Globally diverse winners of the 2021 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards announced

Five researchers have been named winners of the 2021 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards (The Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World) for their research in chemistry, mathematics and physics. The winning scholars from Ghana, Guatemala, Mongolia, Palestine and Sri Lanka are being recognized for their accomplishments in chemistry, physics and mathematics. The prize also acknowledges the scientists' commitment to leading and mentoring young scientists and improving the quality of life of those in their communities and regions.

Since 2013, the program has awarded and helped elevate the careers of 45 women researchers from 20 countries in the fields of biology, engineering and the physical sciences.

OWSD President, Jennifer Thomson, said:

"Every year, when we select the awardees, we are simply blown away by what they have already achieved and their personal dedication to continuing to advance science in their home countries. We are happy to be able to contribute, even a small part, to the recognition they truly deserve."

This year's recipients are:

  • MarÍa Eugenia Cabrera Catalán of the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala; in particle physics.
  • Khongorzul Dorjgotov of the National University of Mongolia; in financial mathematics and mathematical modeling.
  • Ghada Dushaq of the New York University Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; in applied physics and nanotechnology.
  • Imalka Munaweera of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka; synthetic and nano-chemistry.
  • Marian Asantewah Nkansah of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology; in environmental remediation strategies.


 Director of the Elsevier Foundation, Ylann Schemm, said:

"We know how important recognition and professional visibility are for developing high-profile international scientific careers. Over the years, we have also found that introducing our award winners to the AAAS Forum has given them vital access to international networks and scientific dialogue, while opening doors to new opportunities."

First awarded in 2013, the awards are given in partnership by OWSD and the Elsevier Foundation. OWSD chairs a panel of distinguished scientists to select the winners, and the Foundation supports a cash prize for each winner of USD $5,000, including an all-expenses-paid trip to attend the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Due to the current circumstances, this year's AAAS Annual Meeting will be held virtually.

The awards ceremony will take place today during the Minority and Women Scientists and Engineers Networking Breakfast from 1:00-3:00 PM EST (6:00-8:00 PM GMT).