Beijing, June 30th, 2010 - The Elsevier Foundation announced today that it has awarded the 2010 New Scholars grant to the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSDW), formerly the Third World Organization for Women in Science (TWOWS) - for two programs: the National Assessments and Benchmarking of Gender, Science, Technology and Innovation and the OWSDW Awards for Young Women Scientists 2011. The $177,000 grant was announced at the OWSDW 4th General Assembly and International Conference, Women Scientists in a Changing World, hosted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Beijing.
The OWSDW National Assessments and Benchmarking of Gender, Science, Technology and Innovation will undertake a seven country assessment in collaboration with WIGSAT (Women, Technology, Society) to provide a picture of the level of support, opportunities and participation of women in innovation systems in developed, emerging and developing countries. A series of policy recommendations will then be developed on the basis of the data analysis and future assessments, for defining and achieving national targets for women's participation in countries with highly accelerated growth in the research arena. The study will cover: China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, the US and Europe.
A 2009 Elsevier Foundation New Scholars grant enabled the OWSDW Awards for Young Women Scientists to expand the existing award program from four prizes (one per developing world region) to twelve (three discipline-specific grants per region). The 2010 prizes were announced on June 27th at the OWSDW 4th General Assembly meeting in Beijing and awarded by Xi Jinping, Vice Chairman of the People's Republic of China and David Ruth, the Executive Director of the Elsevier Foundation. The 2010 Elsevier Foundation New Scholars grant will also ensure that the OWSDW Awards for Young Women Scientists will be continued in 2011, ensuring that talented young women scientists from the developing world continue to be recognized for their achievements.
Targeting the attrition of talented women scientists in the academic pipeline, past Elsevier Foundation New Scholars projects have aimed to support women scholars during the early stages of their demanding careers in science and technology. They have ranged from mentoring to advocacy, basic research to dual career travel and recruiting grants, lactation centers, childcare at professional meetings and work-life balance workshops.
"We have identified OWSDW's broad and ambitious assessment as a critical starting point for measuring the participation of women and girls in science, technology and innovation in emerging and developing contexts," said David Ruth, Executive Director of the Elsevier Foundation, "By pinpointing key areas of national strength and weakness, it will help form the basis of policy and aid going forward."
"We are very grateful to the Elsevier Foundation for this grant," said Fang Xin, President of OWSDW and member of the Presidium of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, "The OWSDW benchmarking assessment will chart policies, factors and actors in national Science, Technology and Innovation systems, leveraging existing and new data to give a global view on the current status of participation of women scientists and technologists."