Call open for 2017 Elsevier Foundation Award Nominations for Early-Career Women Scientists in the Developing World

Published: Wednesday 22nd June 2016


Nominations for excellence in research in the field of engineering and innovation accepted through September 1, 2016

Amsterdam, June 22, 2016 – Nominations opened today for the Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early-Career Women Scientists in the Developing World, a high-profile honor for scientific and career achievements by women from developing countries in five regions: Latin America and the Caribbean, the Arab region, Sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South Asia, and East and South-East Asia and the Pacific. The theme for 2017 will be engineering and innovation. Nominations will be accepted through September 15, 2016.

The awards are sponsored and organized by The Elsevier Foundation, the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) and The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries (TWAS). The competition will be judged by a distinguished panel of international scientists; one winner from each region will be announced in February 2017 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Boston. The five winners will each receive a cash prize of US$5,000 and all-expenses paid attendance at the AAAS meeting. The winners will also receive one-year access to Elsevier’s ScienceDirect and Scopus.

The Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early-Career Women Scientists rotate annually between disciplines (biological sciences, engineering sciences, and physical sciences) to ensure optimal exposure and networking synergies. Previous winners say the awards have had a powerful impact, enhancing the visibility of their research and creating new opportunities for the future.

Dr. Ethel Nakimuli-Mpungu, the 2016 African winner and psychiatric epidemiologist at Makerere University College of Health Sciences in Kampala, Uganda, noted: “Winning the Elsevier Foundation Award was an honor beyond measure. Finally, my ten years of research received the recognition it deserved. The award resulted in more visibility for my research nationally and internationally. It opened doors to more research collaborations and increased opportunities, as well as invitations to high-level global meetings.” Dr. Mpungu’s research focuses on mental health interventions for HIV/AIDS patients suffering from depression. After receiving her award, she was recognized with a Presidential Medal on International Women’s Day as one of the Women Achievers in Uganda.

Nominations for the 2017 awards will be accepted for early-career women scientists working in engineering who have received their PhDs within the past 10 years and live in one of the 81 scientifically lagging countries as defined by TWAS. All nominations will be reviewed by a committee of eminent researchers who represent the five regions, including members of TWAS and OWSD, and chaired by OWSD President Jennifer Thompson.

Discussing the awards, Thompson commented: “I urge all young women working in these fields to make sure you are nominated. The voices and perspectives of women are sorely lacking in these areas of science. You can make a difference!”

Romain Murenzi, Executive Director of TWAS, said, “It’s very exciting that the Elsevier Foundation Awards, for the first time, will focus on engineering.” Engineering is essential for achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals – in areas as diverse as energy and water, industrial development, and in building cities of the future. The 2017 Elsevier Foundation Awards will show us the excellent results women are achieving in engineering, and encourage women’s future work in these fields.”

“We have worked with OWSD and TWAS to develop these awards over the past 5 years—and we’re really starting to see the benefits that recognition and role models have on women scientists from developing countries. Our award winners from past years are truly emerging as leaders both in their fields and among their own communities of women scientists,” commented David Ruth, Executive Director of the Elsevier Foundation.

Nomination applications can be downloaded from the OWSD website and submitted through September 15, 2016 to

About TWAS
The World Academy of Sciences works to advance innovation and sustainable prosperity in the developing world through research, education, policy and diplomacy. TWAS was founded in 1983 by a distinguished group of scientists under the leadership of Abdus Salam, the Pakistani physicist and Nobel Prize winner. Today, the Academy has some 1,175 elected Fellows from 90 countries; 16 of them are Nobel laureates. Throughout its history, its mission has focused on supporting and promoting excellence in research in the developing world and applying science and engineering to global challenges. TWAS receives core funding from the Government of Italy. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) administers TWAS funds and personnel. The Academy is based in Trieste, Italy.

About OWSD
The Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) is an international organization affiliated with TWAS. Headed by eminent women scientists from the South, OWSD has more than 4,000 members. The central role is to promote women’s access to science and technology, and their greater involvement in decision-making processes for the development of their countries and in the international scientific community. Created in 1989, OWSD’s overall goal is to bridge the gender gap in science and technology. OWSD promotes leadership and provides networking opportunities for women scientists as well as exploring and improving strategies for increasing female participation in science.

About the Elsevier Foundation
The Elsevier Foundation provides grants to knowledge centered institutions around the world, with a focus on diversity in STM, health information delivery, research in developing countries, nurse leadership and sustainability. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than 100 grants worth over $5 million to non-profit organizations working in these fields. Through gift-matching, the Foundation also supports the efforts of Elsevier employees to play a positive role in their local and global communities. The Elsevier Foundation is a corporate not-for-profit 501(c)(3), funded by Elsevier, a global provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services.

About Elsevier
Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress. Elsevier provides web-based, digital solutions — among them ScienceDirect, Scopus, Elsevier Research Intelligence and ClinicalKey — and publishes over 2,500 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and more than 35,000 book titles, including a number of iconic reference works. Elsevier is part of RELX Group, a world-leading provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.

Media contact
Edward Lempinen
TWAS Public Information Officer
+39 040 224 0512

Ylann Schemm
Program Director, Elsevier Foundation
+31 623 982 359

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