Elsevier Foundation Awards 2012 Grants to Champion Libraries in Developing Countries and Women in Science
$650,000 awarded to Innovative Libraries, New Scholars and Nurse Faculty Programs
Amsterdam, December 11, 2012 – The Elsevier Foundation announced today the 2012 grant recipients for the Innovative Libraries in Developing Countries and New Scholars award programs. In total, $650,000 has been committed to eight institutions around the world in addition to five ongoing multiyear grants and the Nurse Faculty program. The Elsevier Foundation is funded by Elsevier, a global provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services.
“The Elsevier Foundation supports projects for their potential to serve as a model with lasting impact on our health and science communities,” said David Ruth, Executive Director of the Elsevier Foundation and Senior Vice President Global Communications, Elsevier. “This year, we’ve chosen compelling proposals which address information literacy, research capacity building, women scientists’ professional development and stemming postdoc attrition.”
The Innovative Libraries in Developing Countries program awards grants to libraries for innovation in improving access and use of scientific, technical and medical information. The 2012 library grant recipients address real developing world issues through the use of STM information resources and include:
- E-Library Training Initiative in Latin America & Asia, MLA/Librarians Without Borders
- Enhancing Access to Research in Central and West Africa, Information Training & Outreach Centre for Africa, ITOCA
- Strengthening evidenced based healthcare in Tanzania, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania
- Nepal Knowledge Nexus, Dhulikhel Hospital
“The Elsevier Foundation grant will enable us to address the critical need for capacity building and information literacy to boost Africa’s participation in the global research community,” said Gracian Chimwaza, Executive Director, Information Training & Outreach Centre for Africa (ITOCA), “Making research available is one step—another vital step is ensuring that we help build researchers’ information literacy skills. This will ensure that this critical knowledge-sharing process is ultimately sustainable. Our project will empower the research community from this region to also contribute and share their innovations and research with the rest of the world.”
The New Scholars Program supports projects to help early- to mid-career women scientists balance family responsibilities with demanding academic careers and addresses the attrition rate of talented women scientists. The 2012 grants include:
The National Postdoc-Societies Collaboration to Boost Retention of Women Postdocs National Postdoctoral Association
- National Assessments in Gender and Science, Technology and Innovation, Women in Global Science and Technology (WISAT)
- The Appalachian Women Scientists program, Appalachian State University
- The Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early Career Women Scientists in the Developing World, TWAS and OWSD
"The postdoctoral position is a critical transition point when the numbers of women researchers decline significantly,” noted Cathee Johnson Phillips, Executive Director of the National Postdoctoral Association. “The National Postdoctoral Association has been working to provide resources that foster the academic career advancement of women postdocs, and with the generous support of the Elsevier Foundation, we will be able to build on that effort with professional societies and associations.”
In 2012, the Elsevier Foundation’s Nurse Faculty Program continued to support a multiyear grant to Sigma Theta Tau International Foundation for Nursing to develop an 18 month leadership academy and alleviate the nursing faculty shortage through retaining and transitioning new nurse educators to the faculty role.
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About The Elsevier Foundation
The Elsevier Foundation is a corporate charity funded by Elsevier, a global provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The Elsevier Foundation provides grants to knowledge centered institutions around the world, with a focus on developing world libraries, nurse faculty and scholars in the early stages of their careers. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than 60 grants worth millions of dollars to non-profit organizations working in these fields. Through gift-matching, the Foundation also supports the efforts of Elsevier employees to play a positive role in their local and global communities. www.elsevierfoundation.org
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Enhancing access to research for academic and research institutions in Central and West Africa, Information Training & Outreach Centre for Africa, ITOCA, South Africa
This Elsevier Foundation grant addresses a very real problem - how to encourage more institutions in West and Central Africa to register for and make use of the 18,000 international journals, books and databases that are now freely available through Research4Life. Out of 7,000 institutions registered for Research4Life, 3,000 are from Sub-Saharan Africa, but less than 300 have registered from Angola, Chad, DR Congo, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Niger, Liberia, Mauritania, Sierra Leone and South Sudan. ITOCA, an African NGO will deliver experienced and focused outreach, community-building and information literacy training which will ensure that researchers and higher education students can fully benefit from these free resources.
E-Library Training Initiative in Asia and Latin America, MLA/Librarians Without Borders
Through a grant from the Elsevier Foundation, the MLA/Librarians Without Borders® (MLA/LWB) program will provide critical information literacy training supporting the usage high quality STM information in low use Asian and Latin American areas. Since 2008, MLA/LWB has created multi-language, online distance learning courses, cross program and discipline training and train-the-trainer sessions across the developing world. This project will have strong multiplier effects as the training and instructional material developed will be shared by users at all Research4Life eligible institutions.
