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The call for applications for the 21st edition of the L'Oreal-UNESCO Scholarship Programme for Women and Science is open until May 11. For years, Polish female scientists researching the broadly defined life sciences have been given the opportunity to present and promote their scientific achievements and have received annual scholarships.

- 'The L'Oreal UNESCO For Women and Science programme helps and supports women researchers at different stages of their careers: preparation of their master's thesis, dissertation or application for a post-doctoral degree. Awarding scholarships is one way of supporting women wishing to develop their scientific careers. What is very important, the scholarships may be used for any purpose: to pay for a trip for a scientific internship, to buy books or necessary scientific materials, but also to pay for child/children care. It is the scholarship holders who decide how to use the funds they receive,' says prof. dr hab. Ewa Łojkowska from the Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology UG and GUMed, the chairwoman of the jury of the Polish edition of the L'Oréal-UNESCO Programme for Women and Science.

The call for online applications for the 21st edition of the L'Oréal-UNESCO Scholarship Programme for Women and Science will run until May 11, 2021. For years, Polish female scientists conducting research have been given the opportunity to present and promote their scientific achievements and an annual scholarship. The organiser and partners of the programme, together with the jury, are again looking for female researchers who want to present their research and present plans for its development. The programme is aimed at women at both early and advanced stages of research work, who are active in the broadly defined life sciences.

- 'Apart from the scholarship, scholarship holders have the opportunity to promote their scientific achievements and research projects. The competition has been running for 20 years and during that time there have been over 3,000 publications in the media about the programme and its scholarship holders, the situation of women in the world of science and the need to promote diversity in scientific teams,' adds prof. Ewa Łojkowska.

The 17-member jury chaired by prof. Ewa Łojkowska will distinguish 6 female researchers by awarding: 3 habilitation scholarships of PLN 35,000 each, 2 doctoral scholarships of PLN 30,000 each and 1 master's scholarship of PLN 20,000. In addition, all L'Oréal-UNESCO Programme for Women and Science scholarship holders receive conference scholarships from the Ministry of Education and Science to promote their achievements at international scientific conferences in Europe. The official announcement of the names of the scholarship holders of the 21st edition of the programme is scheduled for October this year.

- 'I encourage all ladies to apply for this year's edition of the L'Oreal UNESCO Programme for Women and Science. Competition is likely to be fierce, usually, more than 20 candidates apply for one scholarship, but the satisfaction of receiving a scholarship is enormous. Researchers studying or working at the University of Gdańsk have already received numerous scholarships and dr Agnieszka Gajewicz from the Faculty of Chemistry was even a laureate of L'Oreal UNESCO Programme for Women and Science INTERNATIONAL RISING TALENTS,' - emphasises prof. Ewa Łojkowska.

Applications may be sent via the Applications page for the 21st edition of the L'Oréal-UNESCO Programme for Women and Science. There, you will find, among other things, the rules and regulations, which specify the principles, conditions and criteria for application. Researchers can submit their scientific achievements in three categories: postdoctoral, doctoral and master's, describing their scientific workshop, obtained results and plans to conduct research in the area of life sciences, including medicine, biology, physics, chemistry, biotechnology.

The programme is open to female researchers who live in Poland and in the year of the prize payment (2022) will not have reached the age of 26 in the case of master's students, 32 in the case of doctoral students, and 40 in the case of post-doctoral students. The rules of application provide for the possibility of extending the age limit by an additional year in the case of candidates who have been on maternity leave during their scientific work (respectively, in the case of female master's students up to the age of 27, in the case of female doctoral students up to the age of 33, and in the case of female post-doctoral students up to the age of 41).

Over the last 20 years, scholarships have been awarded to 105 outstanding female researchers working in Poland. In the jubilee, 20th edition of the Programme for Women and Science in 2020, six exceptional women were awarded. The results of last year's edition will be announced in April during an online event.

- 'There are many ambitious and talented female scientists in Poland who need support to develop their scientific potential and promote their research results. Continuing to support women in science is particularly important now, during the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic, which has lasted for over a year when the role of life sciences is so crucial. We want to recognise and promote their work, thus strengthening the representation of women in the world of science,' - adds prof. Ewa Łojkowska.

The University of Gdańsk has a large representation of female scientists, who in the past years have become scholarship holders of the L'Oreal UNESCO Programme for Women and Science. These are:

- Małgorzata Czyż, Faculty of Biology, habilitation scholarship, 2001;

- Magdalena Ślusarz, Faculty of Chemistry, PhD scholarship, 2005;

- Sylwia Rodziewicz-Motowidło, Faculty of Chemistry, postdoctoral scholarship, 2009;

- Aleksandra Markiewicz, Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology UG and GUMed, doctoral scholarship, 2014;

- Agnieszka Gajewicz-Skrętna, Faculty of Chemistry, postdoctoral scholarship, 2017;

- Karolina Pierzynowska, Faculty of Biology, postdoctoral scholarship, 2020;

- Ewelina Król, Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology UG and GUMed, postdoctoral scholarship 2020.

More information about the programme at www.lorealdlakobietinauki.pl

Julia Bereszczyńska/Press Office of University of Gdańsk