Nature Research Awards for Inspiring & Innovating Science 2021


Nature Research in partnership with The Estée Lauder Companies.


Nature Research supports gender equity and strives to showcase the work of female researchers. The aim of the two Nature Research awards is to celebrate and support the achievements of  women in science, and of all those who work to encourage girls and young women to engage with STEM subjects and who work to support women to stay in STEM careers around the world. STEM includes natural sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.

The Inspiring & Innovating Science programme consists of two categories:

  • The Achievement Award for an individual woman researcher of inspiring scientific achievement; and 
  • The Outreach Award for a project or programme aimed at inspiring girls and young women to engage with and study STEM subjects  or increase the retention rate of women in STEM careers.  

The Nature Research Awards Scientific Achievement Category recognizes early-career women researchers. The successful applicant will have made an exceptional demonstrable contribution to scientific discovery, and may have faced significant challenges, personal or professional. The applicant will also exhibit the potential for developing and leading an independent research group. Applications are also sought from researchers who have made efforts to inspire the next generation of scientists through outreach or support the retention of women in science careers.

The Nature Research Award Science Outreach Category is presented for initiatives that support girls or young women to engage with, enjoy and  study  STEM subjects OR to increase the retention of women in STEM careers. These initiatives can be run by an individual or academic, educational, charitable, governmental or corporate entity. In the case of corporate entities, the initiatives should form part of a corporate social responsibility programme and not be part of core commercial operations.​



Scientific Achievement Category

  • the applicant self-identifies as a woman. Trans women, genderqueer and non-binary people are encouraged to apply.
  • the applicant holds a  PhD degree or a medical degree, or other type of doctorate obtained by dissertation
  • At the time of application, the applicant is in a non-tenured research position and working in natural sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics or medicine.

Science Outreach Category

The applicant represents an initiative that has

  • encouraged girls or young women to engage with and study natural sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine OR
  • increased retention of women in STEM careers, with a focus on providing tools to support women through their career progression in a STEM discipline.

Applicants for each award need to submit their own applications.

Specific eligibility​ details are available on the Nature Research Awards for Inspiring and Innovating Science website.


  • A grant of $30,000 US to spend on initiatives linked to the award 
  • Coverage on
  • Training from Nature Masterclasses
  • Mentoring, as well as an invitation to present their work or initiative to scientists at The Estée Lauder Companies.

Special Notes

Please note that research activities carried out in the context of COVID-19 need to adhere to the University of Guelph COVID-19 research principles, policies, guidelines and processes as they may be updated from time to time and communicated on the Office of Research web-page.


If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.

External Deadline

Please complete the application directly on the online application form by the external deadline. Please also submit a copy of the full application and OR-5 to

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted through the online application form. The questions you will need to answer are listed on the Nature Research Awards for Inspiring and Innovating Science webpage. Entries must be complete (that is, all required fields are completed) and submitted by 14th June 2021 23:59 BST to be eligible.

Please send a copy of the nomination and OR-5 to

As this is an international prize, the University may engage the Global Excellence Initiative to coordinate external review of nominations. 

For more information, contact or

Alert Classifications
Honours and Awards

Health and Life Sciences
Information and Communications Technology
Physical Sciences and Engineering