Woman undertaking a scientific experiment in a lab

The gender gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is well documented. But not only do women make up a fraction of the workforce and research teams in STEM, they are published less, paid less and are less likely than their male counterparts to reach positions of leadership, despite being proven to be on average 8% more productive. 

The British Council has established programmes to support women and girls in STEM around the world, designed with a lifecycle approach in mind: from inspiring young girls to stay in STEM, to supporting women working in STEM fields reach positions of leadership and network with their peers in their region and the UK.

About this opportunity

Access to education is a contributing factor leading to the underrepresentation of women in STEM, and to help address this, we are expanding on our current work and launching the British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM.

The objective of this call and the programme is to provide opportunities for 90 women from across South and South East Asia and the Americas to complete a Master’s degree in a STEM field in the United Kingdom. The scholarships will cover all academic fees and a bursary for all living expenses.

In the short term, this opportunity will provide the women with a foundation to launch their careers in higher education and research in their home country. In the long term, as alumni, we expect the group of scholars to take a key role in the advocacy of girls and women in STEM in their home country, leading to lasting impact.

Who can apply?

Scholars from the following countries will be eligible in this first iteration of the programme (which we hope can attract further funding and expand in years to come):

Americas South Asia South East Asia
Argentina Afghanistan Cambodia
Brazil Bangladesh Indonesia
Colombia India Laos
Cuba Nepal Malaysia
Jamaica Pakistan Myanmar
Mexico Sri Lanka Philippines
Peru   Thailand
Venezuela   Vietnam

This call seeks proposals from UK institutions, with a commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) values, who wish to host a minimum of five Master’s Scholars, in an eligible programme from the following programme areas:

  • Health and Life-Sciences
  • Climate Change
  • Energy Transition
  • Environment
  • Agriculture
  • Industry 4.0 
  • Conversion masters from BA/MA in a range of disciplines

For more details about eligibility criteria, please refer to the full Call for Proposals document in the Downloads section below.

How to apply

In order to participate in this call, UK institutions are requested to:


All clarification questions should be submitted to UK.Scholarships@britishcouncil.org by 23 October 2020.

The deadline for completing the Expressions of Interest form and returning all completed supporting documentation is 6 November 2020, 12pm (UK time).

 The British Council will inform bidding institutions of the results by 18 November 2020.