The OWSD newsletter brings you the latest news and announcements from the Secretariat and from our international network. In this edition, we share the results of the OWSD Presidential and Vice Presidential elections, introduce you to a creative new venture in filmmaking, meet two OWSD fellows as well as many recent PhD graduates, and more.
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The OWSD newsletter brings you the latest news and announcements from the Secretariat and from our international network. In this edition, we share the results of two new projects to tell women scientists' stories through film, announce the winners of the 2022 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards, meet an OWSD early career fellow who is the first herpetologist in her country, and more.

OWSD PhD Fellowships:
Call for Applications open now until April 15 

Applications for the fellowship are invited from women scientists from developing countries who wish to pursue a PhD in STEM subjects at institutions in another country in the Global South. All details here.

OWSD PhD graduate
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OWSD films put women scientists in the spotlight

When scientific stories and personalities make it into the media, they are often focused on the most revolutionary discoveries or on the same few household names: Einstein, Watson & Crick, Hawking, Curie. Rarely do we get to learn about the people doing the important, everyday research that leads to those discoveries or on those who are solving local problems. With OWSD’s focus on storytelling through film, we hope to bring to light stories of inspirational women scientists around the world, women whose research is advancing knowledge and changing lives. Just in time for the International Day of Women and Girls in Science (February 11), we premiered several new short films as part of the two projects below — we hope you will enjoy them.


Prativa photo

The second round of the OWSD Visions project introduces 6 new short flims featuring OWSD Early Career fellows. From a computational physicist using magnetic refrigeration to help preserve food security in rural Kenya, to a marine biologist trying to protect Ecuador’s aquatic animals from climate change, thes are stories that deserve to be shared and celebrated.

Unlocking Science:

PhD Fellowship

OWSD Early Career fellow Elizabeth Bandason is featured in a short film produced by BBC Storyworks as part of the International Science Council’s Unlocking Science series. The entomologist from Malawi shares the deeply personal motivation behind her efforts to reduce chemical exposure in agriculture, and proves that, in her own words, “though no one has done it in the country, you can still do it.”

Introducing the 2022 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Award winners

2022 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Award winners

On the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, February 11, six outstanding early career women scientists from the developing world were announced as winners of the 2022 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Award. Abeer Ahmed Qaed Ahmed (Yemen), Heyddy Calderon (Nicaragua), Gawsia Wahidunnessa Chowdhury (Bangladesh), Flor de Mayo González Miranda (Guatemala), Myriam Mujawamariya (Rwanda), and Ashani Ranathunga (Sri Lanka) were recognized for their excellent research in the area of climate action and the environment.

This award is an inspiration to me. I am joyful and honored by the recognition of my work; but I also feel the responsibility to keep pushing boundaries for the women who come behind us.

Heyddy Calderon, 2022 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation award winner, Nicaragua

Meet the OWSD Fellows

Maram Ali Ahmed Musa

Maram Ali Ahmed Musa is a 2017 PhD fellow from Sudan who has just completed a sandwich fellowship at Universiti Putra Malaysia. An experimental-turned-theoretical physicist, her PhD research focused on synthesizing nanomaterials for water treatment, trying to find the optimal size and concentration to remove both organic and inorganic pollutants.


Somphouthone Phimmachak, a 2019 OWSD Early Career fellow, is Laos's first herpetologist. By documenting and describing both new and known species of reptiles and amphibians in Laos and establishing the country's first lab able to extract DNA from them, she hopes to protect the country's rich biodiversity.

OWSD Applauds

Anggia Prasetyoputri

@APrasetyoputri · Mar 8

Happy International Women's Day! Celebrating#IWD2022 with OWSD #Indonesia National Chapter, moderating an inspiration talk by @al_ghanya 😊. @ALMI_Indonesia @OwsdSecretariat @science_BRIN #WomenInSTEM

In this corner we highlight some of the most exciting recent achievements of our fellows, alumnae, and awardees. Way to go, ladies!

  • Susana Arrechea, a 2020 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation awardee from Guatemala, was featured in the newspaper Prensa Libre as well as in media outlet on the occasion of International Women’s Day, as one of Guatemala’s outstanding women to admire.

  • Olubukola Oluranti Babalola, OWSD Vice President for Africa and a 1999 PhD fellow from Nigeria,published a new paper, 'Metagenomic Survey of Tomato Rhizosphere Microbiome Using the Shotgun Approach’, in Microbiology Resource Announcements, the journal of the American Society for Microbiology, about her shotgun approach to unveil the tomato rhizosphere microbiome.

  • Salina Banu, a 2000 PhD Fellow from Bangladesh, was re-elected in February 2022 as a member of the Executive Council of the Bangladesh Academy of Agriculture, for the period 2022-2023.

  • Christelle Dzesse Tekouo, a 2013 PhD Fellow from Cameroon, is the first woman promoted to the rank of Senior Lecturer at the School of Chemical Engineering and Mineral Industries, University of Ngaoundere.

