Contest aims to boost innovation in sustainability research

Published: Monday 3rd July 2017
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TWAS-Elsevier Foundation Sustainability Case Studies Competition announces its 2017 winners, who are all from Africa

How do we empower young female farmers in Ethiopia to be an active part of society? Can we reduce malnutrition by promoting health education and latrine use in Kenya? Could we use native medicinal plants to investigate new anti-cancer compounds in developing countries?

These are some of the questions asked by researchers of the winning projects of the TWAS-Elsevier Foundation Sustainability Case Studies Competition, which aims to stimulate innovative solutions to challenges in the developing world and raise awareness about sustainability issues.

The competition targets PhDs students who are fellows of TWAS – The World Academy of Science and the Organization for Women in Science in the Developing world (OWSD), asking them to reflect on local issues and outline sustainable solutions with a focus on the gender dimension. The five 2017 winning case studies – all in Africa – focus on food security, energy, climate change, water and sanitation, and green chemistry. The winners will receive a $1,000 prize and an all-expenses paid award to participate in the inaugural TWAS Young Affiliates Network Conference, held in conjunction with the Brazilian Academy of Sciences in Rio de Janeiro August 22 to 24.

In addition to this competition, the partnership between the Elsevier Foundation and TWAS covers a large number of initiatives that promote scientific collaboration and support the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The PhD Fellowship travel grants, for example, enable students who are working on one or more of the goals to participate in South-South exchanges. Also, the Elsevier Foundation sponsored a symposium titled “Facing Global Epidemics” at last year’s TWAS Annual Meeting. Because the meeting was held in Rwanda for the first time, the panel presented an important opportunity to engage with the local scientific community.