Our panel of judges is pleased to announce the inaugural winner of the Women in Research Travel Grant Competition. After much deliberation, and the daunting task of reviewing more than 200 insightful responses on improving gender parity, Jody McBrien of the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee will be awarded the travel grant.
In her winning response, Dr. McBrien writes:
As an international researcher who works with women and girls affected by war (refugees and displaced people), my answer may be more simple than others. The girls I work with in Uganda - and resettled refugee girls in the US - want to work in science and technical fields. They face cultural discrimination in both settings: favoritism of boys in rural Africa, and prejudice against their religion, race, or accents in the US. In Uganda, I work with women leaders to raise school fees for girls and to educate families about the importance of girls' education. In the US, I have raised money for organizations supporting girls' education in Uganda; and I both encourage refugee girls through projects and mentoring, and I educate future teachers in my courses about supporting the educational aspirations of these resilient young women. I find my university students have no previous awareness about these challenges.
The judges feel that this essay stands out because it focuses on innovation and solution-focused activities. They write:
“This essay demonstrates the power and potential of research to effect real change. The author admirably blends a commitment to research with the principles and practice of leadership to provide a new generation of women leaders the tools they will need to contribute meaningfully to the global research community.
The author’s essay provides insight into the multifaceted nuances of cultural, gender, and racial bias and how it can be combatted by raising awareness and providing leadership. Supporting the education and growth of these women can have long-lasting effects on them and on future generations.
This approach goes well beyond the effort of increasing the representation at all career levels of women in STEM. It faces bias from different angles and holds the potential to make sensitive changes from the beginning of the educational path for girls in a extremely difficult environment.
Importantly, the proposal also clearly articulates the usefulness of a travel grant and the power of transnational connections in research. The travel grant will certainly help in further connecting different realities and allows outreach to populations in need. We believe it will provide support in bringing the project to the next step to have a lasting impact.”
Congratulations to Dr. McBrien, and thank you to everyone who participated in this travel grant competition. Your words and your work are inspiring to us, and selecting a winner was a daunting and difficult task.
2017 Women in Research Travel Grant Judges:
Kim E. Barrett,
Editor-in-Chief, The Journal of Physiology
President, International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society
Monica Di Luca,
Past President, Federation of European Neuroscience Societies
Eileen De Guire,
Director of Communications and Marketing, American Ceramics Society
RN, DNurs, ONZM, FACMHN, FNZCMHN, CEO, International Council of Nurses
President, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Competency-Based Education
Executive Director, Geological Society of America
Executive Director/CEO, American Geophysical Union
President Emeritus, Australian Anthropological Society
Publisher, American Psychiatric Association
CEO, Australian College of Mental Health
Editor, Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy
Editor-in-Chief, Physiological Reports
Image Credit:University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee