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 2021 awards are now OPEN!
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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

Succeeding in the competitive world of science is challenging under the best of circumstances. But women scientists in countries with scarce resources and competing cultural expectations face significant additional obstacles as they strive to excel at careers in science. This awards program takes those factors into account by recognizing the research excellence of early-career women scientists from 81 developing countries. The program builds on the Elsevier Foundation-OWSD Awards for Young Women Scientists from the Developing World, which granted awards in 2010 and 2011.

Prizes are awarded annually on a rotating basis among the disciplines of Biological Sciences, Engineering Sciences and Physical Sciences. Each of the five winners will present their papers at the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which is attended by leading scientists, engineers, educators and policymakers from around the world.

Each year a total of five winners are selected, from the following regions: Latin America and the Caribbean; East and South-East Asia and the Pacific; Central and South Asia; Sub-Saharan Africa.

Meet the 2020 winners

Dr. Fathiah Zakham (Yemen): For her research focused on developing rapid, accurate and cheap tools for the detection of the causal agent of tuberculosis and the control of drug-resistance TB strains.

Dr. Champika Ellawala Kankanamge (Sri Lanka): For her research focusing on controlling invasive macrophytes (aquatic plants) in river ecosystems by restoring shade and encouraging the natural resistance of native plants to invasive species.

Dr. Samia Subrina (Bangladesh): For her research on the modeling of thermal and electronic transport in nanoscale materials and the application of these materials in nanoscale devices.

Dr. Chao Charity Mbogo (Kenya): For her research supporting students in resource-constrained environments to learn to program using mobile devices.

Dr. Susana Arrechea (Guatemala): For her research focusing on the potential industrial and environmental applications of materials such as nanoparticles, nanotubes, and graphene, which can be employed in creating more sustainable building materials.

Every year, we celebrate the five winners of the OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early-Career Women Scientists in the Developing World during a special ceremony at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting. This year, five women scientists from Bangladesh, Guatamala, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Yemen will be honored for their outstanding contributions in engineering, innovation and technology. Read more about their experience: “Live from #AAASmtg… [Read more]

Early-career researchers living and working in Bangladesh, Guatemala, Kenya, Sri Lanka, and Yemen have been recognized for their work in engineering, innovation and technology Seattle, February 12, 202o. Five researchers have been named winners of the 2020 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early-Career Women Scientists in the Developing World for their research in engineering, innovation and technology. The winning scholars from Bangladesh, Guatemala, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Yemen are… [Read more]

SEATTLE — Their stories are as fascinating as their science. Five women scientists have traveled here from Bangladesh, Guatamala, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Yemen to be honored for their outstanding contributions in engineering, innovation and technology. On Saturday, they received the OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early-Career Women Scientists in the Developing World at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting. Each winner presented her research and talked… [Read more]

A public health researcher is exploring ways to improve primary healthcare’s response to violence against women Nearly one in three women worldwide experience physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner over their lifetime, according to data from the World Health Organization. As Dr. Amira Shaheen learned, the numbers were the same in her native Palestine. But as often happens in public health and epidemiology, the numbers don’t tell the full… [Read more]

Environmental biotechnologist Dr. Tabassum Mumtaz is developing methods to disintegrate plastic waste and make biodegradable plastics from bacteria It’s no secret that plastic bags have been causing problems around the world. In Bangladesh, they were clogging drain pipes and causing sewage to overflow. These disposable bags linger for decades after they are discarded, along with other non-biodegradable waste. But are they really non-biodegradable? What if these bags could… [Read more]

Ethnobotanist Narel Paniagua-Zambrana of Bolivia turned her dream into a life’s work; then something happened to cast her into the limelight Dr. Narel Paniagua-Zambrana got a glimpse of the course her life would take when she was a child growing up in mining camps in the mountains outside La Paz, Bolivia. Her father, a geologist, worked as an engineering supervisor in a variety of tin mines. One day,… [Read more]

5 researchers from developing countries are preparing to accept the 2019 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Award for their work in the physical sciences Uduak Okomo, PhD, is one of five winners of the 2019 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Award for Early-Career Women Scientists in the Developing World. She is a Clinical Research Fellow for the Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.   Washington,… [Read more]

As an environmental researcher, Dr. Dawn Fox of Guyana finds ways to turn “trash into treasure” – literally and figuratively Dr. Dawn Iona Fox has been passionate about chemistry since high school. Then a national disaster set her on a trajectory that would define her career. In 1995, the tailings dam at the Omai Gold Mine in Guyana cracked, spewing contaminants into a river people relied on for drinking, fishing,… [Read more]

These are the 2018 winners of the OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Award for Early-Career Women Scientists in the Developing World. Learn more about them here – and meet them at AAAS.

AUSTIN, Texas — They’ve journeyed halfway around the globe to world’s largest science conference, and now – jet lag aside – they’re preparing for a big day on Saturday. They’re early-career researchers from Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ecuador, Guyana and Indonesia, and they’re being recognized for their outstanding work in the physical sciences – mathematics, physics and chemistry – and for mentoring young scientists in their communities. Their research runs the… [Read more]

  Early-career researchers living and working in Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ecuador, Guyana, and Indonesia have been recognized for their work in mathematics, physics and chemistry Austin, TX, February 15, 2018 Five researchers have been named winners of the 2018 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early-Career Women Scientists in the Developing World for their research in the physical sciences. The winning scholars from Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ecuador, Guyana, and Indonesia are being recognized for… [Read more]

Applications for the 2021 awards will be accepted until 30 September 2020 for early-career women who have made significant contributions in the fields of Physical Sciences (i.e. chemistry, mathematics and physics). Evidence of innovation will be considered favourably.

For FAQs about eligibility, prizes and the selection process, please refer to the OWSD website.