L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science UK & Ireland Fellowships


There has been a lot of discussion to support more students to study STEM subjects in the UK and Ireland, as a special efforts to support long term economic growth. It is the same with many other countries around the world.

However, how to support women to play a more active role in STEM subjects never seems to be easy.

I used to sit on the Education Committee of the UK National Commission For UNESCO. I recently come across this prestigous international fellowship to women in science. I thought I should do a short blog about it so that people who are interested in it could find out more.

Hope you will find it useful.

Best regards,

Dr. Christina Yan Zhang



2014 L’Oréal-UNESCO UK and Ireland Fellowships For Women In Science

1.      Introduction
The L’Oréal-UNESCO UK and Ireland Fellowships For Women In Science are awards offered by a partnership between L’Oréal UK & Ireland, the UK National Commission for UNESCO and the Irish National Commission for UNESCO, with the support of the Royal Society, to promote, enhance and encourage the contribution of women pursuing their research careers in the UK or Ireland in the fields of the life and physical sciences.

The National Fellowships are offered under the umbrella of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women In Science Programme, which has promoted women in scientific research on a global scale since 1998.

Four Fellowships will be awarded in 2014 to outstanding women scientists in the early stages of their career to enable and/or facilitate promising scientific research. The Fellowships are tenable at any UK or Irish university or research institute to support a 12-month period of postdoctoral research in any area of the life or physical sciences.

The value of each fellowship is £15,000 (equivalent € for candidates in Ireland). The Fellowships are designed to provide flexible support. The prize money can be spent in innovative ways to enable women scientists to pursue and continue their research careers – such as buying equipment, paying for childcare or funding travel costs to an overseas conference.



2.  Who is Eligible?


  • Candidates must be female postdoctoral level researchers who have already been awarded their research doctorate in the fields of life or physical science.
  • Candidates must have no more than 10 years’ active full-time equivalent postdoctoral experience (discounting career breaks, but including teaching experience and/or time spent in industry).
  • Candidates must not currently hold a permanent academic post, or have ever held a permanent academic post in the past, or have received, before the start date of the award, the promise of a permanent academic post.
  • Candidates must be undertaking research in the life or physical sciences. Computer science, engineering, mathematics, psychology, science education and social sciences are not eligible for this Fellowship.
  • Candidates must be conducting their research at a UK or Irish university or research institute.
  • Candidates must be a citizen of the European Economic Area (EEA), or a Swiss citizen, or have permanent residence status in the UK or Ireland; and must be residing in the UK or Ireland at the time of application.
  • Applications are welcomed from candidates who wish to establish/re-establish themselves after a career break or other period of absence from active research or where the candidate is establishing a research career as a mature entrant or after experience in other fields.



3.     Application and Deadline
We can only accept applications made online. You will need to visit www.womeninscience.co.uk to create an account and complete an application.

Closing date: 14th March 2014 at midnight (BST)




4. Criteria are as follows:
1) Intellectual merit of candidate
· Academic records
· Ability to interpret and communicate research findings
· Evidence of originality, initiative and productivity
· Strong recommendation in reference letters (two requested)

2) Clearly articulated research proposal
· The relevance of the research and its impact
· The originality of the research proposal
· The proposal should be presented in a clear and compelling way

3) How the fellowship will enhance the candidate’s career and/or assist with a successful return to scientific research
· Whether the candidate has made a convincing case for the difference that this fellowship will make to her.



5.  Key Dates
· Applications website will be open from the 1st February – 14th March 2014 (Midnight)
· Reader assessment of applications takes place between 28th March – 8th May 2014
· Jury assessment of applications takes place between 9th May – 29th May 2014
· Shortlisted candidates will be contacted by phone and by email on Friday 30th May 2014
· Assessment day and awards ceremony takes place on Thursday 19th June 2014
2014 L’Oréal-UNESCO UK and Ireland Fellowships For Women In Science Application Terms & Conditions



6. Further Information
For further information, visit www.womeninscience.co.uk or email fwis@unesco.org.uk


Dutch institutions discuss creation of new ‘mega-university’

By Kanika Tandon, Education Writer
Big is seemingly the new beautiful in higher education. Following in the footsteps of institutions in Wales, France and Germany, amongst others, three of the Netherlands’ most prestigious universities are discussing the prospect of merging into one. The proposed ‘mega’ university will, it is thought, take the name of Leiden University, and would be made up of the current incarnation of that university along with Rotterdam Erasmus University and Delft University of Technology. The merger would take place over a period of 6-8 years.

With Leiden University (82) and Rotterdam’s Erasmus University (99) already in the Top 100 of the 2010 QS World University Rankings®, and Delft University of Technology not far behind at 108, this is a union of some of the Netherlands’ – and the world’s – strongest universities. The resulting entity will surely be formidable on the world stage.

However, how the deal will be executed legally and managed has still not been revealed. Talks between the Executive Boards of the three universities – during which all forms of possible collaboration will be discussed – are ongoing. A spokesperson from the University of Leiden said, “The three universities together represent a strong combination across a number of scientific and academic fields. Talks are at too early a stage to comment on the possible type of partnership, the timing or the name that will be given to any future collaboration.  All options currently remain open.” Read more

HE News Briefs 19.4.11

by Abby Chau


  • GLOBAL: Peter Thiel predicts the next bubble will be higher education
  • UK: Institutions are looking to international students in order to plug the gap in their budgets
  • DENMARK: Universities are losing more mobile students from the EU
  • COLOMBIA: Protests erupt because of government’s new proposals to reform higher education
  • RUSSIA: New law eases policy on international faculty

Read more

HE News Brief 15.3.11

by Abby Chau


  • UNITED KINGDOM: British Council’s “Global Gauge” places Germany as the best country for international study
  • HONG KONG: Do rankings encourage  Asian universities to “westernize?”
  • INDIA: Ministerial support for foreign universities establishing campuses reiterated
  • NORTH AFRICA: Do student protests work after all?
  • DENMARK: Foreign students priced out of courses

Read more

HE News Brief 30.11.10

by Abby Chau

  • From Palermo to Milan, students in Italy are protesting  budget cuts as well as what some are calling drastic and tumultuous higher education reforms that has swept across the country in the last few years. There has been 1,371 different new laws and bills regarding higher education between 1996-2006. New initiatives have cropped up fast and furious with new and sometimes erratic new laws calling for the merging of universities, the standardisation of degree recognition, as well as the introduction of new degree courses. The newest set of bills however is causing civil unrest. Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini introduced a bill that many are saying would dismantle public universities because of its far-reaching proposals to change the system of recruiting teachers and effectively changing the governance of institutions.
    Full Story: Seattle Times
    More: New York Times

  • Home Secretary Theresa May announced that the UK government will be cutting the quota of international students for non-degree level courses by 120,000. International students generate a substantial amount of money for institutions and the British economy as they are charged three, sometimes four times the amount of tuition fees. It is clear that the government’s aim to further reduce immigration by 2015 will include a plan to tackle the number of international students entering the country. Net migration stands at approximately 200,000 at the moment with two-thirds of non-EU migrants entering the country as students. May said that the government will be creating 1,000 places for exceptional talents, including academics, artists, and scientists.  Institutions warn that with budget cuts looming, and tuition fee hikes, losing another stream of money could only worsen the situation.
    Full Story: the Guardian
    Read more