Type of Funding
The 2019 TechWomen Program, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is inviting women from developing countries in Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East, who are leaders in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, to apply for participation in the program. Selected TechWomen will work together with their professional counterparts in the United States in a mentorship and exchange program.
The program targets women who are rising in their professional careers in STEM fields and who show promise of being role models for others in their countries, particularly for women and girls. Applicants should choose 1 of the following tracks based on their area of expertise and interest: Biotechnology, Green/clean technology, Information technology, Internet, Science or Telecommunications. This track becomes the basis for the professional programming that the Emerging Leader will participate in throughout the program.
One hundred and eight women Emerging Leaders will be selected for the 2019 TechWomen Program which will take place over 5 weeks from September to October 2019. The 2019 TechWomen program includes project-based mentorships, workshops, and targeted meetings in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as special events and debrief activities in Washington, DC. The 2019 TechWomen program will begin with 4 weeks in San Francisco and Silicon Valley for workshops and project-based mentorships at host companies. It will conclude in Washington, D.C. with several days of meetings and special events. Each participant works on a collaborative project based on her professional goals, with her Professional Mentor.
Each Emerging Leader also has the opportunity to explore the Bay Area with Cultural Mentors who facilitate activities to deepen mutual understanding. Cultural Mentors take participants to local attractions, art exhibits, sporting events and local universities, among other local activities. Participants will also have the opportunity to explore San Francisco and tour national landmarks while in Washington, DC.
The following costs are covered by the TechWomen program: roundtrip international airfare from participant home country to the U.S.; domestic airfare from San Francisco to Washington, D.C.; accommodation in San Francisco or Sunnyvale, California during the mentorship period; meals and incidentals; hotel stay in Washington, D.C.; public transportation to the participant’s host company; and local transportation to group program events in the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, D.C.
Participants are responsible for the cost of any non-program activities such as independent sightseeing and cultural events, as well as any non program-related domestic or international travel.
The TechWomen program is unable to accommodate participants’ spouses, children, or other dependents.
Applicants must be women with at least 2 years full-time professional experience in the STEM fields and possess at the minimum, a Bachelors degree or 4-year university degree or equivalent. Internships and other unpaid work experience does not count toward the 2-year professional experience requirement.
They have to be proficient in English and only those who are citizens and permanent residents of the following countries are eligible: Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Palestinian Territories, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan or Zimbabwe. They must be eligible to obtain a U.S. J-1 exchange visitor visa and not have applied for an immigrant visa to the U.S. (other than the Diversity Immigrant Visa, also known as the “visa lottery”) in the last 5 years. U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents are not eligible.
Preference will be given to applicants who are emerging leaders in their chosen professional track as evidenced through their work experience, volunteer experience, community activities, and education, and who are committed to returning home to share what they have learned and to mentor women and girls. Those who have limited or no prior experience in the U.S. and who have a proven record of voluntary or public service in their communities as well as a track record of entrepreneurialism and commitment to innovation, are also preferred. Women who are willing and keen to be mentored and participate in exchange programs as well as new partnership development, and who are confident and mature are particularly encouraged to apply. TechWomen encourages people with diverse backgrounds and skills to apply, including those with disabilities.
Applications are to be done online by 16 January 2019.