Last Updated on January 16, 2024 by Lori Pace
Women are branching out and becoming more multi-faceted than ever before. We are moms, employees, daughters, pioneers, scientists, wives, ground-breakers, writers, voters, single mothers, fighter pilots – anything we want to be. This fact makes it even more exciting that we could find 50+ scholarships for women in science.
The “mad scientist” stereotype is often male, mad and villainous. I mean, how bad is Rotwang, the dystopian bad guy in Fritz Lang’s 1927 movie, Metropolis? So how do we define a woman scientist? Can we build her in a lab? Does she already exist in AI? Cue: Lady in a lab coat, heels and red lipstick or excellent steampunk character, Agatha Heterodyne, in the fabulous Girl Genius cartoons.
If male scientists are baddies, female scientists are often unbelievable. What happened? Where are our real-life, modern female science heroines?
The Unesco Institute for Statistics says that less than 30% of the world’s researchers are women. And yet Marie Curie – a physicist and chemist who pioneered research in radioactivity – is one of the most famous scientists of all time.
Firstly, women receive less money in science grants than men. Secondly, the questions women asked by female scientists in their research are less likely to be answered than those asked by men. Because women are disadvantaged at the beginning of their careers, they are less likely to continue a career in science or medicine.
Finally, it’s not all bad. Let’s look at some historical heroines.
Historical Women in Science
Ruth Rogan Benerito was a 1930s American chemist and pioneer in bioproducts who saved the cotton industry ( and Mom’s elbow grease) by discovering a process to produce wrinkle-free, stain-free, flame-resistant cotton fabrics.
(She also harvested fats from seeds intravenously for medical patients.) And you thought your omega supplement was modern?
Mollie Orshansky was a food economist and statistician who in the 1960’s defined poverty thresholds in the US by limiting the cost of the cheapest nutritionally adequate diet.
And not to mention science mom:
You try growing rock candy from saturated solutions or creating secret messages with lemon juice for your kid’s school science projects. All this while using heat (thermal energy) for cooking lasagne (science!) at the same time as healing a broken heart (psychological science) or fixing a grazed knee (medical science).
So, here’s a quick tutorial.
We can divide Science into 3 main categories:
- Natural Sciences (biology, chemistry, physics)
- Social Sciences (economics, psychology, sociology)
- Formal Sciences (logic, maths, computer science)
There is lots of debate about these definitions, but this is all you need to know for now.
So how can I become a scientist?
Firstly, everyone has the potential to be a scientist. Everyone can test ideas. Also, you don’t have to be a scientist in academia. You can break into the industry by doing your own scientific research. You can be a “Citizen Scientist”. Citizen scientists are members of the public who gather scientific information that they can use in academic research.
But I don’t have a degree?
So what? Don’t put yourself out of the running because you don’t have a degree. Science is testing theories: trial and error, failing and succeeding—kind of like the rest of life.
Fun fact: Darwin and da Vinci did not have degrees, and look what they accomplished.
Why study Science?
Because you could have an awesome career as, among others:
- Lab analyst
- Medical rep
- Stem cell researcher
- Environmental Scientist.
- Environmental Science and Protection Technician.
- Forensic Scientist.
- Marine biologist
Now, how can you get the money to enable you to study?
That is where we get grants and scholarships.
What’s the difference between a Grant and a Scholarship?
You generally don’t need to pay back a grant, and sometimes you do need to pay back a scholarship. But, no worries, keep reading. Grants are need-based, and scholarships are based on merit and performance.
Scholarships generally come from funding sources like
- Religious groups
- Businesses of individual
- Community organisations
- Universities or college departments or alumni
Grants usually come from
- state or federal financial aid.
So, what to do next?
Research, Apply, Repeat.
To help you along, here are:
50 ORGANISATIONS THAT PROVIDE GRANTS AND SCHOLARSHIPS TO WOMEN IN SCIENCE.
Not exhaustive, but pretty long.
- Wellcome.org for post-doctoral scientists returning to research.
