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L'Oréal Malaysia For Women In Science 2012

By 15:36

I just recently heard about it and I think it's fantastic. It's about time we recognise Women in Science especially since it's a male dominated field. After hearing what some of these women have achieved and plan to contribute to their specific fields I'm inspired to do so many things. I just have to get my head around a few things first. 

L'Oréal Malaysia recently rewarded 3 young female researchers for the excellence and feasibility of their scientific project for the L'Oréal Malaysia For Women in Science 2012 program.

Every year, L'Oréal and UNESCO renew their joint commitment to promoting scientific careers and identifying outstanding women scientists. Even though women increasingly attain the highest, academic levels, they are still under-represented at the top levels of scientific research. For the past 7 years, the L'Oréal For Women in Science program has given recognition to young women researchers, providing visibility and encouragement for the exceptional quality of their work which they will pursue in Malaysia. The awards are presented in Life Science and Material Science in alternating years.

L'Oréal Malaysia For Women in Science Fellowships is the extension to the international L'Oréal UNESCO awards, to provide financial assistance of RM20,000 each to 3 young female researchers to pursue their scientific project in Malaysia. The program was developed to recognise and support promising young Malaysia women researchers in their scientific research and highlight their significance in the field of science which would then encourage a new generation of women leaders. This programme also intends to position these women as significant contributors to the development of sciences that will aptly help Malaysia progress towards a developed country.

The three National Fellows 2012 are Assoc. Prof Dr Wan Azlina Wan Abdul Karim Ghani, Dr Firdaus Mukhtar and Dr Hakimah Osman.

Assoc. Prof Dr Wan Azlina Wan Abdul Karim Ghani, Lecturer, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) - The winning project is about the development  of the hybrid material called hydrogel derived biochar composite (HBC) for greenhouse gascous (CO2) capture. This HBC  will be synthesise from a special formulation of hydrogel and biochar materials. The captured CO2 theoretically will reform into solid (sodium carbonate) which may then further develop as fertilizer or as construction materials. This research will reduce then greenhouse gas emissions and hence mitigate the climate change.

Dr Firdaus Mukhtar, Senior Lecturer DS51/Consultant Clinical Psychologist Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) - The proposed project is about psychoimmunology study. A study on the interaction of stress onto immune system reponse. The objective is to investigate the effect of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) for women patients with anxiety disorders (panic attack, phobia) on their immunological and psychological parameters.

Dr Hakimah Osman, Deputy Dean of Academic Management Division and Senior Lecturer for School of Materials Engineering Universiti Malaysia Perlis (Unimap) - To develop large-scale alternative (domestic) natural latex production from Tapioca or Cassava (Manihot esculenta). This research study will not only resolve problems on protein allergy in NRL and shortage of NRL supply, but there would be opportunity  to incorporate the production of tapioca's  latex into integrated, zero waster biorefinery systems.

L’Oréal-UNESCO  For Women in Science Program
Launched in Paris in 1998 by L’ORÉAL and UNESCO, the ‘For Women in Science’ Award was the first international award devoted to women in science. But today after 14 years celebration, it has  extended to a broad dimension with international focus on scientific vocations and dedicated to recognizing the accomplishments of female researchers from every continent.
1)      5 International Awards – Created in 1998, the L’Oréal -UNESCO Awards have been presented every year to five women, one from each region (Africa and the Arab States, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, North America) in recognition of their contribution to the advancement of science. The Awards are presented in Life Sciences and Physical Science in alternating years.
2)      1 International Special the footsteps of Marie Curie’. Created in 2011, the Special Fellowship is awarded annually to a former International Fellow who, since receiving her fellowship 10 years ago, has demonstrated excellence and determination in the pursuit of her career in research.
3)      15 International Fellowships – The  UNESCO -L’Oréal  International Fellowship program was created in 2000 to encourage promising women who are working in the life sciences at the doctoral and postdoctoral level.  Fifteen International Fellows, three from each UNESCO region are chosen to continue their research in prestigious institutions outside their home country.
4)      20 Regional and 180 National Fellowships – In response to local needs, the L’Oréal –UNESCO For Women in Science program also provides fellowship to promising young women researchers in various branches of science at national and regional levels. Two Regional Fellowship programs have been developed in Sub-Saharan Africa and in the Arab States, while National Fellowship programs are now in place in 47 countries.

L'Oréal Young Scientist Carnival

This program is launched in 2012 as a platform to encourage and nurture young students to develop their interest and career in Science. It is a science innovation and invention competition for all Form 4 students of High Performance Schools/Cluster and the projects can be presented individually or in Groups of 5.

The National Fellows will provide mentoring to the students in preparation for the competition. This is organised with Universiti Putra Malaysia and in collaboration with the Ministry of Education (Management Division of High Performance Schools/Cluster) and the Education Department of Selangor. The final competition will beheld on the 20th September at UPM.

For more details go to and

*Note: Photos courtesy of L'Oréal Malaysia.

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