Meet the 2024 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awardees, a new Master's scholarship for refugee women scientists, 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 announce the 2024 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Award winners, introduce a new scholarship for refugee women scientists, celebrate a major membership milestone, and more.

5 women scientists win the OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

2024 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Award winners

Augustina Clara Alexander (Tanzania), Tasrina Rabia Choudhury (Bangladesh), Lidia Antonella Rivera Peñalva (Honduras), Zubeda Ukundimana (Uganda), and Shirani Manel Kumari Widana Gamage (Sri Lanka) have been have been awarded the 2024 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Award for Early-Career Women Scientists in the Developing World for their contributions to research that helps meet the challenge of improved water quality, advancing UN Sustainable Development Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation. The winners’ research explores a wide range of pioneering ways that the challenge of water quality can be tackled, from using hydrological modelling to bioremediation with bacteria, from creating nanocomposites for heavy metal removal to working with communities to develop sustainable practices.

OWSD WISDOM Master's scholarship launches

2024 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Award winners

The first Call for Applications opened in March for OWSD's newest programme. The Women in Science Displacement Outreach Master's Program (OWSD WISDOM) is a new initiative addressing the challenges faced by refugee women scientists. The pilot year of the programme is focused on refugee scholars in Jordan, with scholarships available in STEM subjects at Hashemite University. Applications are being accepted through 15 April 2024.

OWSD reaches more than 10,000 members in the Global South

Just in time for International Women's Day on 8 March, OWSD passed the remarkable milestone of 10,000 active members throughout the Global South. With more than 10,000 members of 115 different nationalities, the OWSD network is stronger and more powerful than ever.

Science Snack Break film series highlights OWSD scientists

Science Snack Break

A series of four short film screenings between February 11, International Day of Women and Girls in Science, and March 8, International Women's Day, shone the spotlight on four OWSD Early Career fellows doing innovative research in Ghana, Nepal, Tanzania,and Uganda.

Access to clean water and sanitation is not just a necessity; it's a fundamental human right. This accolade energizes us to amplify our efforts, ensuring equitable access to these essentials, thereby catalyzing positive health outcomes and sustainable development worldwide.

Tasrina Rabia Choudhury, 2024 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Award winner from Bangladesh

Meet the OWSD Fellows:

Marilyn Ronoh

Mathematician Marilyn Ronoh, a 2022 OWSD Early Career fellow, is using computational modelling and an AI-powered ChatBot to enhance HIV testing, status awareness, and status disclosure among young people in Kenya. Her ChatBot was inspired by conversations with doctors where she learned that many young people are seeking health information via the WhatsApp messaging platform.

OWSD Around the World

Here are a few recent highlights from our network of 54 active National Chapters.

OWSD Ghana logo

The OWSD Ghana National Chapter held a two-day conference from 8-9 March at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, with the theme of 'Women scientists and their contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals'. The conference was chaired by Esi Awuah, OWSD Executive Board Regional Member for Africa from 2010-2021, and included several OWSD Awardees, Early Career and PhD fellows among the speakers.


OWSD Zimbabwe logo

The OWSD Zimbabwe National Chapter partnered with Elevate Trust to host a Women in Science, Innovation, and Technology conference from 20-21 March. The conference was opened by Professor Amon Murwira, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education. Over the two days of the conference, participants took part in thought-provoking talks, insightful discussions, and powerful networking opportunities.

OWSD Guatemala logo

The OWSD Guatemala National Chapter recognized several members who were appointed to significant political positions, including 2023 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awardee Gabriela Montenegro-Bethancourt who was named National Secretary of Science and Technology. The chapter also published a summary report for the years 2022-2024, outlining the achievements, initiatives, and progress made by the chapter during this period.

OWSD Pakistan logo

The OWSD Pakistan National Chapter organized a conference on Biosafety: Navigating Biorisk Management in Pakistan from 29-30 December at the University of Karachi, in collaboration with the Pakistan Biological Safety Association (PBSA) and Pakistan Academy of Sciences (PAS). A pre-conference workshop on 28 December offered a unique opportunity for hands-on training. The chapter also celebrated International Women's Day with an event on 7 March. Chapter President Bina S. Siddiqui shared her personal journey to becoming an eminent scientist, and other OWSD members and scientists shared video messages.


Members of the OWSD Zimbabwe National Chapter at the 'Women in Science, Innovation, and Technology' conference in March.

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