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TWAS Newsletter
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New grants to support women and enact climate action

New grants to support women and enact climate action

UNESCO-TWAS is partnering with the Elsevier Foundation to launch a new grants programme targeting the urgent issues of climate change and gender equity

The Academy and its multi-year partner the Elsevier Foundation launched a new grant programme today, 21 February, designed to support both women in science and climate research in the developing world.

The Elsevier Foundation-TWAS Project Grants for Gender Equity and Climate Action are available to teams of 2–5 women—scientists and technical experts—and the principal applicant must be a woman scientist from a science- and technology-lagging country

These grants are directly tied to Sustainable Development Goals 5, on gender equality, and 13, climate action, and aim to prompt women’s well-being and strengthen the scientific response to climate change. The programme is community-focused: one of its aims is, in fact, to take scientists outside their laboratories and apply their research to tangible climate action in their local context.

The Elsevier Foundation and UNESCO-TWAS have a decade-long history: it was 2012, when this partnership was instrumental to the setting-up and the launching of the Awards programme recognizing talented early-career women scientists from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. The Award programme was organized along with the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD). The Elsevier Foundation also worked with UNESCO-TWAS to sponsor expert visits to help build scientific capacity in the global South: the successful TWAS-Elsevier Foundation Sustainability Visiting Expert” programme started in 2016, lasted three years, and included some strikingly transformative projects. The foundation also sometimes sponsors symposia at TWAS General Conference. This latest programme further strengthens this partnership.

"Knowledge deriving from scientific research often suffers from not being applicable to real-life scenarios, especially in the global South, slowing down real progress," said Elsevier Foundation Director Ylann Schemm. "With our new TWAS-Elsevier Foundation grants we are supporting women researchers from developing countries to reinforce both scientific and soft skills, such as project management, leadership and science diplomacy. We want to ensure that research is being done with and for local communities, especially supporting women researchers in their efforts to drive sustainable progress for all."

"UNESCO-TWAS is deeply committed to taking action to combat climate change and its impacts, and to empowering women in science. And we are pleased to work with our partners at Elsevier Foundation on this grants programme," said TWAS Executive Director Romain Murenzi. "The global climate emergency requires an interdisciplinary approach, and it is paramount to ensure the full involvement of women."

The application deadline is 19 May.

Sean Treacy