The L’Oréal UNESCO Program

The LÓréal-UNESCO ‘For Women in Science’ program consists of three parts: the National/Regional Scholarship/grant Program, the International Rising Talents Program and the Awards. All three are awarded annually.

The Dutch Scholarship/grant Program

The ‘For Women in Science’ scholarship was introduced in March 2012 by the National UNESCO Commission and LÓréal Netherlands in a cooperative partnership with the Dutch institute for Advanced Study (NIAS) and supported by the regional network of female professors namely: Landelijk Netwerk Vrouwelijke Hoogleraren (LNVH).

Every year two fellowships, with a maximum €25.000 are awarded to female scientists who, within a broad spectrum, conduct research in life sciences. De scholarships/grants are assigned within a period of up to 3 to 10 years after completing their doctoral degree. The fellowships are set up as a residential stay at the NIAS-campus in Wassenaar (soon to be Amsterdam) and enable women to write scientific articles or a research proposal, a necessity for progressing their career. The “For Women in Science’ program aims to help women progress in their scientific careers and contribute to an increase in the number of female professors in The Netherlands.

In 2015 Femke Nijboer and Doris van Halem both received the Dutch fellowship. Femke has developed an innovative approach to stimulate interaction between the brain and computers. This is important to people suffering from locked-in syndrome or those who suffer from an advanced form of muscle disease and have no other means of communication.  Doris van Halem wished to research the potential use of metal nanoparticles to filter the water resources in poor countries in order to effectively remove viruses and arsenic particles from their drinking water.

International Rising Talents Programme

This program was launched in 2014 as the successor of the ‘International Fellowships’ program to annually recognize the best ‘For Women in Science fellows’, worldwide. The International Rising Talent Fellows are chosen from the winners of the national and regional scholarships and will receive a €15.000 research fellowship. Every year fifteen fellows are honoured with this award, three on every continent.

For Women in Science Awards

Additionally, five ‘For Women in Science’ awards are presented to female scientists every year who are leading representors in their field and perform excellent scientific research. Every laureate will receive a funding of $100.000 as a part of the prize.

The program is geographically balanced and considers the highly differentiating circumstances that female women encounter worldwide in order to conduct their research.

Since the start of the program 17 years ago more than 2250 women have profited from this initiative.