OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early-Career Women Scientists in the Developing World

Since 2012 the OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early-Career Women Scientists in the Developing World recognize the achievements of researchers who have made significant contributions to the advancement of scientific knowledge. The program represents a longstanding partnership between the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) and the Elsevier Foundation.


“These scientists are performing groundbreaking international-level science, often in circumstances where the deck has been stacked against them, They deserve to be honored and celebrated for their dedication not only to their research but to creating a better world for people to live in.

OWSD President Prof. Jennifer Thomson


Succeeding in the competitive world of science is challenging under the best of circumstances. But women scientists in countries with scarce resources and competing cultural expectations face significant additional obstacles as they strive to excel at careers in science. This awards program takes those factors into account by recognizing the research excellence of early-career women scientists from 81 developing countries. The program builds on the Elsevier Foundation-OWSD Awards for Young Women Scientists from the Developing World, which granted awards in 2010 and 2011.

Prizes are awarded annually on a rotating basis among the disciplines of Biological Sciences, Engineering Sciences and Physical Sciences. Each of the five winners will present their papers at the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which is attended by leading scientists, engineers, educators and policymakers from around the world.

Each year a total of five winners are selected, from the following regions: Latin America and the Caribbean; East and South-East Asia and the Pacific; Central and South Asia; Sub-Saharan Africa.

Nature of the Awards

  • Five Awards will be awarded annually, one each to a female scientist from one of the five regions of the world: 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 five region-specific annual Awards will rotate between the life sciences, chemical sciences and physical, mathematical and engineering sciences.
  • The five winning scientists will be celebrated for their research excellence, and receive a cash prize of USD5,000 in addition to a year’s complimentary access to ScienceDirect and all-expenses-paid attendance at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), where the awards ceremony will take place. The winners will also be invited to attend international events pertaining to OWSD.

Award partners


OWSD logo


2020 winners


  • Samia Subrina, PhD, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology- Electrical Engineering (Bangladesh)
  • Susana Arrechea, PhD, University of San Carlos of Guatemala - Chemical Engineering (Guatemala)
  • Champika Ellawala Kankanamge, PhD, University of Ruhuna - Civil and Environmental Engineering (Sri Lanka)
  • Fathiah Zakham, PhD, Hodeidah University - Bioengineering and Microbiology (Yemen)
  • Chao Charity Mbogo, PhD, Kenya Methodist University - Computer Science (Kenya)

Read the full article on Elsevier Connect



  • Tabassum Mumtaz of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (Asia Pacific region);
  • Uduak Okomo of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in the Gambia (Africa region);
  • Narel Paniagua-Zambrana of the National Herbarium of Bolivia and Universidad Mayor de San Andres (Latin America and the Caribbean region);
  • Tista Prasai Joshi of the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (Asia Pacific region);
  • Amira Shaheen of An-Najah National University in Palestine (Arab region)

Read the full article on Elsevier Connect



  • Hasibun Naher of BRAC University in Bangladesh (Central and South Asia Region);
  • Germaine Djuidje Kenmoe of the University of Yaounde 1 in Cameroon (Sub-Saharan Africa Region);
  • Silvia González Pérez of Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja in Ecuador (Latin America and the Caribbean Region);
  • Dawn Iona Fox of the University of Guyana (Latin America and the Caribbean Region) and
  • Witri Wahyu Lestari of the Universitas Sebelas Maret, Surakarta in Indonesia (East and South-East Asia and the Pacific Region).

Read the full article on Elsevier Connect



  • Dr. Tanzima Hashem, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Bangladesh (Central and South Asia Region);
  • Dr. María Fernanda Rivera Velásquez, Universidad Nacional de Chimborazo, Ecuador (Latin America and the  Caribbean Region);
  • Dr. Felycia Edi Soetaredjo, Widya Mandala Catholic University Surabaya, Indonesia (East and South-East Asia and the Pacific);
  • Dr. Grace Ofori-Sarpong, University of Mines and Technology, Ghana (Sub-Saharan-Africa) and
  • Dr. Rania Mokhtar, Sudan University of Science and Technology, Sudan (Arab Region).

Read the full article on Elsevier Connect



  • Sri Fatmawati,Laboratory of Natural Product and Chemical Synthesis, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, Surabaya, Indonesia;
  • Sushila Maharjan,Research Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology (RIBB) in Katmandhu, Nepal;
  • Magaly Blas,Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru;
  • Etheldrera Nakimuli‐Mpungu, Makerere University College of Health Sciences in Kampala, Uganda and
  • Ghanya Naji Mohammed Al-Naqeb, Faculty of Agriculture, Sana’a University, Yemen.

Read the full article on Elsevier Connect



  • Nashwa Eassa, PhD, Assistant Professor of Physics, Al Neelain University, Khartoum
  • Dang Thi Oanh, PhD, Head of the Division of Science, Thái Nguyên University of Information and Communications Technology
  • Mojisola Oluwyemisi Adeniyi, PhD, Head of the Atmospheric Physics/Meteorological Research Group, Department of Physics, University of Ibadan
  • Mojisola Usikalu, PhD, Senior Lecturer in Physics, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria and
  • Rabia Salihu Sa'id, PhD, Deputy Dean of Student Affairs, Bayero University, Kano

Read the full article on Elsevier Connect



  • Dr. Nilufar Mamadalieva, Institute of the Chemistry of Plant Substances in Tashkent, Uzbekistan (Central & South Asia)
  • Dr. Leni Ritmaleni ,Faculty of Pharmacy at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia (East and South-East Asia & the Pacific)
  • Dr. Simone Ann Marie Badal McCreath, Natural Products Institute at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica (Latin America & the Caribbean)
  • Dr. Eqbal Mohammed Abdu Dauqan, Department of Medical Laboratories Sciences at Al-Saeed University in Taizz, Yemen (Arab region) and
  • Dr. Taiwo Olayemi Elufioye, Department of Pharmacognosy at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria (Sub-Saharan Africa).

Read the full article on Elsevier Connect



  • Dr. Adediwura Fred-Jaiyesimi (Pharmacology and medicinal plants), Department of Pharmacognosy, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Nigeria.
  • Dr. Nasima Akhter (Medical Sciences), Center for Nuclear Medicine and Ultrasound, the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission, and Dhaka Medical College Hospital Campus in Bangladesh.
  • Dr. Dionicia Gamboa (Molecular Biology/parasitology), Department of Cellular and Molecular Sciences and Institute of Tropical Medicine & Alexander Von Humboldt, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru.
  • Dr. Namjil Erdenechimeg (Biochemistry), Institute of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Mongolian Academy of Sciences, Mongolia.
  • Dr. Huda Omer Basaleem (Community and Public Health), Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Aden University, Yemen.

Read the full article on ElsevierConnect

Application process


  • Candidates must be female early-career scientists (within ten years of earning their PhD degree).
  • At nomination, candidates must have lived and worked for at least 5 of the last 15 years in one of the countries listed in the nomination form.


  • The competition will be judged by a distinguished panel of international scientists, including members of TWAS, OWSD and ICTP, and chaired by OWSD.
  • The assessment will be based on achievements in the field, with particular attention paid to the nominees’ publications in international peer-reviewed journals.


    Applications are invited from women scientists from the eligible developing countries and they must be made online. Applications must include the candidate's curriculum vitae, full list of publications, at least one reference letter, endorsement statement from a senior academic scientist.

    Please consult the ed in the nomination form for the full nomination procedure.


Contact the OWSD:

OWSD Secretariat
ICTP campus
Strada Costiera 11
34151 Trieste, Italy
Phone: +39 040 2240321
Fax: +39 040 2240689
Email the OWSD