UNESCO awards fellowships for 15 female scientists
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the cosmetics company L’Oréal today awarded annual fellowships to 15 promising young women scientists as part of their efforts to foster global scientific cooperation.
Today’s recipients join a group of 120 fellows from 67 countries who have benefited from the UNESCO-L’Oréal Fellowships, which allow doctoral and post-doctoral female scientists to conduct research in laboratories outside their home countries, since the programme’s inception in 2000.
The fellowships seek to promote cross-cultural networks, and candidates’ projects are forwarded to the selection committee by UNESCO National Commissions.
The research topics selected often pertain to local populations’ needs or original fields of research such as the characterization of a protein with healing properties that is produced by catfish.
Four of this year’s recipients represent countries new to the programme: Gabon, Mongolia, Nepal and Slovenia. The other countries of origin of the winners are Mozambique, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Italy and the Netherlands.
UNESCO and L’Oréal joined forces in 1998 to create the “For Women in Science” initiative, and in the decade since its establishment has become one of the largest programmes promoting women’s contributions in science.
In addition to the fellowships awarded today, five outstanding women scientists – one from each continent – are chosen every year to receive the L’Oréal-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science to serve as role models for future generations. The 2008 honourees will be announced tomorrow at UNESCO’s Paris headquarters.
Additionally, to date, 340 women from 35 countries have received national fellowships from UNESCO and L’Oréal.