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Award honours women scientists in developing countries

An awards programme has been launched to recognise the achievements of early-career woman scientists in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Middle East.

It was announced by the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD), and the Elsevier Foundation on 19 July.

The OWSD said the aim is to create new role models for science and boost research culture in developing countries.

A winner will be chosen from each continent and all will receive $5,000 and complimentary attendance at the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference in February 2013.

The annual prizes will rotate between chemistry, physics and mathematical disciplines and this year’s category of life sciences.

Early-career scientists from the 81 countries with low scientific and research output, as defined by TWAS, can be nominated for the award until 30 September.

The OWSD media release quoted David Ruth, the executive director of the Elsevier Foundation, as saying that “the loss of talented women in academia needs to be tackled around the world by raising awareness among scientists, policy makers, journalists and the public”.

Fang Xin, president of the OWSD, said, “Honoring the work of early career women researchers is critical to creating a new generation of role models who will contribute significantly to advances in science and health.”