The Elsevier Foundation, TWAS, and OWSD Launch Awards Recognizing Women Scientists in Developing Countries

Celebrating the achievements of early career women scientists creates role models, critical to retaining top talent and building a stronger research culture in developing countries

Amsterdam, July 19, 2012 - The Elsevier Foundation, the academy of sciences for the developing world (TWAS) and the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) announced today the launch of an awards program recognizing talented early career women scientists from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Each winner will be celebrated for their research excellence and receive a cash prize of US$5,000 at the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference in February 2013. In addition, winners will be reimbursed the full cost of attending the conference (including travel, accommodation and registration). The 2013 awards focus on life scientists and nominations will be accepted through Sept 30th.

The awards program builds on the 2010 - 2011 Elsevier Foundation OWSD awards program providing a deeper focus on discipline and professional visibility. The five region-specific annual prizes will rotate between the life sciences, chemistry and physics/math disciplines to ensure optimal exposure and networking synergies. Nominations will be accepted from early career scientists (within ten years of graduating with a PhD degree) from the 81 scientifically-lagging countries as defined by TWAS. All nominations will be reviewed by a committee of eminent life scientists from the five regions involved, including members of TWAS and OWSD, and chaired by OWSD president, Prof. Fang Xin. The 2013 award winners will receive their awards at the AAAS’ annual Gender and Minorities Networking Event.

“TWAS is a firm supporter of recognition awards for women scientists,” said Professor Romain Murenzi, Executive Director of TWAS . “We need to ensure that the conditions are right for women to succeed in science and celebrate their successes.In addition, the AAAS interdisciplinary scientific conference is a prestigious place to celebrate these accomplishments and will provide important opportunities for networking.”

David Ruth, Executive Director of the Elsevier Foundation, said, “The Elsevier Foundation strives to support early career women scholars in balancing demanding scientific careers with family responsibilities through grants for mentoring, research retreats, professional visibility, childcare, work-life integration and recognition programs. Stemming the loss of talented women in academia needs to be tackled around the world by raising awareness among scientists, policymakers, journalists and the public. We’re honored to provide these awards together with our distinguished partners, TWAS and OWSD.”

"Honoring the work of early career women researchers is critical to creating a new generation of role models who will contribute significantly to advances in science and health,” remarked Professor Fang Xin, President of OWSD .

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About TWAS
TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world, is an autonomous international organization, based in Trieste, Italy, that promotes scientific excellence for sustainable development in the South. Originally named "Third World Academy of Sciences", it was founded in 1983 by a distinguished group of scientists from the South under the leadership of the late Nobel laureate Abdus Salam of Pakistan. The Academy's strength resides in the quality and diversity of its membership - internationally renowned scientists elected by their peers. TWAS currently has more than 900 members from 90 countries, 73 of which are developing countries. It is administered by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and financially supported by the Italian government.

About OWSD
The Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) is an international sister organization of TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world. OWSD is headed by eminent women scientists from the south, consisting of more than 3,000 members. The central role is to promote women’s access to science and technology, enhancing their greater involvement in the decision-making processes for the development of their countries and in the international scientific community. Created in 1989, OWSD overall goal is to work towards bridging the gender gap in science and technology. OWSD uses its forum for intellectual discussions to assist in the development of national capabilities to evolve, explore and improve strategies for increasing female participation in science.

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.

About Elsevier
Elsevier is a global information analytics company that helps institutions and professionals progress science, advance healthcare and improve performance for the benefit of humanity. 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, ClinicalKey and Sherpath. Elsevier publishes over 2,500 digitized journals, including The Lancet and Cell, more than 35,000 e-book titles and many iconic reference works, including Gray's Anatomy. Elsevier is part of RELX Group, a world-leading provider of information and analytics to professionals and business customers, in a wide range of industries.