PhD student wins L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Young Talents Award

Naelijwa Mshanga, Commonwealth split-site PhD student, has been honoured as the recipient of the prestigious award for Women in Science Sub-Saharan Africa Young Talent Award.

UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Established in 1998, the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science partnership strives to empower women scientists, fostering their scientific excellence and ensuring their equal participation in addressing humanities’ challenges.

Each year the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Young Talents Award recognises exceptional African women scientists for their outstanding research.

This year, 30 young talents were honoured out of 632 scientists.

Nutrient deficiencies in young children

Naelijwa is conducting her PhD research in human nutrition. She investigates the relationship between a type of toxin, Aflatoxin B1, and micronutrient deficiencies in 6 to 24-month-old children in Tanzania.

Her research is supervised by Professor Yun Yun Gong, Dr Sally Moore and Dr Carolyn Auma in the School of Food Science and Nutrition

Throughout the award ceremony week, Naelijwa engaged in stimulating workshops, received valuable training and participated in meaningful conversations on leadership and management in science alongside fellow women scientists.

Naelijwa was awarded a trophy and 10,000 euros in financial support to advance her research.

Opportunity to empower and be empowered

Naelijwa said she appreciates this amazing opportunity to empower and be empowered by women in science. She expressed gratitude for the support of her supervisors.

“I’m truly honoured to receive the Loreal-UNESCO Young Talent Award,” she said.

“This recognition holds immense significance for me and I’m grateful that my contributions to reducing nutrition deficiencies in Tanzania and Africa have been acknowledged.

“I hope this serves as an inspiration for many to persist in making meaningful contributions to the field.”