Lauded scientific publisher Nature has launched two new awards aimed at highlighting up-and-coming female researchers and institutions or individuals who support and empower women to enter science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers.
"Female scientists are under-represented in global research. Nature has long argued the need for initiatives to increase their opportunities and participation — so we are delighted to announce an awards programme that aims to do both," Nature wrote in their announcement.
Nominations for the inaugural 2018 awards are now open until June 11.
One slightly disappointing caveat of the awards is that they are co-sponsored by the cosmetics brand parent company, Estée Lauder. Though it’s nice of them to bankroll an effort to reward female trailblazers, they have a motive in that one of the prizes is an “[i]nvitation to present their work or initiative to the scientists at The Estée Lauder Companies”. It’s also a bit of a bummer that a celebration of female cognitive prowess and determination has to be associated with skincare, makeup, and perfume.
Nevertheless, she persisted… to describe the award categories:
The “Inspiring Science Award” will celebrate the achievement of a self-identified female scientist from any region who has shown excellence in her area of research within 10 years of completing her PhD. Nature is particularly interested in candidates who have overcome obstacles along their path and have already demonstrated a commitment to leadership through tutoring, mentoring, or other means. The ideal recipient will have contributed to scientific discoveries and literature through papers, presentations, and posters, and will have shown an aptitude for using social media to showcase their work and communicate with other researchers and engage the public.
Candidates should be nominated by someone within their laboratory, department, or institute.
The “Innovating Science Award” is meant to honor an individual or group from academia, education, or a corporation/organization who has started or contributed toward initiatives that support girls and young women entering STEM fields or increased engagement of females with STEM subjects. It appears that candidates may nominate themselves for this award.
The winners for both categories will receive $10,000 to spend on scientific initiatives, a profile feature in Nature, a guest blog post spot on Nature.com and Scientific American, and more. The “inspiring” winner will receive $5,200 to cover fees of open-access publication of new research papers, whereas the “innovating” winner will receive the same amount to use on an event showcasing their STEM-encouraging initiative.
Winners will be selected by a panel of formidable female STEM field leaders and Nature editorial staff, plus a few men for variety*.
A short list of five nominees for each category will be announced on September 4, 2018, and the winners will be revealed in October.
*This is called humor. If the comments are full of outrage we'll know you didn't read down this far.