Building the best quality science requires equal commitment from both sexes. Bridging the gap will enable women to realise their full potential and achieve scientific success alongside men. However, besides systemic changes, it is essential to provide financial support to help female scientists reconcile their family and professional roles. The call for applications for the Polish 23rd edition of the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women and Science programme is now open, with female researchers applying for scholarships that they can use for any purpose.
- 'We have awarded scholarships to talented female researchers for over two decades. Unlike others, funds from the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women and Science programme can be used for any purpose. Female researchers can subsidise their projects and take care of their leisure, and female researchers-mothers, for example-can, fund childcare. This year, we have made two significant changes. We have increased the size of the scholarships: we will award one master's scholarship of PLN 25 000, two doctoral scholarships of PLN 35 000 each and three postdoctoral scholarships of PLN 40 000. In addition, we have raised the age limit for female candidates, extending the possibility to apply with a maximum of two years for each child,' - says prof. dr hab. Ewa Łojkowska, chairwoman of the Jury of the Polish edition of the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women and Science programme, working at the University of Gdańsk. - 'We are also keen to promote women's scientific achievements because, as research results show, they often lack the self-confidence and need for self-promotion that men do so well at,' - she adds.
Over the past 22 years, scholarships have been awarded to 117 outstanding female scientists in Poland. Female researchers can submit their scientific achievements in areas such as life sciences, medical and health sciences, agricultural sciences, and science or engineering, among others: medicine, biology, physics, chemistry and biotechnology. Researchers at any stage of their scientific career who, in the year of payment of the award (2024), will not have reached their 26th birthday - in the case of female master's students, 32nd birthday - in the case of female doctoral students, and 40th birthday - in the case of female postdoctoral researchers - may apply to the programme. The application rules allow extending the designated age limit by an additional two years in the case of female candidates who have been on maternity leave during their scientific work. Applications to the programme can be submitted via the platform www.forwomeninscience.com.
For more information: Homepage - L'OREAL for Women and Science (lorealdlakobietinauki.pl)
About the L'Oréal-UNESCO Programme for Women and Science
The aim of the L'Oréal-UNESCO Programme for Women and Science, which has been running since 2001, is to promote the scientific achievements of talented female researchers, encourage them to continue their work aimed at advancing science and provide financial support. The partners of the Programme are the Polish Committee for UNESCO, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Polish Academy of Sciences and the UNGC Network Poland. Until 2022, 117 female researchers have been awarded in Poland. The selection, each year, is made by a Jury chaired by prof. dr hab. Ewa Łojkowska.
Poland is one of 118 countries where scholarships for talented female scientists are awarded yearly. The For Women and Science programme is part of the global For Women in Science initiative, established through a partnership between L'Oréal and UNESCO. Since 2014, the scholarship holders of the national editions have had the chance to receive international accolades: the International Rising Talents award (already received by three Polish women: dr hab. Bernadeta Szewczyk - 2016, dr hab. Joanna Sułkowska - 2017 and dr Agnieszka Gajewicz - 2018) and the main L'Oréal-UNESCO Award, awarded by an international Jury and presented each year in Paris as part of For Women in Science Week to five laureates from different continents whose discoveries provide answers to key problems of humanity.