L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards Ceremony

The L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO are preparing to honor five exceptional female scientists with the 2018 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards at a ceremony on 22 March at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris.

The ceremony will follow a major scientific conference, organized by the L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO on 21 March. These events will recognize leading women scientists and shine a spotlight on 15 talented young female scientists. They will also provide an opportunity to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the For Women in Science programme.

Women continue to be under-represented in public and professional life, particularly in science, where the glass ceiling is still a reality. Today, only 28% of scientists are women and 3% of Nobel Prizes for Science have been awarded to women since the awards began in 1901.

Despite this, there are many eminent women scientists, and raising their profile is vital to promoting greater gender equality in science. Annually for the past 20 years, the L’Oréal Foundation has recognized five exceptional female scientists, in partnership with UNESCO, and taken action to improve the balance of women and men in science.


Professor Dame Caroline Dean (pictured) is the 2018 L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Laureate for Europe.

On 22 March, five leading female scientists will receive the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women In Science Award in the field of life sciences. Each laureate will receive a prize of €100,000 and be honored for her contribution in the fields of medicine, palaeontology, molecular biology, ecology and developmental biology.

Over the last 20 years, the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science programme has raised the profile of 102 laureates and supported more than 3,000 young female scientists, helping them benefit from increased recognition within the scientific community. Three of these laureates have received Nobel Prizes for Science.

In order to further promote these women in science, the L’Oréal Foundation is raising public awareness of their achievements. It has launched an international communications campaign in seven international airports (Paris, New York, Beijing, London, Dubai, Sao Paulo and Johannesburg) and on the streets of Paris, in partnership with JCDecaux and Aéroports de Paris.


Dr Radha Boya (pictured) from the United Kingdom is one of 15 young female talents who will be honoured in 2018.

Over the past 20 years, the L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO have supported 3,022    talented young female scientists through research fellowships. These L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science fellowships are awarded annually at national and regional ceremonies held in 117 countries.

275 young women benefit from national and regional fellowships each year. Out of these 275, the International Rising Talents programme selects the 15 most promising scientists.

The 15 young female talents who will be honored in 2018 are:


– Dr. Areej Abuhammad, Jordan

A crystal for a cure

– Danielle Twilley, South Africa

  Targeting angiogenesis for the treatment of melanoma

– Dr. Hanifa Taher Al Blooshi, United Arab Emirates

  Sustainable products for major oil spills clean-up

– Dr. Ibtissem Guefrachi, Tunisia  

  Plants point to ways of overcoming antibiotic resistance



-Dr. Weang Kee Ho, Malaysia

Targeted screening for breast cancer

-Dr. Hiep Nguyen, Viet Nam

A 21st century first-aid kit

-Dr. Yukiko Ogawa, Japan 

Lightening the load: next-generation structural materials



-Dr. Radha Boya, United Kingdom

Making tiny pipes for transport and filtration

-Dr. Agnieszka Gajewicz, Poland

Safety first in developing new materials

-Dr. Anna Kudryavtseva, Russia 

The mysteries behind tumour malignancy

-Associate Prof. Duygu Sag, Turkey 

Triggering the immune system to fight cancer

-Dr. Ai Ing Lim, France

The origins of immune system intelligence



-Dr. Selene Lizbeth Fernandez Valverde, Mexico

The secrets of genomic “dark matter”

-Dr. Rafaela Salgado Ferreira, Brazil 

Computing power in the service of neglected diseases



-Dr. Anela Choy, United States of America

Ocean food webs and human societies