The Programme, which is in its 14th edition, acknowledges and encourages female participation in Brazilian science and awards $ 50,000 to each of the winners.
Finding solutions to diseases that affect the production of oranges in Brazil, investigating why stars stop being produced in some galaxies and encouraging the marketing of food plants are some of the winning works in the Program edition of this year. The Para Mulheres na Ciência (For Women in Science) Programme is dedicated to young Brazilian scientists and it is developed by L’Oréal Brasil in partnership with UNESCO in Brazil and the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC, in Portuguese). The Programme aims to transform the national scientific scenario, contributing to gender balance in the area.
Each year, seven young researchers from the areas of Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Chemical Sciences, and Mathematics are awarded a grant of R$ 50,000 each to further their studies. This is the case of physiotherapist Aline Miranda, from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), who researches the long-term consequences of traumatic brain injury. “My intention with my work is to have health policies reviewed, increasing the follow-up period for trauma patients,” explains the researcher.
Also in the Life Sciences category, biomedical Adriana Folador from the Federal University of Para (UFPA) was acknowledged by the Programme for her research on the genetics of antibiotic resistance in patients living at the Amazonian environment. Neuroscientist Josiane Budni, from the Extremo Sul Catarinense University, was chosen for her study on the relationship between Alzheimer’s disease and sleep disorders. Also from the South Region, another winner is the astrophysicist Marina Trevisan, from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), who investigates the evolution of galaxies and, in particular, how and why they stop producing stars.
Winner in the Mathematics category, Jaqueline Mesquita, from the University of Brasilia (UnB), fights to overcome the stereotypes surrounding her profession and wants to encourage young people in pursuing a career in the field. “Girls are never encouraged to go into the hard sciences. When a girl says she wants to study Math, everyone thinks it is weird. I heard: ‘You don’t look like a mathematician, you don’t even wear glasses.’ In my undergraduate class, we were 36 students, but only seven women,’ says the Math scientist, who studies problems that involve measured functional differential equations and functional dynamic equations on time scales.
Each year, the jury of renowned scientists from the Brazilian Academy of Sciences chooses works with the potential of finding solutions to important environmental, economic and health issues, such as the work of chemist Taícia Fill, from the University of Campinas (UNICAMP), who seeks solutions for diseases that affect the production of oranges in Brazil and that end up generating a loss of about R$ 1.5 billion. Finally, still in the food field, a study that also gained prominence in this edition of the Programme was the one by ethnobotanist Patrícia de Medeiros, from the Federal University of Alagoas (UFAL), which is dedicated to the use of unconventional food plants (PANC, in Portuguese) in human food.
For 14 years, the “For Women in Science” awards scientists from different places in Brazil. During this period, the programme has acknowledged and encouraged about 90 researchers, rewarding the relevance of their work and distributing approximately R$ 4 million in scholarships.
L’Oréal-UNESCO-ABC Winners “For Women in Science” 2019
- Adriana Folador
- Aline Miranda
- Josiane Budni
- Patrícia de Medeiros
Chemistry: Taícia Fill
Mathematics: Jaqueline Mosque
Physics: Marina Trevisan