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L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Programme

L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards



The L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards are presented every year to five women, one from each world region (Africa and the Arab States, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America) in recognition of their scientific accomplishments. Each scientist has had a unique career path combining exceptional talent, a deep commitment to her profession and remarkable courage in a field still largely dominated by men.

The scientific fields considered for the awards alternate every other year between life sciences and material sciences. In 2019, the L'Oréal Foundation and UNESCO decided to reinforce their efforts to empower women in science by extending the International Awards dedicated to material science, which had focused on chemistry and physics until then, to two more research areas: mathematics and computer science.




These exceptional scientists are recognized for the excellence of their research in the fields of material science, mathematics and computer science.



Professor Najat Aoun SALIBA – Analytical and atmospheric chemistry

Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Nature Conservation Center at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon

Professor Saliba is rewarded for her pioneering work in identifying carcinogenic agents and other toxic air 
pollutants in the in Middle East, and in modern nicotine delivery systems, such as cigarettes and hookahs. Her innovative work in analytical and atmospheric chemistry will make it possible to address some of the most pressing environmental challenges and help advance public health policies and practices.



Professeur Maki KAWAI – Chemistry / Catalysis

Director General, Institute of Molecular Sciences, Tokyo University, Japan, member of the Science Council of Japan 

Professor Maki Kawai is recognised for her ground-breaking work in manipulating molecules at the atomic level, in order to transform materials and create innovative materials. Her exceptional research has contributed to establishing the foundations of nanotechnologies at the forefront of discoveries of new chemical and physical phenomena that stand to address critical environmental issues such as energy efficiency.



Professor Karen HALLBERG – Physics/ Condensed matter physics

Professor at the Balseiro Institute and Research Director at the Bariloche Atomic Centre, CNEA/CONICET, Argentina

Professor Karen Hallberg is rewarded for developing cutting-edge computational approaches that allow scientists to understand the physics of quantum matter. Her innovative and creative techniques represent a major contribution to understanding nanoscopic systems and new materials.



Professor Ingrid DAUBECHIES – Mathematics / Mathematical physics 

Professor of Mathematics and Electrical and Computer Engineering, Duke University, United States 

Professor Daubechies is recognised for her exceptional contribution to the numerical treatment of images and signal processing, providing standard and flexible algorithms for data compression. Her innovative research on wavelet theory has led to the development of treatment and image filtration methods used in technologies from medical imaging equipment to wireless communication.



Professor Claire VOISIN – Mathematics / Algebraic geometry

Professor at the Collège de France and former researcher at the CNRS (the French National Centre for Scientific Research)

Professor Voisin is rewarded for her outstanding work in algebraic geometry. Her pioneering discoveries have allowed [mathematicians and scientists] to resolve fundamental questions on topology and Hodge structures of complex algebraic varieties. 




previous editions

20th Edition (2018):
Awards in life sciences | International Rising Talents

19th Edition (2017):
Awards in material sciences | International Rising Talents

18th Edition (2016): 
Awards in life sciences | International Rising Talents

17th Edition (2015): 
Awards in material sciences | International Rising Talents

16th Edition (2014): 
Awards in life sciences | Fellowships 

15th Edition (2013): 
Awards in material sciences | Fellowships
2013 Programme of events

14th Edition (2012): 
Awards in life sciences | Fellowships  

13th Edition (2011): 
Awards in material sciences | Fellowships

Previous years