- Queens Commonwealth Trust
- Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World
- NIH Repayment Programs
- BHW scholarship for women studying STEM.
- L’oreal-Unesco for Women in Science partnership, which gives fellowships to women in life sciences such as neurobiology, genetics, ecology and biotechnology
- APS Women in Physics Scholarships and Awards
- AAUW International Fellowships for Women gives scholarships for full-time study or research in the US to non-US females.
- Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future Fellowships for Women gives fellowships to women from developing countries in science, technology, engineering and maths.
- Amelia Earhart Fellowship for Women in Aerospace-related Sciences and Engineering is awarded to aerospace-related sciences and engineering women.
- Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarships for Women for Women in computing and Technology.
- Eira Francis Davies Scholarships in Human and Health Sciences for scholarships in health and human sciences for women in developing countries studying at Swansea University.
- Women Deliver Young Leaders Program provides resources to women involved in sexual and reproductive health rights.
- Mama Cash provides grants to women, girls, transgender and intersex people working for the environment and environmental justice.
- EU Prize for Women Innovators is not a grant but a prize for innovation.
- Libbie H. Hyman Memorial for female biology graduates.
- Dr Nancy Foster Scholarship for women studying sciences related to the ocean.
- Women Divers Hall of Fame Scholarship for marine biology and marine conservation.
- The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Excellence in Science Scholarship for women who have completed their education and excelled in biology.
- National Garden Clubs Scholarships are given to undergrad and graduate students majoring in biology.
- Recreational Boating Industries Scholarships for women in plant biology and natural resources.
- Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association Scholarship for undergrads in horticulture or biology.
- Wildlife Leadership Awards https://www.petersons.com/scholarship/wildlife-leadership-awards-111_149667.aspx scholarships for senior students studying natural resources or biology
- Mari Goeppert Mayer Award for female physicists.
- Fellowships in Physical Science by The National Physical Science Consortium for women studying chemistry, geology, computer science and astronomy.
- The M. Hildred Blewett Scholarship is for women who have put their careers on hold for their families in the field of physics.
- The Katherine E. Weimer Scholarship is awarded to female physicists early in their careers.
- The Priscilla Carney Jones Scholarship https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/funding-and-awards/awards/other/diversity/priscilla-carney-jones-scholarship.html for women studying chemistry.
- Association for Women Geoscientists Minority Scholarship for women from minority groups studying in the geoscience field.
- Barbara Lotze Scholarships for future high school teachers of physics.
- Geological Society of America Research Grants for undergrads in geological research.
- NASA Scholarships and Research Programs awards for multiple research programs.
- The Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD)
- Sigma Delta Epsilon’s Graduate Women in Science for scientific research in natural sciences.
- Clare Boothe Luce Program Scholarships https://www.hluce.org/programs/clare-boothe-luce-program/about/ encourages teaching in, amongst others, science.
- The Association for Women in Science College Scholarship awards to freshmen women majoring in science.
- Women’s Environmental Council scholarships for women working in careers related to the environment.
- Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation Scholarships for women in biology, chemistry and behaviour sciences.
- Women’s Independence Scholarship is offered by the Sunshine Lady Foundation for victims of abuse who want to further scientific education.
- SEG Foundation Scholarships for women with a passion for physics.
- Delta Gamma Women in Science Grants for women pursuing a future in science.
- National Physical Science Consortium funding for women in science and engineering.
- Graduate Women in Science Fellowships
- NSF Advance for Gender Equity in STEM
- Maria Mitchell Women in Science Award for women in the natural sciences.
- Sloan Foundation women in science with family responsibilities.
- Anna Career Mobility Scholarships
- March of Dimes Graduate Nursing Scholarships
- Nurse Corps Scholarship Program
- Oncology Nursing Society Foundation Scholarships
Becoming a superhero female scientist is probably not going to be easy – it might be challenging. But you have everything you need already inside you. We hope that our long list of scholarships for women in science will help get you one step closer to your dream.
However, if you did not find the science scholarships you were looking for, you’re welcome to check out more scholarships for women and single moms. Good luck!