, of which I ultimately chose the University of West of England in Bristol. I had meanwhile applied for GWI’s Fellowship, though I believed my chances were low as I knew that no women within my region had received this award.

24 March 1992 – I received a letter in the mail from the GWI Fellowship Committee (let’s remember that was an age email!). I simply could not believe the very good news contained inside, as written by Mrs Leigh Bradford Ratteree – Secretary of the Fellowship Committee. I read the letter over and over again- it was unbelievable! I received the award, complete with financial support, on the basis of “recognition of [my] intellectual caliber and the quality of [my] research proposal”.

1993 – At Bristol Business School, I was met with a warm welcome at the University of West of England. My colleagues even recognised my arrival in the university newspaper, writing that they hoped I would enjoy my stay. I certainly did! I learned new knowledge about the market economy, which I was able to take back home to put into practice. The high calibre of professors took great care of me and supported me throughout. My tutor there – Prof. Roger Hussey – and his wife were like my new family and we still remain good friends. Thank you, Roger!

1995 – I took up a teaching position at the university in Bulgaria, where I subsequently received my PhD and became Associate Professor in Finance.

2014 – At the 58th session of the Commission of Status of Women, I was included in the delegation of International Federation of University Women for the session.

All of my hard efforts were made possible because I had been awarded with the GWI Fellowship!



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