Eleven Women Scientists Announced as Winners of the Elsevier Foundation OWSD Awards

OWSD Awards

The Elsevier Foundation, TWAS — the academy of sciences for the developing world, and the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) recognized 11 women scientists from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean for their research excellence. The announcement was made at the International Symposium on Women in Science and Engineering (WISE 2011), held in conjunction with the International Year of Chemistry 2011 and hosted by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and Institut Kimia Malaysia (IKM) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Each winner will received a cash prize of $5,000.

"Once again, the standard of the winners selected for the OWSD Awards for Young Women Scientists from the Developing World has been outstanding," said Professor Fang Xin, President of OWSD. "For us, this is not a surprise, as we are well aware of the excellent contributions that women are making to science. The aim of the OWSD Awards, therefore, is to honor the work of these young researchers, bringing it to the attention of the scientific and policy-making communities in their countries, and to highlight their successes so that they may act as role models to other girls and young women who might be considering a career in science."

Lubna Tahtamoouni, winner from The Hashemite University in Jordan said: "Over the years, I came to recognize that it is difficult for women to do science since they have to juggle their career, marriage, motherhood and other social obligations. Winning such an award made me more confident about my decision of pursuing a career in science. Women need recognition, especially young women to give them that head start and confidence. This award is celebrating women."

Through a grant from the Elsevier Foundation, the OWSD Awards for Young Women Scientists from the Developing World were expanded to cover three disciplines in each region: Biology, Chemistry and Physics/Mathematics. The grant was made as part of the Elsevier Foundation New Scholars program, which supports programs for women scholars during the early stages of demanding careers in science and technology.

"We know from experience how important it is to fight the steady loss of talented women in science caused through lack of support during critical family building years, lack of networking opportunities and mentorship — or simply a lack of recognition and opportunities," said David Ruth, Executive Director for the Elsevier Foundation, remarked. "Congratulations are in order to our eleven winners and the excellent research they have undertaken over the past years. Each of these scientists represents a powerful role model to colleagues and the next generation of women scientists in the developing world."