TWAS-Samira Omar Innovation for Sustainability Award

This annual award, named after the TWAS Fellow Samira Omar, recognizes the significant impact on the environment and biodiversity of scientists from least developed countries, with a monetary award of $4,000 generously provided by Professor Omar. In 2024 the award is aimed exclusively at women scientists.

The call is closed
Partner Organizations
Country where tenable
Age limit
Scientific field

Our planet, and therefore our existence, faces several challenges: world population, food security, climate change, biodiversity loss, water scarcity/poor sanitation, energy resources. Sustainability involves considering the relationship between the finite resources of the planet and the way of life adopted by humans: in what way can our existence be maintained and at what level?

Sustainability is at the forefront of many discussions at the international scene. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals released by the UN in 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda underlie that we must become aware of the fact that we are compromising the future of generations to come. The SDGs may well represent the best attempt at addressing sustainability issues at a global scale.

The “Innovation for Sustainability” Award will reward scientists for their contribution in an area, albeit multidisciplinary, directly relevant to the science of sustainability.


TWAS is inviting nominations for the 2024 Award from all its members as well as science academies, national research councils, universities and scientific institutions in developing and developed countries.

Self nominations (i.e. applications) WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.


The 2024 award will be awarded to a woman scientist national of a Least Developing Country (LDC), living and working in a LDC during the last two years immediately prior to her nomination, based on scientific achievements in any of the thematic areas below:

- Clean and renewable energy
- Green chemistry
- Sustainable agriculture and agrobiodiversity
- Plastic: degradation, pollution and microplastics
- Water purification and sanitation
- Climate change: environmental effects, methane contribution, carbon capture
- Transportation technologies: efficiency for smart cities
- Waste management
- Biodiversity: the sixth mass extinction, ecosystem services, habitat recovery and restoration
- Ecological economics and planetary health

Every two years the award is aimed exclusively at women scientists.

Self nominations and nominations from jury members will not be considered.

Fellows of TWAS are not eligible.

The same nominee cannot be nominated for more than one 'Fellows of TWAS Awards' in a given year. The secretariat retains the right to bring to the attention of the relevant nominators that the nomination may be suitable for another award, and the final decision whether or not to shift the nomination will be taken by the nominators themselves.


The 2024 nominations can only be submitted electronically through the on-line platform by clicking on the “NEW NOMINATION” button at the bottom of this page.

To resume working on saved nominations, click on the "RESUME" button at the bottom of this page.

The extended deadline for receiving nominations is 10 May 30 June 2024, however we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the deadline but submit the nomination as early as you can to enable us to process it as quickly as possible.


A nomination is considered complete only if includes all of the following information/material:

  • Nominator contact details;
  • Nominee contact details (self nominations are not accepted) and general information on the nominee;
  • Authorization from the nominee (i.e. the candidate) to process her personal data for the purposes of her nomination, in conformity to Art. 13 of the Italian Legislative Decree 196/2003. This authorization can only be submitted through the online platform. The privacy authorization form is available for download in the section ‘nominee’s personal data’. The form must be filled in and signed by the candidate and then uploaded onto the on-line platform;
  • Suggested citation (15-20 words highlighting the nominee's scientific achievements);
  • Supporting statement regarding the nominee’s contribution. Supporting statements should explain in detail the work performed by the candidate and its significance in the relevant scientific context. Clear reference should be made to the scientific impact of the nominee's work. Vague supporting statements will not be considered and will negatively affect the evaluation;
  • Clear and detailed account of any time spent abroad by the nominee in the past two years;
  • PhD: information on subject area, year and awarding institution;
  • Brief information on membership in academies and societies;
  • Brief information on awards and honours received;
  • List of 10 most significant publications listed in an internationally acceptable format;
  • The nominee's brief CV and her complete list of publications are also to be uploaded, separately, onto the online platform.
  • The nominee's h-index in Google Scholar and the associated number of citations.


1) While filling in the form, pay attention to the requirements for each field (e.g. maximum number of characters, file type, date format, etc.)

2) Run a check using the button of the form menu to verify that mandatory fields have been filled in and the data you entered are accepted. This also saves your form.
Every time you run a check, you are taken to the last section of the form named "Submit". Use the form menu to navigate to the previous sections.

3) After you run a check, fields with NOT ACCEPTED OR MISSING DATA will be highlighted in RED.
Please note that once you have duly modified the content of one or more fields, the red highlight will not disappear until you run again a check.

For quick tips, please click on: http://onlineforms.twas.org/documents/Applicants_tutorial.pdf

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Previous winners of the TWAS - Samira Omar Innovation for Sustainability Award

2022 – Sarobidy O. Rakotonarivo - For her cutting-edge research, and for engaging policy-makers to ensure that interventions with nature and climates in Africa are more effective and equitable. 

2021 – Nigist Asfaw of Ethiopia, for her outstanding work in promoting green chemistry in Ethiopia and across the African continent.

2020 – Badabate Diwediga of Togo, for promoting sustainable land management towards agricultural innovation, rural transformation, and climate change mitigation in Africa.

2019 – Etotépé Aïkpémi Sogbohossou of Benin, for her contributions to raise awareness towards large carnivores conservation in West Africa and for inspiring the young generation.

2018 – Hazir Farouk Abdelraheem Elhaj of Sudan, for her distinguished contribution to national planning, professional training and practical implementation of modern bioenergy technologies in Sudan.

2017 – Caroline Asiimwe of Uganda, for her influential work to engage Ugandan refugees and poachers with wildlife conservation.

* Note: During the TWAS Council meeting held in Hangzhou, China, on 11 November 2019, the request by UNESCO to change the term 'prize' to 'award' for all existing and new TWAS distinctions other than medals was approved and therefore this award scheme is now called 'Samira Omar Innovation for Sustainability Award'.

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