L'Oréal was founded by a scientist over 100 years ago, without science L'Oréal simply wouldn't exist.
In 1998, L'Oréal and UNESCO founded the For Women in Science program to improve the representation of women in scientific careers, based on the firm conviction that the world needs science, and science needs women.
Each year, the program recognises the achievements of exceptional female scientists at different stages of their careers and awards them with Fellowships to help further their research. To date, the L’Oréal-UNESCO partnership has distinguished 127 eminent women at the height of their scientific careers and supported more than 4000 promising young women scientists in over 110 countries at doctoral and postdoctoral levels.
There are three tiers of the For Women in Science Program: International Awards, National/Regional Young Talents (Fellowships: <5 years post-PhD and the Mentoring Scheme: PhD students who have completed at least one year of their PhD) and For Girls in Science Forum (high school students). You can find more information on each of these tiers below.
Each year, five leading female researchers are awarded with a prestigious €100,000 prize in recognition of their groundbreaking achievements and contributions to scientific progress. One researcher is selected from each of the following regions: Africa and the Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and North America. The awards are given out in alternate years to women researchers either in life and environment sciences or in physical sciences, mathematics and computer science. Since the program’s inception, 114 Laureates have been honoured with this award, including professors Elizabeth H. Blackburn and Ada Yonath, who went on to win a noble prize. The International Award Laureates are selected by the L'Oréal-UNESCO Awards Jury, which is made up of eminent members of the international scientific community such as Prof. Brigitte L. Kieffer and Prof. Artur Avila. The International Awards are coordinated by the International For Women in Science Team. You can read more about the International Awards at our international site.
2024 International Awards
In 2024, the International Awards will designate five outstanding researchers in Life and Environmental Sciences. The call for nominations for the 2024 International Awards is now open. You can apply for the International Awards at the our international site. Please click the below links for more information on the 2024 International Awards.
There are 52 National/Regional Young Talents Programs run by L’Oréal subsidiaries around the world. In Australia and New Zealand, there are two branches of the Regional Young Talents Program: Fellowships (<5 years post-PhD) and Mentoring Scheme (for PhD students who have completed at least one year of their PhD).
The L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Australia and New Zealand Young Talents Fellowships were launched in 2007. As of 2023, the program will have recognised 69 outstanding scientists - Young Talents, supporting them to continue their research and help them rise to leadership positions in their field of expertise. In 2015, the inaugural New Zealand Fellowship was awarded.
There are five Fellowships avaliable: four Australian Fellowships and one New Zealand Fellowship. Each Fellow is awarded $25,000 for a one-year project. This is intended to provide practical help for the Young Talents to undertake research in their chosen fields, with the Young Talents being able to choose to spend their fellowship on buying scientific equipment, paying for child care costs, conference and travel costs or other items they may need to continue their research.
To be eligible for the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Australia and New Zealand Fellowship, applicants must identify as female or non-binary, reside in Australia or New Zealand, be currently employed (full-time or part-time) at an Australian or New Zealand University or research institute and be committed to carrying out their research in Australia or New Zealand in 2024-2025, work within eligible scientific fields: life sciences (including medical sciences), physical sciences, computer science, engineering and mathematics (psychology, science education and social sciences are not eligible for this Fellowship), and been awarded a PhD within the last 5 years. The PhD conferred date must be before close of applications.
If you have special circumstances that impact your eligibility for the award (for example, parental or medical leave, or other career disruptions), please outline these special circumstances in the eligibility section of the online application. Members of the jury will consider these special circumstances when evaluating your application. Include your FTE research opportunity since your PhD was conferred as well as a short description of each of the special circumstances, the length of duration and short statement of impact (maximum 200 words).
Applications for the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Australia and New Zealand Fellowships open in late January each year. In 2024, applications open 9:00am Monday 22nd January 2024 and close 11:59 pm Sunday 3rd March 2024. When the call for applications is open, you can apply for the Fellowships via this website by clicking on the "apply" heading above. To apply, you must first register an account. After registering an account and logging in with your account credentials, you may then complete the online form to submit an application.
