L’Oréal Netherlands, the Netherlands Commission for Unesco and the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities (KHMW) have joined hands to offer a national prize to young female researchers as part of the Netherlands L’Oréal Unesco For Women in Science programme. 

2.1. Netherlands For Women in Science Rising Talent Prize

The For Women in Science Rising Talent Prize is a new addition to the national For Women in Science programme, which was founded in 2012 as part of the international partnership between L’Oréal and Unesco - For Women in Science (FWIS).

Competions, awards and prizes

FWIS has two international award competitions alongside national awards and prizes in different countries. Since the inaugural year in 1998, the L’Oréal Foundation and Unesco have strived to support and recognize accomplished women researchers, to encourage more young women to enter the profession and to assist them once their careers are in progress. Each year, five Awards Laureates are recognized for their contributions to the advancement of science, in Life Sciences or Physical Sciences in alternating years.

In addition to its annual Awards, the L’Oréal-Unesco partnership has established the International Rising Talents program, which is designed to accelerate the advancement of young women in science globally. The International Rising Talents are chosen among the doctoral and post-doctoral researchers who have received fellowships from L’Oréal-Unesco For Women in Science’s national and regional programs.


The aim of the Netherlands L’Oréal-Unesco For Women in Science Rising Talent Prize is to advance the academic careers of young women researchers in the Netherlands holding a position as PhD candidate or postdoctoral fellow in the sciences, with a maximum of 3 years post-PhD academic experience.   

The annual prize offers young women researchers an individual award of € 3500 in recognition of their academic achievements and future potential. The amount is to be spent on research-related activities at the discretion of the laureate. In addition, laureates of the Dutch Rising Talents Prize are entitled to be nominated for the International Rising Talents programme of FWIS.

Criteria - who may apply

Women researchers currently enrolled as PhD candidate or holding a postdoc position in a Dutch research institute or university and with a maximum of 3 years post-PhD academic experience, may apply. Maternity leave, part-time work and family care will be taken into account and, if applicable, the upper limit of 3 years can be extended by up to 18 months per child.

Applicants submit an application on a current research topic in one of the following science disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and Life Sciences. 

As the aim of this programme is to improve the career prospects of women researchers in the Netherlands, only researchers with a permanent or temporary contract[1] at a Dutch university or research institute are eligible to apply. Zero-hour contracts or visiting researcher positions do not apply.

The Call is open from 1 May to 30 June 2019.  

Candidates who are not successful may apply a second time (only) by submitting a new application to the Dutch L’Oréal-Unesco For Women in Science Rising Talent Prize Programme.

Submitting an application

An application consists of the following:

  • FWIS Rising Talent Prize application form which includes a description of current research activities
  • Copies of the two most relevant publications, if available and preferably “open access”
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • CV (maximum 4 pages including list of publications)

For more information about the application criteria please consult the FWIS Rising Talent Prize application form.

The application must be submitted electronically only to secretaris@khmw.nl no later than July 1, 2019.

Evaluation and results

Applications are reviewed by a selection committee consisting of members of the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities.  

The evaluation and selection of applications is based on:

  • Scientific achievements of the candidate
  • Academic performance;
  • Research proposal:
    - describes the overall research, the significance, novelty and potential impact of the research;
    - demonstrates innovation, imagination and relevance;
    - considers scientific solutions to problems confronting humankind in the 21st century;- respects the maximum 2 pages in length;
  • Research summary is written in clear, plain language and is no longer than 200 words;
  • Quality and relevance of the reference letters.

L’Oréal Netherlands and the Netherlands Commission for Unesco reserve the right not to award a Dutch L’Oréal-Unesco (FWIS) Rising Talent Prize if there are no suitable candidates.

Time line and Award Ceremony

Candidates will be informed on the results of their application before September 20, 2019. The results will be formally announced at the Dutch FWIS Award Ceremony held at the premises of the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities in autumn 2019.

Laureates of the Dutch Rising Talent Prize are eligible to participate in the FWIS International Rising Talents competition, which is open to national FWIS laureates only. Laureates are expected to submit an application before October 2019. More information will be communicated to the laureate after selection.

[1] At the time of application.