2021 - All Press Releases

Shortlist announced for Inspiring Women in Science Awards

Nature Research, in partnership with the Estée Lauder Companies, champions critical research being done by women and outreach activities that inspire future generations of women to engage with science 

London | New York, 4 October 2021

Nature Research Awards, in partnership with The Estée Lauder Companies, has released the shortlist for this year’s Inspiring Women in Science Awards. Celebrating and supporting the achievement of women researchers, the awards seek to inspire girls and women* around the world to engage with STEM subjects, challenge academic barriers and succeed in scientific careers.

Speaking on the awards shortlists, Mina Razzak, Editorial Director, Nature Reviews said: 

“We thank all those who participated in the Inspiring Women in Science Awards, and extend our congratulations to each of the outstanding shortlisted candidates. Your stories and achievements are truly inspirational, and we are proud to share them. The world needs diverse and inclusive science. Through this award, and with our valued partner The Estée Lauder Companies, we show why. While there is more to do, our goal is equal access to and participation in science for women and girls.”

The awards, in collaboration with Springer Nature’s Women’s Network are formed of two categories - The Science Outreach Award and the Scientific Achievement Award. This year's shortlist includes a diverse range of research and outreach including mentoring programmes, coding and robotics programmes for school age girls and initiatives to provide women in underserved communities access to STEM education. The shortlisted finalists are: 

1. The Science Outreach Awardpresented for initiatives that support girls or young women to engage with or study STEM subjects, or increase the retention of women in STEM careers. 

  • Ikala STEM is a non-profit organization assembling Malagasy women in STEM (400 members in total) around the world.
  • Kalpana (Vigyanshaala) She-For-STEM program based in India gives female STEM undergraduates access to expert mentoring by relatable-role models and provides tools for continuous self-development, advanced research projects and career plans.
  • Molo Mhlaba - a network of nonprofit primary schools in underserved South African communities that provides young girls with access to STEAM (STEM plus Arts) education.
  • Parent in Science - a movement focused on raising awareness on the barriers faced by academic parents, working primarily in Brazil. 
  • Smart Cheli - providing coding and robotics training to Nepalise school girls.

2. The Scientific Achievement Award - awarded in recognition of early-career women researchers and awarded for exceptional demonstrable contribution to scientific discovery.

  • Kiana Aran, biomedical entrepreneur as well as a researcher, and Associate Professor of Medical Diagnostics and Therapeutics at Keck Graduate Institute.
  • Simone Badal, Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry at the University of the West Indies for her work on pioneering the development of novel Jamaican prostate cancer cell lines.
  • Sahika Inal, Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), with affiliations in Electrical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering.
  • Markita Landry, Assistant Professor in the department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Ellen Roche, Associate Professor at MIT, blending principles of pathophysiology, biomechanics and mechanical engineering with state-of-the-art materials and robotics.
  • Asha de Vos, Founder and Executive Director of Oceanswell, Sri Lanka’s first marine conservation research and education organisation, a marine biologist and ocean educator.

Lisa Napolione, Senior Vice President, Global Research & Development at The Estée Lauder Companies and judging panel member added: “This past year and a half has shown the world an elevated understanding of the importance of scientific discovery, diversity, inclusion, and equity in ways that stretched us all. With all this, we at The Estée Lauder Companies are even more excited to once again partner on the Nature Research Awards for Inspiring Women in Science. As a company fueled by women scientists and engineers, we believe that centering diverse voices in STEM is essential to innovation now and into the future. 

Whether charting new frontiers in research or breaking boundaries to create a more inclusive trajectory for STEM, these women are revolutionary and are making the future of STEM brighter for everyone. Year after year, the applicant pool for these awards becomes more impressive, and I am in awe of their dedication to science and inclusion.”

The shortlist will be assessed by a judging panel consisting of editors from Nature Portfolio, academic scientists, external experts working in organisations supporting access to science for women, and our corporate partner, The Estée Lauder Companies. Winners will be announced in October.

Springer Nature is committed to driving and championing diversity, equity and inclusion in the communities it serves, through its networks, brands, partnership and suite of awards. This partnership with The Estée Lauder Companies is a key reflection of the shared goal to help drive cultural change, by providing platforms and networks to help empower, inspire and share knowledge, and addressing the barriers that the research community faces. More information on the company’s wider commitment can be found here.


Notes to editors:

*We use an inclusive definition of ‘woman’ and ‘women’. We welcome those that self-identify as women, trans women, genderqueer and non-binary people.

The winners will receive prize money of US$40,000.

STEM includes natural sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.

Profiles of the finalists have been published on the Nature Research Awards website.

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About The Estée Lauder Companies

The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of quality skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products. The company’s products are sold in approximately 150 countries and territories under brand names including: Estée Lauder, Aramis, Clinique, Lab Series, Origins, Tommy Hilfiger, M·A·C, La Mer, Bobbi Brown, Donna Karan New York, DKNY, Aveda, Jo Malone London, Bumble and bumble, Michael Kors, Darphin, TOM FORD BEAUTY, Smashbox, Ermenegildo Zegna, AERIN, RODIN olio lusso, Le Labo, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, GLAMGLOW, KILIAN PARIS, BECCA, Too Faced and Dr. Jart+. For more information visit here.


Sam Sule | Communications | Springer Nature