L'Oréal - Unesco Fellowships Programme for Young Women in Life Sciences

    UNESCO and the L’Oréal Corporate Foundation seek to recognise women researchers who, through the scope of their work, have contributed to overcoming the global challenges of tomorrow.
    Faced with global challenges such as the acceleration of new technologies, aging populations or the threat to biodiversity, UNESCO and L’Oréal remain convinced that these women researchers will have a major impact on society and lay the foundations for the future. As such, UNESCO and L’Oréal want to contribute to their recognition and provide them with the means to continue their commitment to science with energy and passion.
    Since 1998, the L’Oréal-UNESCO Awards have recognised more than 87 laureates from 30 countries, exceptional women who have made great advances in scientific research. Two of them have gone on to receive the Nobel Prize.


    • The selection of candidates devolves on the appropriate authorities of the Member States concerned.
    • All applications must be channelled through the National Commission for UNESCO of the candidate’s country and should be addressed to the Director-General.
    • The UNESCO Secretariat cannot consider individual applications. Such applications are returned to the applicants, who are advised to submit them to the competent national body, e.g., the National Commission for UNESCO in the case of requests falling within the framework of the Organization’s Regular Programme (including the Participation Programme).
    • Candidates for fellowships financed under operational projects carried out with extra-budgetary funds must be officially appointed to those projects by the national authorities responsible for the project’s co-ordination. Once again, National Commissions for UNESCO should be informed of these nominations by the local authorities.
    • Age of fellow: Fellowships are granted only to persons in good health who are not over 45 years of age. Exceptions may be considered when a case can be made. When the age limit is different from that mentioned above, it is specified in the criteria for application included in each announcement of a fellowship programme.
    • It is for each Member State to lay down the recruitment procedures that it considers appropriate. In this connection UNESCO recommends procedures in keeping with the principle of equality of access to education. Such procedures imply that the fellowship offer be made widely known among those concerned and competitive examinations organized if necessary. Any interested person may apply to the appropriate national authority – in some cases, the National Commission – which is alone empowered to submit the application to the UNESCO Secretariat if it deems fit.
    • Applicants who have exceptional merit, and who have demonstrated that they possess outstanding potential to contribute to the social, cultural and/or economic development of their country are the primary targets of UNESCO fellowships.
    • Candidates are usually persons who have already begun their careers, or are at an advanced stage of their university education.
    • In the main, candidates are those pursuing post-graduate studies of short-term duration. UNESCO policy is to make short-term awards, often of 6 months or under, and definitely not exceeding a maximum of one academic year (i.e. nine months). Owing to the paucity of funds, awards to under-graduate students who may pursue studies in their own countries cannot be beneficiaries of UNESCO fellowships.
    • Priority attention is given to the following candidatures:
    » Women Youth;
    » The disadvantaged;
    » From the Least Developed Countries; and
    » From Member States of Africa


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    The awards financed by the L´ORÉAL Corporate Foundation, and managed and administered by UNESCO will consist of the following:
    • A financial contribution, not to exceed US $20,000 per year for each selected beneficiary to support her on-going research proposal, with the possibility of an extension for a second year.
    • Round-trip travel for the selected beneficiaries from their country of residence to Paris, France, (date not yet determined) to attend an awards ceremony (sine qua non condition for the award of the fellowship).
    • Lodging and pocket money during the stay in Paris for the awards ceremony.
    • A certificate attesting to the special award.

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