  • Ossenatou Mamadou, a 2019 Early Career Fellow from Benin, published a paper, ‘Turbulence Characteristics over a Clear Woodland Forest in Northern Benin (West Africa' in the journal Atmospheric Research, as well as a paper, ‘Prediction of daily direct solar energy based on XGBoost in Cameroon and key parameter impacts analysis’ in IEEE Xplore, which was selected as the best publication during the international IEEE Multi-conference on Natural and Engineering Sciences for Sahel’s Sustainable Development.

  • Genevieve Mezoh, a 2014 PhD Fellow from Cameroon, was awarded a Faculty for the Future postdoctoral fellowship from the Schlumberger Foundation in 2021, and took up the fellowship in the MacCoss Lab at the University of Washington in 2022, specializing in clinical proteomics. She was also awarded a 2021 fellowship from the American Association for the Advancement of University Women.

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  • Maggie Munthali, a 2014 PhD Fellow from Malawi, has been appointed as member of the Governing Council of Women in GMEs and Africa, a joint programme of the European Commission and the African Union Commission that serves to strengthen and develop infrastructure for a more coherent exploitation of Earth Observation data, technologies and services in support of the environmental policies for sustainable development in Africa and African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States.

  • Adwoa Padiki Nartey, a 2015 PhD Fellow from Ghana, was appointed faculty member at the Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Ghana.

  • Shobha Poudel, a 2018 Early Career Fellow from Nepal, was a contributing author to the IPCC Working Group II Sixth Assessment Report 'Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability'. She additionally published an op-ed in a special issue of the Kantipur national newspaper on climate change, 'Climate Smart Agriculture for Sustainable Development', and her work was covered in an article in the newspaper Himal Khabar.

  • Maria Mgella Zinga, a 2010 PhD Fellow from Tanzania, was awarded the EMPOWER fellowship from UNOSSC and ICGEB to study metabolomics at the ICGEB laboratory in Cape Town, South Africa. She has also received a grant from the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene to determine the burden of Female Genital Schistosomiasis among women screened for HPV.

OWSD Around the World

Here are a few recent highlights from our network of 42 active National Chapters.

OWSD Colombia logo

The OWSD Colombia National Chapter is organizing training sessions for members both in Colombia and abroad in navigating the Ministry of Science and Technology’s CvLAC application system for scientific resource management and funding. The training helps participants to understand the requirements at various steps, demonstrates how to enter information, and discusses how to respond to Calls for Applications and how to interpret and use scientific metrics.[Es]

The OWSD Guatemala National Chapter held elections for a new Executive Committee in February, and announced a new 7-member committee in March: Chair Nancy Sandoval, Vice-Chair Bárbara Moguel, Secretary Ana Silvia Monzón, and Treasurer Sandra Herrera, Communications Manager Varinia Sagastume and Divulgation Manager Paula Echeverría. The new Executive Committee will lead the chapter for the period 2022-2024. [Es]

OWSD Pakistan logo

The OWSD Honduras National Chapter congratulated member María Elena Bottazzi, a Honduran microbiologist at the Texas’s Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, who was recently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work on the development of a cheaper, patent-free COVID-19 vaccine. [Es]

The OWSD Mexico National Chapter organized a virtual breakfast for women in science, held on February 16 as part of the larger IUPAC Global Women's Breakfast. Dozens of women scientists participated in the event, which was held in collaboration with the Mexican Association for the Advancement of Science (AMEXAC). [Es]

OWSD SA logo

The OWSD Nigeria National Chapter held meetings with several federal agencies, diplomatic missions and corporate entities in the country seeking funding support for research by women in science as well as scholarship schemes for indigent rural girls. They continued talks with the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology to undertake a nationwide evaluation of the status of rural girls' education, and held new exploratory discussions with the Bulgarian Ambassador to Nigeria, the CEO of the 'Business Visa Initiative and the Women Manufacturers Association. The Port Harcourt branch of the Nigeria chapter also continued their lecture series on science communications with three new lectures onStress management, Women scientists and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and ‘Understanding your data type: A key to right interference.

OWSD Nepal logo

The OWSD Bangladesh National Chapter celebrated two of its members – both OWSD PhD fellowship alumnae – who were awarded the Ekushey Padak award, the country’s second-highest civilian award. The award is given to recognize contributions in a number of fields, including research, culture, education, and economics, in memory of the martyrs of the Bengali Language Movement of 1952. Shahanaz Sultana (a 2001 fellow) and Jannatul Ferdous (a 2006 fellow), together with their colleague Md Enamul Haque of the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) were 3 of the 24 award winners for 2022, recognized for their contributions in developing high-yielding rice varieties such as BRRI dhan89.

On the occasion of International Women's Day, March 8, members of the OWSD Pakistan National Chapter shared messages of gender equality and women’s empowerment. Chair Bina S. Siddique, Vice Chair Azra Khanum, Treasurer Sitwat Zehra, Secretary Saima Saleem and members Anisa Qamar and Asma Ansari all contributed messages on the 2022 IWD theme of Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow".


OWSD Mexico National Chapter members taking part in a virtual breakfast for women scientists, February 16.

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