Dr Maria Bruna (Junior Research Fellow in Mathematics) awarded one of the 2016 L’Oréal-UNESCO UK & Ireland For Women in Science Fellowships (FWIS)

We are delighted to announce that Dr Maria Bruna, Junior Research Fellow in Mathematics at St John's has been awarded one of the 2016 L’Oréal-UNESCO UK & Ireland For Women in Science Fellowships (FWIS). The winning scientists, selected from nearly 400 applicants, were announced at a prestigious ceremony hosted at the Royal Society. Maria received recognition for her research developing models which can improve the efficiency of particle separation technologies, which are critical to a wide range of sectors from the food and pharmaceutical industries to clinical research. In stem cell research, for example, individual stem cells must be identified and separated from many thousands of neighbouring cells before they can be used in therapies.

Dr Maria Bruna Women In Science Award 2016

The L'Oréal UK & Ireland Fellowships For Women in Science were launched in January 2007 to help support and help increase the number of women working in sciences. The Fellowships are awards offered by a partnership between L'Oréal UK & Ireland, the UK National Commission for UNESCO and the Irish National Commission for UNESCO, with the support of the Royal Society. From 2015, Five Fellowships are awarded annually to outstanding female postdoctoral researchers. The Fellowships are tenable at any UK or Irish university/research institute to support a 12-month period of postdoctoral research in any area of the life, physical sciences, mathematics and engineering.
The Fellowships have been designed to provide practical help for the winners to undertake research in their chosen fields. For example, winners may choose to spend their fellowship on buying scientific equipment, paying for child care costs, travel costs or indeed whatever they may need to continue their research.

Dr Steve Shiel, Scientific Director at L’Oréal UK & Ireland, said:  ‘At a time when there’s still a significant gender imbalance in the UK science community, it’s vital that organisations like ours find ways to support women in getting into and staying in science. As a company founded on science, we are committed to helping breakdown the barriers standing between students and potential scientific careers because, simply, science needs women.’

Professor Dame Carol Robinson, Head of the Judging Panel and a L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science International Laureate, said: ‘We were really impressed by the research projects each our finalists is working on, and it was tough to decide on our winning group – each is working hard to solve a specific question. We are excited that they will benefit from the very real, flexible support provided in the Fellowship, at a critical stage in their careers.’

The 2016 fellowships have been awarded to:

  • Dr Sophie Acton, University College London, Immunology/Cell Biology
  • Dr Maria Bruna, University of Oxford, Mathematics
  • Dr Sam Giles, University of Oxford, Palaeobiology
  • Dr Tanya Hutter, University of Cambridge, Physical Chemistry
  • Dr Louisa Messenger, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Public Health

To find out more please visit https://www.womeninscience.co.uk/