16.11.2018 change 16.11.2018

Six Polish women researchers received L’Oréal-UNESCO fellowships

Photo: Fotolia Photo: Fotolia

Six Polish women researchers received L’Oréal-UNESCO fellowships for Women in Science this week. "The participation of women in the world of science is essential" - said Deputy Minister of Science Piotr Müller. According to Müller, Poland can develop also thanks to women researchers ready to accept challenges.

The fellowships in the programme L’Oréal "For Women in Science" are awarded to women who conduct research in the field of life sciences. The awards, presented the 18th time, are intended to promote the scientific achievements of talented women researchers and encourage them to continue their academic work. Fellowships are awarded annually in three categories: habilitation, doctoral degree and master`s degree.

"I am convinced that the participation of women in the world of science is extremely important, essential" - said Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education Piotr Müller during the awards ceremony. "The area of research is one of the most important elements of our country`s development. Thanks to the ladies who take up the challenges that, I hope, will bring big results in the next 15-20 years, our country will be able to develop" - he added.

The laureates of this year`s fellowship in the habilitation category are: Dr. Joanna Gościańska from the Faculty of Chemistry at the Adam Mickiewicz University, Dr. Paulina Kasperkiewicz-Wasilewska from the Faculty of Chemistry of the Wrocław University of Technology and Dr. Anna Muszewska from the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The fellowship amount in this category is PLN 35 thousand.

Two scholarships for PhD students in the amount of PLN 30 thousand went to Beata Małachowska from the Medical University of Lodz and Anna Piotrowska-Murzyn from the Institute of Pharmacology PAS in Kraków.

The winner of PLN 20 thousand scholarship in the master`s degree category is Aleksandra Synowiec, a student at the Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology of the Jagiellonian University.

All L`Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science laureates receive conference scholarships from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education to promote their achievements at international scientific conferences. The competition organizers emphasize that the awarded researchers are also active promoters of the idea of engaging women in scientific research among the broad public and the media.

According to the chairman of the competition jury Prof. Ewa Łojkowska, 138 candidates competed for L’Oréal-UNESCO scholarships in this year`s edition of the program - on average, 20 percent more than in previous years.

"The jury`s work is difficult, because many of these ladies have huge achievements. Almost all of them have completed international internships, they work in well-equipped Polish laboratories and run or participate in various international programs" - said Prof. Łojkowska.

Wioletta Rosołowska from L’Oréal Polska reminded that this year the Nobel Prize was awarded to two women: Donna Strickland and Frances Arnold. "Both ladies, especially Frances Arnold, talked about how important it is to promote diversity: that it is of great importance so that the world of science could also be a world with more creativity" - she said.

The winners of the Polish program now have the chance to become International Rising Talents. This title is awarded since 2014 to the most promising scholarship holders of local programs. Three Polish women have become International Rising Talents: Dr. Bernadeta Szewczyk (2016), Dr. Joanna Sułkowska (2017) and Dr. Agnieszka Gajewicz (2018).

L’Oréal Polska For Women in Science is organized since 2001. Its partners are the Polish Committee for UNESCO, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, and since 2016 also the Polish Academy of Sciences. The winners are selected by the jury chaired by Prof. Ewa Łojkowska. Until 2015, fellowships were awarded to five outstanding researchers. A new category for MA students was introduced in the 16th edition of the programme.

L’Oréal Polska For Women in Science is part of the global initiative "For Women in Science", created through the partnership of L`Oréal and UNESCO. By 2018, 3020 women from 117 countries were honoured. Poland was the first country after France to host a local edition of this global initiative. 87 Polish women scientists were awarded in the previous 17 editions of the programme.

PAP - Science in Poland, Katarzyna Florencka

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