Selection Process and Criteria
Applicants will be evaluated and selected by our esteemed jury members. There are two rounds of review.
In the first review, each application is reviewed and scored by two jury members. During the first review, applicants are evaluated on the following criteria, which are weighted equally:
A shortlist will then be created based on the jury scores in the first review. Shortlisted applicants will be asked to provide two letters of references. Reference letters must be sent via email directly from the referee to the For Women in Science Coordinator.
The shortlisted applications and letters of references will be judged in a second review process by our Jury. In the second review, all jury members review the shortlisted applications and their associated reference letters. During the second review, shortlisted applicants will be evaluated on the criteria in the first review as well as a fourth criterion on the quality and relevance of the letters of references. All criteria are weighted equally. A final selection meeting will be held with the jury members, at which the shortlisted applicants are discussed, and the Fellows will be chosen.
Please see the below links for more information on the support the Fellowship provides as well as the eligibility criteria and conditions.
In 2017, the Australian L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program launched the mentoring scheme for PhD. In the mentoring scheme, For Women in Science Fellowship Alumni become mentors to passionate and ambitious PhD students.
We are incredibly proud of our Fellows who have established themselves as exceptional researchers, communicators and leaders within their scientific fields and therefore have acquired a wealth of knowledge and experience. We know how important it is for female role models and champions of change to exist to inspire and instil confidence into other women, especially in the early stages of their career. By fostering a mentoring scheme where our Fellows can share advice and guidance to budding female scientists, we aim to provide an invaluable opportunity to develop integral knowledge and skills, and to instil passion and a sense of empowerment into our future women leaders.
Each year, 5 mentees are chosen: four from Australia and one from New Zealand. The mentoring scheme involves regular (at least once monthly) meetings between the mentor and mentee as well as monthly workshops facilitated by the For Women in Science team. Mentors and mentees will be matched based on the mentor’s skills and experience and the mentee’s ambitions and focus (not specific scientific disciplines).
To be eligible as a mentee, applicants must be currently enrolled as a PhD student (full or part-time) at an Australian or New Zealand University or Research Institute, have completed at least one year of their PhD (received confirmation of candidature), and work within eligible scientific fields: life sciences (including medical sciences), physical sciences, computer science, engineering and mathematics. Psychology, science education and social sciences are not eligible for this mentoring scheme.
Applications for the mentoring scheme open mid-March each year. In 2024, applications open 9:00 am Monday 18th March 2024 and close 11:59 pm Friday 19th April 2024. When the call for applications is open, you can apply for the Mentoring Scheme via this website by clicking on the "apply" heading above. To apply, you must first register an account. After registering an account and logging in with your account credentials, you may then complete the online form to submit an application. The application form will require applicants to explain their PhD research as well as write a short essay on how they would benefit from the mentoring scheme, addressing the areas/skills they wish to develop or improve such as public speaking, scientific writing, negotiating skills, teaching, grant-writing, priority setting, communicating your research, strategic planning etc. Mentees will be selected on how clearly they articulate their identified strengths and weaknesses as well as their ambitions or goals for the future and how the mentoring scheme could facilitate success in acheiving these. Please click the below links for more information on the Mentoring Scheme.
Each year the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Australia & New Zealand Fellows share their stories with female students through our Girls in Science Forum. The Forum provides an opportunity for students from a number of different schools to hear from the Fellows and ask them questions about their career path. Our Fellows are able to provide the girls with information about different scientific careers and to encourage them to pursue this vocation and help to increase the representation of females in science. Since the Girls in Science forums began in Australia & New Zealand, thousands of students (from years 9 to 12) have attended, met the Fellows and toured science facilities at various institutions.
In 2021, our Girls in Science program was brought to you through a special edition of Sarah Davidson's Seize the Yay Podcast. You can listen to the two episodes here.