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


HE News Brief 30.1.12

by Abby Chau


  • SOUTH KOREA: A third of universities have announced the intention of dropping tuition fees by at least 5%
  • SAUDI ARABIA: The government has announced that it hopes to have 50,000 graduates from the world’s top 500 universities by 2020
  • UK: Application rates projected to fall by 10% for the autumn 2012 term amidst tuition fee hikes and budget cuts
  • GERMANY: A different take on foreign students?

Read more

Too many graduates, or too few?

by Mansoor Iqbal, Education Writer

Competition for jobs may be intense, but the vital role played by graduates in economic growth and recovery means that some voices believe the world needs more, not fewer.

It has recently been reported that no less than 83 applicants apply for every graduate level role in the UK. The total number of graduate jobs is expected to rise by 2.6% in 2011, and it should be remembered that graduates can often be pretty indiscriminate when applying for a first job, but the figure is still pretty daunting. It is no wonder, then, that one proposal in the recent white paper presented to the government by the UK’s Minister for Universities, David Willetts, was that universities publish data on how many of their graduates are able to find work – this is one of the primary concerns of students in the 21st century (as reflected in the methodology of the QS World University Rankings®, which takes into account the prestige afforded to universities by graduate employers).

Graduate unemployment figures inevitably add to these concerns. While the UK is used as an example here, the problems are certainly not limited to that particular nation – graduates in countries as prosperous as the US and China are also facing stiff competition for jobs (though it should be noted that graduates are generally less likely to be unemployed that non-graduates). The almost inevitable consequence of this is voices calling for the number of students in higher education to be greatly reduced, particularly while we are still living in the shadow of the financial crisis that occurred at the end of the last decade. Read more

HE News Brief 5.7.11

  • UNITED STATES: U.S News & World Report recently announced that it will produce a ranking of online colleges
  • GERMANY: Hamburg is set to eradicate tuition fees in 2012, leaving just two states planning to continue charging out of seven
  • UNITED KINGDOM: White paper on higher education causing a furore
  • ABU DHABI: Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research reiterates the country’s 2019 goal for higher education
    Read more

HE News Brief 17.5.11

by Abby Chau


  • ENGLAND: Universities Minister David Willetts continues to draw fire for his HE proposals
  • UK: The Guardian has just released its list of top UK universities, with Cambridge topping the league table
  • GERMANY: Universities are overcrowded and many are calling for the reforms
  • FRENCH: New internationalisation strategy to target mobile students
  • AUSTRALIA: Losing its grip on mobile students
    Read more

HE News Brief 15.2.11

by Abby Chau

  • A 346-page report on business school trends has just been released by the Association to Advance Collegiate schools of Business following an intensive three year study by deans and scholars from top b-schools. The finding show that business schools have an uphill battle in terms of successfully implementing internationalisation strategies. Many courses, particularly in the states, focus more on study abroad programmes than internationalisation strategies and concentrate on North American rather than global markets.
    Full Story: Chronicle of Higher Education

  • It looks like the Lib Dems will finally have some talking points about the tuition fee hikes – Universities Minister David Willetts announced that institutions who want to charge more than £6,000 must comply with requirements to admit more poorer students. As a strategy to counteract the tuition fee hikes due to commence in 2012, the coalition government has decided that universities charging higher fees must work with the Office for Fair Access (Offa) to establish targets for accessibility. Willetts also announced that institutions charging more fees will also have to participate in the National Scholarship Programme, which will eventually help 48,000 disadvantaged students. There are of course critics of the announcement who are saying such an initiative will not do very much to offset the damage the fees will in incur in terms of social mobility.
    Full Story: BBC News
    More: Guardian
    Read more

Trends in student mobility

by Ina Chiriliuc

There has been a significant shift in the preference for study destinations. Students planning to pursue their courses abroad have started to consider new locations and this is only natural since the rather popular study destinations are very competitive, expensive and for many, a great distance away from home. The once obvious foreign destinations such as: United Kingdom, Germany and France have been losing inbound students in the last period, according to data in the “Education at a glance” 2010 Report, published by the Organisation for Economic and Co-Operation Development (OECD).

Considering that globally the number of foreign students has in the mean time increased, it is only obvious that there appeared a whole new range of booming destinations for studies. In a comparison of OECD’s “Education at a glance” reports for 2009 and 2010, there has been a remarkable growth in the number of inbound students to New Zealand, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Slovak Republic and the Russian Federation.

Read more