Since 2012 the OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early-Career Women Scientists in the Developing World recognize the achievements of researchers who have made significant contributions to the advancement of scientific knowledge. The program represents a longstanding partnership between the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) and the Elsevier Foundation.

Applications for the 2024 awards are now closed.

About the awards

“These scientists are performing groundbreaking international-level science, often in circumstances where the deck has been stacked against them, They deserve to be honored and celebrated for their dedication not only to their research but to creating a better world for people to live in.” OWSD President Prof. Jennifer Thomson

Women scientists in the global South often experience isolation, lack of role models and visibility. For the past ten years, the Elsevier Foundation has collaborated with the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) to address these issues through a unique awards and recognition program for early career women scientists from the global South.

Since 2013, more than 60 researchers from over 35 countries have won the awards. Each winner receives a cash prize and is sponsored to attend a prominent scientific conference in their field where they receive their awards at a special ceremony, attend workshops and sessions, meet experts, visit local laboratories and institutions, and attend a celebratory networking event.

In 2021, OWSD and the Elsevier Foundation decided to re-focus the awards to align more closely with the United Nations SDGs. The awards’ annual focus was shifted from specific scientific disciplines to broader SDG topics and research areas welcoming a range of interdisciplinary approaches. The 2023-2026 awards cycle is focused on: 2023: Food Security, agricultural productivity and sustainable food production (SDG2), 2024: Water, sanitation and hygiene (SDG6), 2025: Inclusive Health (SDG3), 2026: Sustainable, affordable and reliable energy (SDG7).

Download the partnership factsheet

Meet the 2024 winners - Water & Sanitation