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National Finalists for 2020 ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women Announced
May 5, 2020

National Finalists for 2020 ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women Announced

JAKARTA, 4 May 2020 – The ASEAN Committee on Science, Technology, and Innovation (COSTI), the U.S. Government – through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and Underwriters Laboratories, are proud to announce the national finalists for the 2020 ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women.

Selected from 50 eligible applicants, the following national finalists from each of the ASEAN Member States are competing under the theme of Preventive Healthcare.

● Dr. Wida Susanty Suhaili, Brunei Darussalam

● Dr. Chantol Peng, Cambodia

● Dr. Nova Riyanti Yusuf, Indonesia

● Dr. Phonethipsavanh Nouanthong, Lao PDR

● Dr. Chan Yoke Fun, Malaysia

● Dr. Ther Wint Aung, Myanmar

● Dr. Maria Ruth Pineda-Cortel, Philippines

● Dr. Shefaly Shorey, Singapore

● Dr. Thanyanan Reungwetwattana, Thailand

● Dr. Tran Thi Thanh Huyen, Viet Nam

The competition emphasises the role of women scientists whose research improves society in sustainable ways. They serve as role models for other women working in and pursuing careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Competitors must demonstrate strong academic expertise and identify specifically how the presented research and technology makes a profound, positive impact on the community and promotes greater female engagement in STEM activities.

This competition showcases robust partnership among ASEAN COSTI, the U.S. Government through USAID and Underwriters Laboratories Inc., a nonprofit organisation dedicated to rigorous, independent research and safety science education through the discovery and application of scientific knowledge. The prize money of US$ 25,000 is sponsored by Underwriters Laboratories.

ASEAN COSTI Chair Prof. Andy Hor said, “on behalf of COSTI, we congratulate all the national finalists for their exceptional contributions in advancing scientific research for preventive healthcare.’’

‘’This year’s theme is a timely recognition of their dedication to tackling healthcare challenges in their communities, and inspiring excellence among female scientists in the ASEAN region,’’ he added.

“We are very proud to support the ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women. Preventive healthcare saves lives, increases life expectancy and fundamentally changes society for the

better,” said Terry Brady, President and CEO of Underwriters Laboratories. “We cannot underestimate the importance of this work—especially now—and we congratulate the national finalists for their groundbreaking research. These innovations contribute not only to the prosperity and safety of communities throughout the ASEAN region—they also have the potential to bring about lasting improvements in global health and welfare.”

“Since 2014, the United States continues to showcase the critical role of female scientists conducting innovative research highlighted in the ASEAN-USAID Science Prize for Women competition” said Melissa A. Brown, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. of the U.S. Mission to ASEAN. “On behalf of the United States Government, and together with ASEAN and Underwriters Laboratories, we congratulate the 2020 ASEAN national finalists for their outstanding work to address the timely issue of preventive healthcare,” she added.

“In such pivotal times centered on global public health, the United States reaffirms its commitment to promote the remarkable accomplishments of these female scientists to combat and deter health challenges in their communities. Through preventive healthcare research and initiatives, these women demonstrate outstanding dedication to advance public health preparedness and the well-being of citizens in the ASEAN region,” Chargé d’Affaires Brown concluded.

During the next stage of the competition, COSTI, USAID, Underwriters Laboratories, and the ASEAN Secretariat will judge the quality of the work of the ten national finalists to narrow the selection to two regional finalists. The two regional finalists will present their research in June 2020 during the ASEAN – U.S. Consultation Meeting to determine the winner and honorable mention.

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For additional information, contact USAID/ASEAN Communications Specialist, Samara Sanders at: jakartausaidasean@usaid.gov Detailed information on each national finalist can be found at: http://scienceprize4women.asean.org.


The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) brings together Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam 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 ASEAN vital interests, ideals and aspirations.


The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the lead 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 UL public safety mission through the discovery and application of scientific knowledge. We 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. We foster communities of safety, from grassroots initiatives for neighborhoods, to summits of world leaders. Our 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.