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



Serbian universities and the labor market

Serbia, the most populous of the states of the former Yugoslavia, became a candidate for EU membership in October 2011 and regards itself as a western-facing democracy.

Like Serbia’s other institutions, its universities are now facing up to the changes that this new status will involve. Serbia’s population of about eight million is served by eight public and eight private universities. Of these only one appears in the QS World University Rankings. This is the flagship institution, the University of Belgrade, founded in 1808. But even Belgrade only appears in our 601+ group, the lowest rung on the Rankings ladder. Speakers at a February conference on Serbian universities and the labour market explained that variable standards are a key issue for Serbian universities.

They called for a national university ranking system to be introduced to shine some light on the quality of both the public and private sector providers. Neighbouring Macedonia has recently announced its first national rankings, coordinated by the Shanghai team that runs the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Serbian employers seem even less pleased with the graduates they get from their local universities than their competitors in other nations. Not only are they unprepared for work, say recruiters, but they have often graduated in antique topics such as agricultural economics, or ones such as art history that might be better-adapted to more expansive economic times.

Serbia’s private academic sector is ambitious, and its plans make some comparative ranking of universities an increasing priority. At the moment, Serbians can attend public universities for free, but pay fees at the private institutions. However, private university managers point out that the right to free higher education is enshrined in the constitution. There may be a test case in the constitutional court some time soon to find out whether students at private universities are entitled to state funding.

Despite these issues, Serbian graduates have one thing in common with those of other nations. They are more likely to be in work than the rest of the population. About 9 per cent of the workforce has higher education. While unemployment in general runs at 29 per cent of the workforce, only 14 per cent of graduates are unemployed.

These severe economic conditions mean that the population of Serbia has recently been falling by about 100,000 people per year, partly by emigration and partly by low birth rates. Once Serbia does join the EU, the flow of skilled people westward may increase. Like other nations in a similar position, Serbia is seeking all manner of inward investment. There is excitement at the imminent arrival of Fiat, whose new factory will employ thousands, and should encourage vehicle component suppliers to set up nearby. But there is also anxiety at the very low level of entrepreneurship and new business development. Serbian universities, public and private, produce management graduates in abundance. One conference speaker said that there is probably no point bothering to train so many managers for an economy which is in too poor a condition to use them.

● Martin Ince was in Serbia speaking at the Connect to the Market conference organised by fusionatconference.com.

● ARWU Macedonian ranking http://tinyurl.com/7lrt3od