Nepal Knowledge Nexus, Dhulikhel Hospital / Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences
In Nepal, 57% of the population lives on less than $3 a day. Despite Research4Life eligibility, access to and usage of medical literature is inadequate due to a lack of infrastructure and expertise. Dhulikhel Hospital (DH) and Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences (KUSMS) have a unique reach across Nepal, providing health care degrees and extended care to 12 affiliated health centers and 20 community outreach centers in rural areas. The proposed multi-purpose learning facility will not only allow students and staff from DH/KUSMS to access Research4Life, but also staff at the rural centers across Nepal. Basic telemedicine capabilities with specialists at DH/KUSMS will further improve the quality of health services at these rural centers. This project has the potential to go far beyond a small infrastructure building grant to provide serious research on the effect of enabling access to major scientific, technical and medical information resources and how this affects health outcomes and the shift from print textbooks to online journals.
Strengthening professional’s skills in evidence based health care in Tanzania, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania
Over the past ten years, access to critical health research has vastly improved across Africa, but this has yet translated into improved patient outcomes on a comprehensive scale. Today most patients in Tanzania benefit from medical treatment, but would benefit far more if health professionals provided care based on the latest scientific knowledge now available to them. With a grant from the Elsevier Foundation, Muhimibili University aims to build the skills and awareness necessary to create an evidence-based medical treatment culture across Tanzania. The training process will be matched with a national study measuring the results of providing information access and EBHC training, and to correlate these to changes in health care practices and eventually to health care outcomes.
The National Postdoc-Societies Collaboration to Boost Retention of Women Scientists, National Postdoctoral Association
The postdoctoral training period represents a critical transition point in the academic pipeline where the numbers of women scientists and engineers decline significantly. While the relative number of women decreases at every step along a research career path, the heaviest attrition occurs before tenure track and in the fields with the largest numbers of postdocs. Through a grant from the Elsevier Foundation, the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) will tackle this loss of talent through a targeted collaboration with scientific societies to produce a postdoc guidebook for navigating the academic pipeline. The NPA is a non-profit with an excellent track record of enhancing the quality of the postdoc experience and thereby maximizing the effectiveness of the research community.
National Assessments in Gender and Science, Technology and Innovation in Latin America, WISAT
The Gender Equality Knowledge Society (GEKS) indicator framework was developed after studies showed that women, particularly in the developing world, continue to be on the wrong side of the digital and innovation divides. Women generally experience lower levels of access to information and technology, and are poorly represented in education, entrepreneurship and employment in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). Gaps in women’s access to resources, opportunities, rights, education, financing, as well as S&T, greatly diminish the potential of a country to achieve progress, reduce poverty, and improve the overall quality of life. This Elsevier Foundation grant follows a 2010 gender-benchmarking grant supporting the assessment of five countries with highly accelerated growth in the research arena: South Korea, India, Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa. The new gender benchmarking studies will provide a Latin American regional focus covering: Argentina, Chile and Mexico.
The Appalachian Women Scientists program, Appalachian State University
Women scientists often choose to work at smaller institutions because they consider these institutions more family-friendly. However, while they may enjoy better work-life balance, they also have heavier teaching loads, smaller salaries, less internal funding for professional travel and early-career research; weaker on-campus research laboratories, computing and administrative infrastructure. Institutions with fewer faculty members also offer fewer mentors and role models for women scientists, fewer potential collaborators for scientists in highly-specialized fields, and less peer support for early-career scientists who may be the only women (and/or mothers) within their departments. By providing low cost financial, mentoring, and social support for these women scientists and documenting the return on investment in terms of promotion, tenure attainment, retention, and research productivity. Through a grant from the Elsevier Foundation, the Appalachian Women Scientists program will help ensure that women scientists can choose to work at a smaller institution for work-life balance reasons without stunting their research careers.
The Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early Career Women Scientists in the Developing World, TWAS and OWSD
A grant from the Elsevier Foundation has ensured that an awards program for the recognition of women scientists in the developing world is feasible through 2015. In partnership with TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world, (TWAS) and the Organization for Women for Science in the Developing World (OWSD), the awards provide a deep focus on discipline and professional visibility. The five region-specific annual prizes will rotate between life sciences (2013), chemistry and physics/math and provide professional exposure at the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference in February. Nominations are accepted from early career scientists (within ten years of graduating with a PhD degree) from the 81 countries with low scientific output as defined by TWAS. They will be reviewed by a committee of distinguished life scientists chaired by OWSD president, Prof. Fang Xin. The 2013 award winners will receive their awards at the annual AAAS, Gender and Minorities Networking Event in Boston in February 2013.
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