Today, women make up 12% of all employees in STEM occupations in the UK, and in academia only 9% of all full-time professors in STEM departments are women.

The L’Oréal UNESCO For Women In Science international programme was founded fifteen years ago by L’Oréal and UNESCO to address this imbalance, on the premise that ‘the world needs science and science needs women’. The awards programme is designed to promote and highlight the critical importance of ensuring greater participation of women in science, by awarding promising female scientists with fellowships to help them further their research. Since the programme was founded, over 1,700 women in over 108 countries have been recognised for their research and received funding to further their studies. Here we talk to 4 of the recent winners.


Professor Pratibha Gai

2013 L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Laureate for Europe
Professor and Chair of Electron Microscopy
University of York

Prof Gai was awarded this prestigious prize for ingeniously modifying her electron microscope so that she was able to observe chemical reactions occurring at surface atoms of catalysts which will help scientists in their development of new medicines or new energy sources.

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Dr Nathalie Pettorelli

L’Oréal UNESCO For Women in Science UK & Ireland Fellow 2010
Institute of Zoology Research Fellow
Zoological Society of London

Dr Nathalie Pettorelli is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Zoological Society of London. Dr Pettorelli was awarded a fellowship for her research into how effective protected areas are in conserving the world's major ecosystems.

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Dr Emily Flashman

L’Oréal UNESCO For Women in Science UK & Ireland Fellow 2011
Current Position: Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellow
Chemistry Research Laboratory, University of Oxford

Dr Flashman’s research investigates how oxygen- sensing enzymes function normally, how they are damaged in cancer cells and, most importantly in terms of cancer treatment, how this damage might be prevented by antioxidants such as vitamin C.

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Dr Elizabeth Murchison

L’Oréal UNESCO For Women in Science UK & Ireland Fellow 2009
Current position: Reader in Comparative Oncology and Genetics, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Cambridge Veterinary School

*Note: at the time of winning the 2009 FWIS Fellowship Dr Elizabeth Murchison was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

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