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TWAS Newsletter
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Nominations open for OWSD-Elsevier Awards

Nominations open for OWSD-Elsevier Awards

The 2018 awards honour superior achievement in the physical sciences by early-career women scientists from the developing world. The deadline: 15 September 2017.

The call for nominations is open for the OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early-Career Women Scientists in the Developing World, a high-profile award which honors the scientific and career achievements of 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 2018 will be physical sciences including chemistry, mathematics and physics. Nominations will be accepted until September 15, 2017.

The awards are a collaboration between the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) and The Elsevier Foundation. The competition will be judged by a distinguished panel of international scientists. One winner from each region will be announced in February 2018 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Austin, Texas. The five winners will each receive a cash prize of US$5,000 and all-expenses paid attendance at the AAAS meeting.

The awards 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 research and career opportunities.

“I am happy and proud to have received the OWSD-Elsevier Foundation award. It strengthens my commitment to engage in the scientific development of my country and of the Andean region," said  Rivera Velásquez, who received the 2017 award in engineering and innovation.

“I was overwhelmed by the commitment and determination of the five winners in 2017. Their ambition to succeed, even under the most adverse conditions, is an inspiration to women scientists world-wide. They are true role models and we applaud their achievements,” said Jennifer Thomson, president of OWSD. “The value of these awards is far more than a mere prize. The exposure that the winners receive, not only at the award ceremony and during the AAAS conference, but long after due to the contacts they are able to make, is life-changing.”

Nominations for the 2018 awards will be accepted for early-career women working in the physical sciences who have received their PhDs within the past 10 years and live in one of the 80 science- and technology-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 Thomson.

“Visibility and role models are critical for early career women scientists, and even more so in developing countries where women often face compounding societal pressures. This year, we have awarded our 7th group of winners and I can vouch for the impact this has on their careers: opening doors to new research assignments, greater mobility and enhanced international collaboration opportunities,” remarked Ylann Schemm, Director of the Elsevier Foundation. “Partnering with OWSD to support a new generation of emerging women leaders in science and technology continues to be a real honor.”

OWSD, founded in 1989, is affiliated with TWAS and the two organisations work together on a range of issues related to science in the developing world. OWSD has more than 6,000 members. 

Tonya Blowers

Tonya Blowers is the programme coordinator of the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World.