The L’Oréal-UNESCO Fellowship for Women in Science (FWIS) celebrates the achievements of distinguished women scientists in Malaysia. Since 2006, the programme has awarded over RM 1,000,000 in research grants to more than 40 outstanding women scientists. These women continue to change the face of science in the nation.
This year, the Young Talents Programme is open to all Malaysian women researchers and scientists below the age of 40. Applicants must be PhD holders, candidates, or currently pursuing research studies in advancing the science of climate change. One outstanding Malaysian woman scientist will be granted an endowment worth RM30,000 to assist her in pursuing her respective research.
Science has never been more vital. The Covid-19 pandemic has enabled the public to increasingly understand the importance of valuing, listening, and supporting scientific leaders. While scientists race to develop a vaccine, the rest of the world pins hope to those few who serve humanity through rigorous and tiring research.
Without a doubt, the pandemic has proved to be a massive global disruption. Therefore, in the interest of continuing to nurture early-career women researchers in 2020 despite challenging times, L’Oréal Malaysia has opted to extend the deadline for the L’Oréal- UNESCO for Women in Science Young Talents Programme to 30 June 2020.
To better grasp the importance of supporting women in science, one only needs to look at last year’s recipients. These L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women In Science Fellowship inductees are on their way to changing the world.
Dr. Wan Iryani
For the past decade, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) graduate Dr. Wan Iryani has engaged in the research and development of honey and its potential use to control obesity. It is one of the most cost-effective and easily attainable natural products available according to Dr. Wan. The key to solving the obesity epidemic and lowering the incidence of diabetes, may be hidden in this rich natural source of active ingredients. Dr. Wan Iryani employed her grant of RM30,000 towards testing the effects of raw honey supplements on humans and to determine how raw honey stimulates fat cells in the human body.
Dr. Lim Way Foong
Though touted as an energy-efficient light source, light-emitting diodes (LED) emit strong blue light. Overexposure to this light, which sits at the high-energy scale of the visible light spectrum, is posited to negatively affect vision, and disrupt body function. Pledged to change the future, University Sains Malaysia (USM) senior lecturer Dr. Lim Way Foong is tirelessly working on the development of a “healthier” light emission – violet LED (VioLED). The alternative light source may one day be a part of our daily lives in devices as common as smartphones, flat-screen televisions, and computers.
Shivaani Mariapun is a PhD student from University of Nottingham Malaysia’s Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering. She focuses her research on mammographic density and breast cancer risk in Asian women. The objective of her study is to determine the measure of mammographic density that would most accurately predict the risk of breast cancer and evaluate the accuracy of those risk prediction models in Asian women, factoring genetic factors and mammographic density. The success of her research may have a monumental impact on early detection of breast cancer. This is the most common cancer to affect women in Malaysia.
Undoubtedly, these remarkable scientists are on the way to making the world a safer, healthier place. We should applaud their dedication. It is certainly our duty to continue to uplift, support and encourage more young women to pursue their dreams in science.
All applications for the L’Oréal- UNESCO for Women in Science Young Talents Programme must be submitted via www.fwis.fr before June 30, 2020.