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Nature Research Awards for Inspiring and Innovating Science

Nature Research is proud and excited to announce the 2020 Inspiring & Innovating Science Awards, in partnership with The Estée Lauder Companies.

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About the Nature Research Awards for Inspiring & Innovating Science

Please note the application window is now closed.

The scope of this year’s award has been refined to reflect two award categories that describe the work they recognise - Scientific Achievement and Scientific Outreach.

Nature Research supports gender equity and strives to showcase the work of female researchers. 
The aim of the two Nature Research awards, in partnership with The Estée Lauder Companies, is to celebrate and support the achievements of  women in science, and of all those who work to encourage girls and young women to engage with STEM subjects and who work to support women to stay in STEM careers around the world. STEM includes natural sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.

Key dates

9th April 2020 Application window opens
14th June 2020 Application window closes
September 2020 Shortlist announced
October 2020 Winner announced

Scientific Achievement Category

The Nature Research Awards Scientific Achievement Category recognizes early-career women researchers. The successful applicant will have made an exceptional demonstrable contribution to scientific discovery, and may have faced significant challenges, personal or professional. The applicant will also exhibit the potential for developing and leading an independent research group. We are also keen that  applicants have made efforts to inspire the next generation of scientists through outreach or support the retention of women in science careers.

Eligibility criteria

  • Applicants must self-identify as women. We use an inclusive definition of ‘woman’ and ‘women’. We welcome trans women, genderqueer and non-binary people.
  • Applicants must hold a PhD degree or a medical degree, or other type of doctorate by dissertation. A PhD or doctorate by dissertation is a globally recognized postgraduate academic degree awarded by a university or higher education institution to a person who has submitted a thesis or dissertation, based on extensive and original research in their chosen field. 
  • Applicants must be within 10 years of completing their PhD degree or medical degree, or other type of doctorate by dissertation:
  • Completion of their PhD (or medical degree) is defined as the date the PhD (or medical degree) or doctorate by dissertation was approved by the institutional panel following submission of their dissertation and/or oral examination. It is not the date of their graduation.
  • The abovementioned 10 years will be extended by any maternity leave(s) or other relevant leaves of absence. Thus, the 10 years do not need to be continuous. Details of these absences will need to be specified during the application process.
  • If applicants hold both a PhD and a medical degree, the graduation date of the most recently awarded will be used.
  • Applicants must hold a non-tenured position. This includes those who have non-permanent postdoctoral and/or non-permanent tenure-track positions (or equivalents such as proleptic lecturer positions). Those in a tenured position (or equivalents, such as  permanent lecturer position) are not eligible to apply. 
  • We accept applications from those working in natural sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.

Evaluation criteria
Applications will be assessed by our expert judging panel consisting of editors from Nature Research, independent experts and experts from our corporate partner, The Estée Lauder Companies. Each award category will have a separate judging panel. Panel members will review applications to create a shortlist of applicants for each award category. The full panel will then meet to discuss the merits of the shortlisted applicants and select the winner. The judging panel will make up 100% of the votes. The chief judge will make the final decision in the event of a tie. 

Applications will be scored with the focus on scientific achievements, but taking into account science outreach activities.
 

Prizes
The winner of the Nature Research Awards for Inspiring & Innovating Science, individual category,  will receive:

  • A grant of US$30,000 to spend on initiatives linked to the award 
  • A grant of up to US$5,200 APC funding: to spend on article processing charges over the next 2 years at Springer Nature journals, should papers submitted be suitable for publication 
  • An invitation to the award ceremony in London , with travel and accommodation expenses paid by the Promoter. In the event that it is not possible or advisable  to hold such a ceremony, an alternative presentation or acknowledgement will be arranged.
  • Coverage on nature.com.
  • Access to online Nature Masterclasses courses for one year 
  • An invitation to present their work or initiative to the scientists at The Estée Lauder Companies 
  • Mentoring through The Estée Lauder Companies

The shortlisted applicants will: 

  • Be profiled on the Nature Research Award website 
  • Have access to an exclusive mentoring and networking community site 
  • Have access to online Nature Masterclasses online courses for the duration of 1 month

Science Outreach Category

The Nature Research Award Science Outreach Category is presented for initiatives that support girls or young women to engage with, enjoy and  study  STEM subjects OR to increase the retention of women in STEM careers. STEM includes natural sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine. These initiatives can be run by an individual or academic, educational, charitable, governmental or corporate entity. In the case of corporate entities, the initiatives should form part of a corporate social responsibility programme and not be part of core commercial operations.
 

Eligibility criteria
We accept applications from organizations,  departments, individuals (of any gender) or project teams. Please nominate one spokesperson who will be our point of contact and represent the winning entry at  the award ceremony. 

We are looking for initiatives that have either:

  • encouraged  girls or young women to engage with and study natural sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine
  • increased retention of women in STEM careers, with a focus on providing tools to support women through their career progression in a STEM discipline. 

Entries will have shown exceptional vision,  insight and/or imagination and demonstrated that they encourage, support or promote the interest of girls and/or women in STEM.
 

Evaluation criteria
Applications will be assessed by our expert judging panel consisting of editors from Nature Research, independent experts and experts from our corporate partner, The Estée Lauder Companies. Each award category will have a separate judging panel. Panel members will review applications to create a shortlist of applicants for each award category. The full panel will then meet to discuss the merits of shortlisted applicants and select the winner. The judging panel will make up 100% of the votes. The chief judge will make the final decision in the event of a tie. 

Applications will be assessed against the following criteria: 

  • Description of your initiative 
  • Success of your initiative
  • Future plans

Prizes
The winners of the Nature Research Awards for Inspiring & Innovating Science will receive:

  • A grant of US$30,000 to spend on initiatives linked to the award 
  • A grant of up to US$5,200 for event funding: to spend on an event over the next 2 years that showcases the initiative
  • An invitation to the award ceremony in London, with accommodation and travel expenses paid by the organiser. In the event that it is not possible or advisable  to hold such a ceremony, an alternative presentation or acknowledgement will be arranged.
  • Coverage on nature.com
  • Access to online Nature Masterclasses courses for one year 
  • An invitation to present their work or initiative to the scientists at The Estée Lauder Companies 
  • Mentoring through The Estée Lauder Companies 

The shortlisted applicants will: 

  • Be profiled on the Nature Research Award website 
  • Have access to an exclusive mentoring and networking community site 
  • Have access to online Nature Masterclasses online courses for the duration of 1 month