Early-career women scientists in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region experience limited financial resources to conduct research, especially at the research or academic institutions they work for. Although many Arab nations have recognized the relevance and need to increase spending on scientific research over the past few years, and although spending has indeed increased, it still remains much lower than that of developing countries. Moreover, early-career women researchers have limited interaction with global research organizations to enhance their expertise.
They also work in a region that is characterized by increasing rates of population and constrained water and land resources. Their research needs to focus on addressing challenges facing the agricultural sector which requires development to achieve water, food and nutrition security.
In collaboration with the Civilian Research Development Foundation (CRDF Global) based in the USA, ICBA launched in March 2016 an award competition targeting early-career women scientists in the MENA region. The grant supports four research teams from the MENA region who will work with US partners on the following areas:
- Breeding/genomics of important food crops and resilience to climate change and salinity
- Water, soil and nutrient management to enhance resilience to climate change and salinity