• Press Release

February 26, 2024

2024 UL Research Institutes-ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women: Now Accepting Applications

JAKARTA, INDONESIA (Feb. 26, 2024) – Today marks the launch of the tenth annual UL Research Institutes-ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women, a celebration of a decade of excellence in recognizing the significant contributions of ASEAN women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This esteemed competition, a collaboration between the ASEAN Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation (ASEAN COSTI), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and UL Research Institutes (ULRI), underscores the pivotal role of women in driving scientific advancement and innovation.

2024 Theme: climate resilience and adaptation

This year’s competition targets the urgent need for technological innovation and research to foster climate resilience and enhance coordinated adaptation strategies across ASEAN member states. This theme is both timely and critical given that the Indo-Pacific is highly vulnerable to climate disruption, suffering roughly two-thirds of the world’s natural disasters over recent years, a problem that has intensified with climate change. Spanning sectors such as sustainable infrastructure, technology, biodiversity and ecosystem restoration, climate-smart agriculture, food security, renewable energy, and community-based adaptation and resilience, climate-friendly innovations can improve living standards that are beneficial for all.

Competition categories and prizes

Candidates will compete in two categories based on their career stage: the Mid-career Scientist category for those 45 years of age and under, and the Senior Scientist category for individuals aged 46 and older. Winners will each be awarded $12,500 with runners-up each receiving $5,000, thanks to the sponsorship of UL Research Institutes, a non-profit organization dedicated to the discovery and application of scientific knowledge.

H.E. Dr. Hul Seingheng, chair of ASEAN COSTI conveyed that, “The research work undertaken by dedicated women scientists in the area, focusing on climate change and its adverse effects, aims to tackle issues related to environmental sustainability, inclusivity, and the socio-economic growth for the region. Crucially, their efforts will enable replication in other sectors, enhancing the lives of millions both within and outside the region.”

Amidst these achievements, Dr. Christopher J. Cramer, interim president and chief research officer at UL Research Institutes, highlights the broader impact and the ongoing journey of recognition as the Science Prize for Women reaches a landmark occasion: “As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Science Prize for Women, it’s important to recognize the pivotal role this select group of scientists has been playing in a wide array of fields, from AI to electrification. We want to salute the women who have paved the way this past decade while welcoming a new cohort of applicants. This year, we are seeking science-based solutions to tackle climate change, which puts human health, agriculture, and the water supply at risk.”

Reflecting on the past decade of the competition’s partnership, U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN Yohannes A. Abraham reaffirmed, “The United States steadfastly supports our long-standing collaboration with ASEAN COSTI and UL Research Institutes to champion the Science Prize for Women, particularly as we celebrate its milestone 10th anniversary.”  He underscored, “Addressing the urgent challenge of climate change demands unified action, and the involvement of women in this endeavor is crucial for uncovering sustainable solutions that can benefit all citizens across the region. We are dedicated to bridging gender disparities, enabling more women to drive progress in STEM that contributes to the collective future for our combined one billion people.”

Call for applications

We invite women scientists from ASEAN member states, who hold doctoral degrees, to apply. This is a unique opportunity to showcase impactful research and innovations that address climate resilience and adaptation. The application deadline is April 30, 2024.

Since 2014, the UL Research Institutes -ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women competition has attracted 418 total applicants from all ten ASEAN countries. It has also awarded $240,000 in cash prizes to 23 winners and honorable mentions highlighting the contributions of women in advancing sustainable societal improvements through science and technology expertise.

Join ASEAN COSTI, UL Research Institutes, and USAID in advancing the role of women in science and contributing to a sustainable, resilient future for ASEAN and beyond.

For more information and to apply, please visit the UL Research Institutes-ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women website.

Queries related to the application process can be directed to scienceprize4women@gmail.com. For general information, contact jakartausaidasean@usaid.gov.