Press Release: Launched Today, the Sixth ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women Sponsored by UL Focuses on Preventive Healthcare

Launched Today, the Sixth ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women Sponsored by UL Focuses on Preventive Healthcare

JAKARTA, 22 November 2019 – The official commencement and call for applications for the sixth annual ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women competition, sponsored by UL, was launched earlier today. The contest is supported through a collaborative effort among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a non-profit organization dedicated to the discovery and application of scientific knowledge.

Focusing on the theme of Preventive Healthcare, the 2020 Science Prize for Women will recognize two women scientists from the ASEAN region. Led by the ASEAN Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation (COSTI), the selection committee will present a $20,000 award to a woman scientist who demonstrates the best application of original scientific research to this year’s theme. A second prize of $5,000 will be given to the scientist whose application merits an honorable mention. The top two finalists will be recognized at the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Science, Technology, and Innovation in Bangkok, Thailand, in October 2020.

COSTI and UL chose ‘Preventive Healthcare’ as this year’s theme to underscore the importance of elevating the regional wellbeing of ASEAN citizens through the prevention of illness and associated risks. In addition to recognizing the significant work of the selected participants in reducing disease and illness, the prize will raise public awareness of the importance of preventive health care and spur action in leading a healthier lifestyle.

Dr. Raj. Thampuran, Singapore COSTI Chairman and Special Advisor to Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) said, “Preventive healthcare is vitally important to societal development where ASEAN is a region with its distinctive issues and medical practices. Talented women working in this field make profound contributions to improving health and palliative care to millions of people. With this prize, we hope to draw attention to women role models who are inspirations and set high standards of excellence in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

“Research in preventive healthcare is critical to the advancement of public health and safety,” said Cara Gizzi, VP of Education and Outreach at UL. “We are proud to partner with USAID and COSTI to elevate the work of these scientists. They will continue to inform and inspire change across ASEAN & beyond.”

“The U.S. Government is proud to promote, along with ASEAN and UL, the work of women scientists.  We believe that this year’s theme of preventive healthcare is a critical one for the future sustainability and well-being of the region. Preventative healthcare initiatives can reduce the burden of disease and elevate ASEAN’s regional health preparedness and resilience,” said Melissa A. Brown, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. of the U.S. Mission to ASEAN. “The 2020 Science Prize for Women showcases the role of female scientists in conducting innovative research that bolsters efforts to ultimately prevent epidemics, inspire a healthier lifestyle, and lift the ASEAN economy due to health-related cost-savings,” Chargé d’Affaires Brown concluded.

The ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women, sponsored by UL, is one of the many U.S. initiatives in support of ASEAN. The United States Government, along with U.S. private enterprises, collaborates with ASEAN to propel economic integration, expand maritime cooperation, cultivate emerging leaders, promote opportunities for women, and address transnational challenges. Through USAID’s cooperation with ASEAN, the United States Government addresses the root causes of poverty and instability and is committed to advancing prosperity and security in the Indo-Pacific.

Applications and nominations will be accepted by email at from 25 November 2019 – 31 January, 2020. Applicants should be an ASEAN citizen, aged 45 or under, and should be holders of a doctoral degree. More detailed information on the prize and its application requirements can be found at the 2020 ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women website. For additional information, contact USAID ASEAN Communications and Outreach Specialist, Samara Sanders at:



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 our 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.

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