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Winners of inaugural Nature Research Awards announced

Mirjana Pović and the Association of Hungarian Women in Science win the first ever Nature Research Award for Inspiring Science and Innovating Science, respectively

London, 30 October 2018

The first winners of the Nature Research Awards for Inspiring Science and Innovating Science, in partnership with The Estée Lauder Companies, have been announced at a ceremony at the UK headquarters for The Estée Lauder Companies.  

These global awards were created to recognise both inspirational early-career female researchers and those who have worked to champion women and girls' participation in science. 

The winner of the Award for Inspiring Science is Mirjana Pović, an astrophysicist assistant professor at the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute, Ethiopia, and associated researcher at the Spanish IAA-CSIC. 

The winner of the Award for Innovating Science is the Association of Hungarian Women in Science, a non-profit, non-governmental organisation that aims to promote STEM and computer sciences among girls who are under-represented in these fields of education. 

Commenting, Magdalena Skipper, Editor-in-Chief of Nature, said:  “The applications were of an incredibly high quality, and selecting the winners presented us all with a difficult decision. Overall, I am delighted to see two such worthy first winners.  With women making up less than one third of the world's researchers and facing barriers to pursuing long-term careers that lead to senior positions in science, the contest provides an important spotlight on the exceptional achievements of female scientists and those working to promote greater inclusiveness in the scientific community. 

“Mirjana Pović is a fantastic role model for young women wanting a career in astrophysics, having contributed to more than ten international projects.  The Association of Hungarian Women in Science is doing important work, through its country-wide network of scientists, promoting the need for gender balance in academia, technology, innovation and research and development.”

Lisa Napolione, Senior Vice President, Global R&D, The Estée Lauder Companies, said: “I am so inspired by the outstanding research and the impactful advocacy showcased in this year’s award applications. Mirjana Pović conducted remarkable research in galaxy formation and evolution, and she is a true role model for the next generation of female scientists. The Association of Hungarian Women in Science is making an incredible difference in improving gender equality in STEM.”

“The Estée Lauder Companies was founded by an inspiring and innovative woman, and she strongly supported other women throughout her life and career. We believe that having more women at the table brings more creativity, knowledge and perseverance to solving the world’s most pressing problems. These exceptional winners are ensuring a deep bench of research expertise among the next generation of scientists.”

Winner of the Nature Research Award for Inspiring Science, Mirjana Pović said: “I am delighted to be the recipient of the very first Nature Research Award for Inspiring Science.  Having been personally inspired by many outstanding women in science, to have the opportunity to now inspire others is a real privilege and one that I look forward to continuing to pursue, especially in relation to my current work in Africa. I also hope that with this award we can inspire many other colleagues, men and women, to contribute their knowledge and experience to the development of science and education in Africa—and ultimately, to the long-term fight against poverty.”

Fenni Szigeti, from the Association of Hungarian Women in Science, said: “Receiving the Nature Research Award for Innovating Science for our work to encourage girls and young women to enter STEM fields is a real honour. It goes to the heart of our mission and our commitment to promoting the need for a greater gender balance in academia, technology, innovation and research and development.  On behalf of our entire team, I am extremely proud that this commitment has been recognised."

About the awards

The Inspiring Science Award honours female early-career researchers who have excelled in scientific discovery and are an inspiration to the next generation.  The Innovating Science Award recognizes anyone (individual or organization) who has led a grassroots initiative to support increased access to, or interest in, STEM subjects for girls and young women around the globe.

The winners for both awards have been selected by two independent judging panels. The judging panel consists of staff from Nature Research, academic scientists, external experts working in organisations supporting access to science for women and our corporate partner, The Estée Lauder Companies. The judging panel of the Inspiring Science Award was led by Magdalena Skipper, Editor in Chief of Nature, and Mariette DiChristina, Director of Editorial and Publishing for Nature Research’s Magazines, headed the judging panel of the Innovating Science Award.

The Nature Research Awards for Inspiring Science and Innovating Science, in partnership with The Estée Lauder Companies, have been created with a dedicated Nature Research Editorial Steering Committee. Our Editorial Steering Committee has worked closely with the academic community to create two unique awards and we are looking forward to working with the community to develop these awards over the following years. Full details of the awards, longlist, shortlist and judging panel are available at nature.com/researchawards.

About the winners

Mirjana Pović is an assistant professor at the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute, Ethiopia, and associated researcher at Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC) in Spain. Mirjana obtained her PhD degree in 2010 at Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain, and her main field of research is galaxy formation and evolution, focused on nuclear activity in galaxies. She participated in more than 10 international projects (being co-principal investigator and principal investigator of two) and has around 80 publications. She works on the development of science and education in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Kenya and Ghana, through joint research collaborations, student supervisions, trainings, lecturing, regulation development and outreach.

The Association of Hungarian Women in Science (NaTE) is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation that aims to promote STEM and computer sciences among girls who are under-represented in these fields of education. NaTE was established in 2008 by female scientists. Since then, NaTE has grown into a country-wide network of scientists—both men and women—working in STEM or social sciences, who are committed to improving the gender balance in academia, technology, innovation and research and development. NaTE has founded projects such as the ’Excellence Award for Women in Science’, ’Scindicator – A science communication competition’, ’Smart future for Girls’ and ‘Girls’ Day’.

About Nature Research

Nature Research is a portfolio of high-quality products and services across the life, physical, chemical and applied sciences–including journals, databases and researcher services–dedicated to serving the scientific community.

Nature (founded in 1869) is the leading, international weekly journal of science. Nature Research also publishes a range of Nature branded subscription journals, the leading open access multidisciplinary journal Nature Communications, other open access journals including Scientific Reports, and a range of Nature Partner Journals published in partnership with institutions and societies. Together, these journals publish some of the world's most significant scientific discoveries.

Online, nature.com provides over nine million unique visitors per month with Nature Research content, including news and comment from Nature, and the leading scientific jobs board, Naturejobs. Nature Research also offers a range of researcher services, including online and in-person training and expert language and editing services. For more information, please visit nature.com and follow @nresearchnews. Nature Research is part of Springer Nature.

Each year Nature Research also supports the Nature Awards for Mentoring in Science and the John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science.

About The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

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 over 150 countries and territories under brand names including: Estée Lauder, Aramis, Clinique, Prescriptives, Lab Series, Origins, Tommy Hilfiger, M·A·C, Kiton, La Mer, Bobbi Brown, Donna Karan New York, DKNY, Aveda, Jo Malone London, Bumble and bumble, Michael Kors, Darphin, Tom Ford, Smashbox, Ermenegildo Zegna, AERIN, Tory Burch, RODIN olio lusso, Le Labo, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, GLAMGLOW, By Kilian, BECCA and Too Faced.

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