Call opens for 2018 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation award nominations for early-career women scientists in the developing world

Nominations for excellence in research in the chemistry, mathematics and physics accepted until September 15, 2017

Amsterdam, June 20, 2017

Nominations opened today 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 Dr. 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 66 scientifically 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.”

Read more on Elsevier Connect.


Notes for editors
Nomination applications can be downloaded from the OWSD website and submitted through September 15, 2017 to

About OWSD
The Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) provides research training, career development and networking opportunities for women scientists throughout the developing world. Headed by eminent women scientists from the South, OWSD has more than 6,000 members and runs various programmes, including a PhD fellowship programme with 200 successful graduates from Least Developed Countries and Sub-Saharan Africa. OWSD is the first international forum to unite eminent women scientists from the developing and developed worlds with the objective of strengthening their role in the development process and promoting their representation in scientific and technological leadership. OWSD is affiliated with The World Academy of Science (TWAS) and based in Trieste, Italy, with national chapters throughout the developing world.

About The Elsevier Foundation
The Elsevier Foundation provides grants to knowledge centered institutions around the world, with a sustainability focus on innovations in health information, diversity in STM, research in developing countries and technology for development. Since 2006, the Foundation has awarded more than 100 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. The Elsevier Foundation is a corporate not-for-profit 501(c)(3), funded by Elsevier, a global provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services.

About Elsevier
Elsevier is a global information analytics business that helps scientists and clinicians to find new answers, reshape human knowledge, and tackle the most urgent human crises. For 140 years, we have partnered with the research world to curate and verify scientific knowledge. Today, we’re committed to bringing that rigor to a new generation of platforms. Elsevier provides digital solutions and tools in the areas of strategic research management, R&D performance, clinical decision support, and professional education; including ScienceDirect, Scopus, SciVal, ClinicalKey and Sherpath. Elsevier publishes over 2,500 digitized journals, including The Lancet and Cell, 39,000 e-book titles and many iconic reference works, including Gray's Anatomy. Elsevier is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers.

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