TWAS-Abdool Karim Award in Biological Sciences

This award, named after TWAS President Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim, is designed to honour women scientists in Least Developed African countries for their achievements in Biological Sciences. It carries a cash award of USD5,000 generously provided by Professor Abdool Karim.

TWAS is inviting nominations for the 2024 Award from all its members as well as science academies, national research councils, universities and scientific institutions in developing and developed countries.


The award recognizes women scientists for their achievements in Biological Sciences.

Eligible nominees for the 2024 award are female scientists nationals of a Least Developed African country who have been living and working there for at least two years immediately prior to their nomination. (i.e. from 01/02/2022);

Fellows of TWAS are not eligible

Self nominations and nominations from jury members will not be considered.

The same nominee cannot be nominated for more than one 'Fellows of TWAS Awards' in a given year. The secretariat retains the right to bring to the attention of the relevant nominators that the nomination may be suitable for another award, and the final decision whether or not to shift the nomination will be taken by the nominators themselves.


A pre-screening of the candidates will be done at TWAS, the nomination dossiers of the qualified candidates will then be submitted to jury members for their evaluation. Based on this evaluation Prof. Quarraisha Abdool Karim will select the winner.


2024 nominations can only be submitted electronically through the on-line platform by clicking on the “NEW NOMINATION” button at the bottom of this page.

To resume working on saved nominations, click on the "RESUME" button at the bottom of this page.

The extended deadline for submitting nominations is 10 May 30 June 2024, however we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the deadline but submit the nomination as early as you can to enable us to process it as quickly as possible.


A nomination is considered complete only if includes all of the following information/material:

  • Nominator contact details;
  • Nominee contact details (self nominations and nominations from jury members are not accepted) and general information on the nominee, including the country where she has been working and living in the past 2 years;
  • Authorization from the nominee (i.e. the candidate) to process her personal data for the purposes of her nomination, in conformity to Art. 13 of the Italian Legislative Decree 196/2003. This authorization can only be submitted through the online platform. The privacy authorization form is available for download in the section ‘nominee’s personal data’. The form must be filled in and signed by the candidate and then uploaded onto the on-line platform;
  • Suggested citation (15-20 words highlighting the nominee's scientific achievements in Biological Sciences);
  • Supporting statement regarding the nominee’s contribution in Biological Sciences. Supporting statements should explain in detail the work performed by the candidate and its significance in the relevant scientific context. Clear reference should be made to the scientific impact of the nominee's work. Vague supporting statements will not be considered and will negatively affect the evaluation;
  • Clear and detailed account of any time spent abroad by the nominee in the past two years;
  • PhD: information on subject area, year and awarding institution;
  • Brief information on membership in academies and societies;
  • Brief information on awards and honours received;
  • List of 10 most significant publications listed in an internationally acceptable format;
  • The nominee's brief CV and her complete list of publications are also to be uploaded, separately, onto the online platform.
  • The nominee's h-index in Google Scholar and the associated number of citations.


1) While filling in the form, pay attention to the requirements for each field (e.g. maximum number of characters, file type, date format, etc.)

2) Run a check using the button of the form menu to verify that mandatory fields have been filled in and the data you entered are accepted. This also saves your form.
Every time you run a check, you are taken to the last section of the form named "Submit". Use the form menu to navigate to the previous sections.

3) After you run a check, fields with NOT ACCEPTED OR MISSING DATA will be highlighted in RED.
Please note that once you have duly modified the content of one or more fields, the red highlight will not disappear until you run again a check.

For quick tips, please click on: http://onlineforms.twas.org/documents/Applicants_tutorial.pdf

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Previous winners of the TWAS-Abdool Karim Award

2023 – Sanata Bamba Pakotogo of Burkina Faso, for her contribution to the diagnosis and management of post-tuberculosis chronic pulmonary aspergillosis in a tuberculosis endemic area in Burkina Faso.

2022 – Damalie Nakanjako of Uganda, for her clinical and translational studies on mechanisms of immune activation, inflammation, and recovery of innate and adaptive immunity during chronic HIV infection and antiretroviral therapy in sub-Saharan Africa.

2021 – Djeneba Dabitao of Mali, for her contribution in the field of inflammatory cytokine responses in health and disease.

2020 – Faith Hope Amongin Osier of Kenya, for her contribution to understanding the mechanisms of acquired immunity against Falciparum malaria in humans.

2019 – Fathiya Mbarak Khamis of Kenya, for her exemplary contributions in molecular biology and population genetics for sustainable pest management for food security in Africa.

2018 – Sedaminou Judith Gbenoudon of Benin, for her particular devotion to research in the field of immunobiology and for results that change the perception of severe malaria disease.

2017 – Barbara Burmen of Kenya, for her innovations in the clinical practice, policy and research mentorship focused on HIV and tuberculosis.


Eligible candidates for the 2023 award are female scientist national of a least developed African country. Until 2022 eligible candidates were female scientists national of a low income African country.

During the TWAS Council meeting held in Hangzhou, China, on 11 November 2019, the request by UNESCO to change the term 'prize' to 'award' for all existing and new TWAS distinctions other than medals was approved and therefore this award scheme is now called 'TWAS-Abdool Karim Prize Award'.

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