Rita R. Colwell Impact Fund Grant Application Details

Rita R. Colwell Impact Fund for the Advancement of Women in Science Internal Grant Program for OIST Science Community Members


It is broadly acknowledged that to combat the major issues that humanity faces, diverse viewpoints, experiences, and expertise across all sectors of society are necessary. Globally, this diversity is lacking in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) where fewer than 30% of researchers are women. In Japan, this number shrinks to below 20%. OIST, in partnership with the OIST Foundation, established the Rita R. Colwell Impact Fund for the Advancement of Women in Science as an extension of our commitment to support and empower women in STEM.

The Colwell Fund is financed by charitable donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations who support our commitment.

General Guidelines:

The Colwell Fund is a flexible financial resource for fostering a culture of diversity and gender equity on campus, nurturing women and girls interested in science, and creating opportunities for women to advance their careers and become leaders in their fields.

Types of Activity the Grant Will Support:

Individual assistance for the career development of a female scientist

Here are some examples, while other academic needs will also be considered:

  • Travel grant for attending professional conferences.
  • Childcare assistance during work-related travel (in supplement to OIST’s Business Travel Support Program for child-rearing employees).
  • Career development courses / courses to develop professional skills.
  • Travel assistance (mini-sabbatical) for major external funding exploration and proposal writing.

Projects and events

Here are some examples, while other project or event proposals with the purpose of advancing women in science are also encouraged:

  • Photography exhibitions featuring women scientists.
  • Workshops/conferences promoting a supportive culture for women in research institutions.
  • Educational outreach activities for high school girls interested in STEM.
  • Scholar visits to bring mentorship / leadership discussions for women scientists on campus.
  • Activities to promote female faculty hiring.


  • Other types of activity, such as long-term programs and awards, will be considered by the Grant Review Committee on a case-by-case basis. 

Who Can Apply:

All members of the OIST scientific research community (including faculty, S&T associates, staff scientists, research unit group leaders, postdoc researchers, research unit technicians, research interns, and research support staff) are welcome to submit applications for individual assistance, projects, or events that align with the general guidelines of the Colwell Fund.

Applications by non-research staff members for projects and events are acceptable on a case-by-case basis, provided the project or the event aligns with the general guidelines of the Colwell Fund.  

Grant Amount:

  • Individual Assistance: Maximum 500,000 JPY per grant
  • Projects and Events: Maximum 1 million JPY per project or event

Application Cycles:

     The grant application for 2022 is closed. Please check back for updates in 2023

Awarded activities, projects, or events must take place within one year of the application date.

Number of Grants for Each Cycle: 1-3 depending on the amount of each grant awarded.

Selection Criteria:

Applications for individual assistance will be judged on the academic needs of the individual and the expected outcome of the proposed activities.

Application for a project or an event will be judged on the feasibility and the expected outcome of the project or event. Priority will be given to projects and events that maximize impact with cost-benefit efficiency.

For further details please scroll down to the application form.

How to Apply:

Fill out the application webform.

Further Inquiry: