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Launch of 2021 Underwriters Laboratories-ASEAN-US Science Prize for Women Focusing on Clean Air & Clean Water
January 15, 2021

JAKARTA, January 15, 2021 – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Committee on Science, Technology, and Innovation (COSTI), the U.S. Government’s U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and Underwriters Laboratories, a non-profit organization dedicated to the discovery and application of scientific knowledge, launched the Underwriters Laboratories-ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women 2021 call for applications today. This is the 7th annual scientific competition for women sponsored by Underwriters Laboratories, a program that continues to serve as a key U.S. government-supported initiative in partnership with ASEAN.

The Science Prize will honor women scientists across the region for outstanding research in this year’s theme ‘Clean Air and Clean Water.’ Applicants will compete in two categories:  Mid-career Scientist category for scientists aged 45 years or below; and Senior Scientist category for scientists aged 46 or older. Underwriters Laboratories will award $15,000 to the winner of the Senior Scientist category and $10,000 to the winner of the Mid-career Scientist category.

The theme ‘Clean Air and Clean Water’ is chosen for this year’s competition to recognize outstanding work in addressing issues including haze and air pollution and the lack of access to safe and clean water for around 110 million people living in Southeast Asia. The competition aims to demonstrate how science, technology, and innovation can bring about positive outcomes by improving water or air quality for ASEAN.

“The lack of clean air and clean water disproportionately impacts rural and impoverished communities, and it remains among the world’s most significant environmental health risks,” said Cara Gizzi, Vice President of Communications, Education and Outreach at Underwriters Laboratories. “We cannot take clean air and clean water for granted. Underwriters Laboratories supports the work of scientists who are dedicated to addressing water access as well as indoor and outdoor air pollution, and we are proud to partner with USAID and COSTI to elevate the work of women scientists. Interdisciplinary research in these areas can help to advance public health and safety and improve the long-term economic outcome for communities everywhere.”

“The United States is proud to promote, along with ASEAN and Underwriters Laboratories, the work of women scientists that tackles real-world challenges to achieve clean air and clean water. Environmental issues impact all aspects of society, from basic health to livelihoods, and in many instances, are a root cause of conflict between communities and nations.  Innovations in science and technology can make clean air and clean water available to everyone and ease the pressure on limited natural resources,” said Melissa A. Brown, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. of the U.S. Mission to ASEAN. “The 2021 Science Prize for Women showcases the important contributions of female scientists of all ages through their research and the application of their work, which improves the quality of life of millions of people and inspires future generations of young women to join their ranks,” Brown concluded.

Further, Chair of the ASEAN COSTI 2021 Prof. Sirirurg Songsivilai said that, “With women’s strength and talent, the world will move securely and sustainably.’’

Applications and nominations should be sent to the Science Prize website here:  2021 ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women website.  The deadline for applications is March 15, 2021.

Queries can be sent by email to scienceprize4women@gmail.com from January 15-March 15, 2021. Applicants must be ASEAN citizens and should hold a doctoral degree. More detailed information on the prize and its application requirements can be found at the 2021 ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women website.

For all additional information about the program outside of the application process, contact USAID ASEAN Communications and Outreach Specialist, Samara Sanders at:  jakartausaidasean@usaid.gov



The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) brings together Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam in a community united by a common desire and collective will to live in a region of lasting peace, security and stability, sustained economic growth, shared prosperity and social progress, and to promote our vital interests, ideals and aspirations.


The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is a U.S. Government agency that works to promote and demonstrate democratic values and advance a free, peaceful, and prosperous world. Through international development programs and disaster assistance, USAID partners to save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help people emerge from humanitarian crises, progress beyond assistance, and attain self-reliance.

About Underwriters Laboratories

Underwriters Laboratories Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) public safety mission through the discovery and application of scientific knowledge. They conduct rigorous independent research and analyze safety data, convene experts worldwide to address risks, share knowledge through safety education and public outreach initiatives, and develop standards to guide the safe, sustainable commercialization of evolving technologies. Underwriters laboratories foster communities of safety, from grassroots initiatives for neighborhoods, to summits of world leaders. The organization employs collaborative and scientific approaches with partners and stakeholders to drive innovation and progress toward improving safety, security, and sustainability, ultimately enhancing societal well-being. To learn more, visit UL.org.