National Fellowships now in the Philippines to assist deserving women scientists
Globally, more than half of the university degree-holders are women but only 30% of them are in the sciences and technology. In research, women represent only 25% of the population. In the 109 years of existence of the Nobel Prizes in science, only 2.9% of the Nobel Laureates are women. The data is not only surprising but also very discouraging to some, especially to the younger generation of women who dream of a career in science.
Twelve years ago, two organizations pledged to change these numbers; sharing a vision to identify, reward and encourage women scientists. The unique partnership of L’Oréal, the worldwide leader in cosmetics, and UNESCO, a specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes international collaboration through education, science and culture, has resulted in one of the most prestigious international programs, For Women in Science (FWIS). Being the first of its kind to devote international awards to women in science, FWIS has vigorously been promoting excellence among young women scientists worldwide for more than a decade. It has become one of the most anticipated annual events in the scientific community in more than 93 countries. Hauling over this ambitious program to the local scene, L’Oréal – Philippines is in unison with the other participating countries as they proudly shout their battle-cry, “The world needs science…Science needs women.”
L’Oréal Philippines launched today the first-ever For Women in Science National Fellowships – Philippines in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and UNESCO Philippines. Luc Olivier-MARQUET, Managing Director of L’Oréal Philippines says, “In L’Oréal, we firmly believe that science plays a major role in developing a country. Through the fellowship grants, we would like to assist Filipina scientists in creating concrete contributions through their research to help the country they call home.”
Two fellowship grants worth PhP400,000 each, will be given to two deserving women based on the judging criteria of an esteemed jury chaired by none other than Professor Lourdes Cruz, the first Filipino and first ASEAN Laureate of the FWIS L’Oréal-UNESCO Awards. “I am so delighted that the FWIS National Fellowships is now here in the Philippines. This remarkable program will give Filipina scientists, especially those who need financial support, a golden opportunity to pursue their research”, Prof. Cruz said.
For its first year, FWIS National Fellowships – Philippines will accept research proposals related to the Life and Material Sciences from applicants who hold a Ph.D. degree in any field of science and are not more than 45 years old.
Key personalities in the two partner institutions expressed their commitment to support the program. Secretary Mario Montejo says, “This initiative will be a boost to our local women scientists. Since this will be an annual program, we are assured that the awarding body of FWIS will continue to acknowledge and promote women in science.” Jean Tuason, Deputy Executive Director of UNESCO adds, “FWIS, whether at an international or national level, will always represent an invaluable source of motivation and inspiration; most especially for the younger generations.”
Alongside the many countries with their own FWIS National Fellowships, the Philippines will now contribute to the diversification of scientific research. Truly, wherever science is becoming a priority, L’Oréal and UNESCO are there to support the women who dream of making a difference in the field.