Recipients of the 23rd edition of the L’Oréal-UNESCO Program for Women and Science

The L’Oréal-UNESCO Scholarships for Women and Science Award Gala took place in Warsaw on November 14, 2023. The Polish Academy of Sciences was represented by Prof. Katarzyna Starowicz-Bubak from the Maj Institute of Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Sciences, who conveyed heartfelt congratulations to the winners from the President of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Prof. Marek Konarzewski.

The 2023 jury, chaired by Prof. Ewa Lojkowska, selected 6 research projects from 274 applications. The awarded were:

Natalia Sauer Medical University of Piastów Śląskich in Wrocław

Angelika Andrzejewska-Romanowska, M.Sc. Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry PAS

Elżbieta Wątor, M.Sc. Małopolska Biotechnology Center

Marta Pacia, PhD Jagiellonian University

Aleksandra Rutkowska Ph.D. Medical University of Gdansk

Dr. Magdalena Zdrowowicz-Zamojć University of Gdansk

You can read about the Laureates here.

… „I strongly believe in the further development of this year’s Scholars and I am rooting for all the ladies, active and passionate researchers. Once again, congratulations on this achievement.” Prof. Katarzyna Starowicz-Bubak

A panel discussion „Caring for balance: the role of diversity in the future of science” was held at the 23rd edition of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women and Science scholarship award ceremony. The moderator of the conversation was Janina Bak, science popularizer, influencer, activist, author of the website and two bestselling popular science books. The panelists were Prof. Katarzyna Starowicz-Bubak – neuropharmacologist, professor of medical and health sciences at the Maj Institute of Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Sciences in Krakow, winner of the L’Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women and Science in 2012; Dr. Monika Ryndzionek – a specialist in gender equality in the Framework Program for Women and Science Gender Equality in the Horizon Europe Framework Program Division of the National Contact Point, National Center for Research and Development; and Dr. Aleksandra Rutkowska – grantee of the 23rd edition of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women and Science program, Center for Brain Diseases, Medical University of Gdansk. The panelists shared their personal experiences about the challenges they faced as women working in science and how they overcame (and are still overcoming) them. They also pointed out the vital importance of diversity on the ability of the scientific community and research teams to innovate and make breakthroughs. Speaking about the situation of women of science in Poland, difficult topics were not overlooked, namely those concerning the elimination of women from the research sphere at the birth of a child, pointing out the phenomenon that affects women’s professional work, namely 'punishment for motherhood’, slowing down careers, including scientific careers, and at the same time imposing on women the need to combine multiple social roles.

The Scholarship Award Gala is also an opportunity to meet scholarship recipients from previous years. We are proud and happy to remind you that Prof. Katarzyna Starowicz-Bubak (2012), Dr. Natalia Malek-Chudzik (2015) and Dr. Marta Kedziora (2022), are also scholarship recipients of the program.