In celebration of International Women’s Day (8 March), here’s a look at some of the dedicated scholarships for women available around the world…
Academic performance results from many countries now show women consistently achieving higher grades than men, even in traditionally male-dominated fields such as the sciences, engineering, technology and business. Despite this success, many subject areas still report much lower enrolment numbers for women than for men (or vice versa), while many professions still see far fewer women in top-level positions and a widespread gender salary gap.
The continued under-representation of women in many fields, and particularly at the highest levels, underlies many of the scholarships for women offered by institutions and organizations around the world. Of course, just being a woman won’t get you a scholarship. Scholarships for women come with all kinds of criteria, including academic performance, sporting achievement, leadership skills, affiliation to a particular culture or community, age, or being part of a minority group. Examples of some of the most prominent providers of international scholarships for women are listed below.
American Association of University Women (AAUW)
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) offers six different types of grants and fellowships for women. These include American Fellowships for women scholars who are US citizens or permanent residents; International Fellowships for women from other countries who want to study in the US; and Selected Professions Fellowships to support women in the US pursuing a master’s degree in the fields of architecture, computer science, engineering and mathematics. There are also scholarships specifically for African American women who are already studying business administration, law or medicine.
Girlterest Online Magazine is offering an annual US$1,000 scholarship for women at undergraduate and postgraduate level. The scholarship is open to applicants in all subject areas, but particularly aims to support women pursuing degrees in women’s studies, communications, sociology, and feminism. To apply, students must submit a short essay on one of three topics.
The Schlumberger Foundation
The non-profit Schlumberger Foundation provides support for women in science and technology education. Its flagship Faculty for the Future program awards fellowships to women who are from developing and emerging economies, for PhD or postdoctoral studies in fields such as technology, science or engineering at universities worldwide. Recipients are selected based on both scientific talent and leadership potential, with grant amounts decided based on an assessment of costs involved, up to US$50,000 per year.
Established in 1869, the US-based PEO International runs six projects dedicated to helping women further their education. The PEO International Peace Scholarship Fund provides international scholarships for women from outside of the US and Canada hoping to pursue graduate-level studies in one of those two countries. The PEO Program for Continuing Education provides need-based grants of up to US$3,000 for women in the US and Canada whose educational path has been interrupted for various reasons. And the PEO STAR Scholarship and PEO Scholar Awards provide scholarships for women applying to study at undergraduate and doctoral levels respectively.
Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund
The Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund offers scholarships for women aged 25 or over who are studying in the US or Canada, but are not citizens of these countries, worth approximately US$12,000. Applicants should be able to demonstrate a commitment to improving the lives of women and children, and be from a country designated as a “lower or middle income developing member country” (full list here). The Fund also offers international scholarships for women worth US$4,000 for studies abroad in South Africa, and $3,000 for studies abroad in Latin America.
Working to promote the rights, wellbeing and professional status of women worldwide, Zonta International offers two scholarship programs. The Jane M Klausman Women in Business Scholarship awards a series of annual scholarships for women studying business management at undergraduate or master’s level. Recipients must be members of the Zonta club, with scholarships worth US$1,000 at district/region level and US$7,000 at international level. The Amelia Earhart Fellowship is for women studying at PhD level in the aerospace field. This scheme awards 35 fellowships each year to women around the world, worth US$10,000 each, which can be used to support doctoral studies at any university or college.
Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship
Google’s Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship scheme awards scholarships to women studying in the field of computer science and technology at undergraduate or graduate level. Scholarships are worth around US$10,000 and are awarded across the globe, with applicants assessed on their academic and leadership background. In addition to financial support, successful applicants are also invited to one of Google’s major regional offices for a special ‘retreat’, including workshops, speakers, networking and social activities.
L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Programme
The L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Programme awards 15 international fellowships each year to women pursuing doctoral or postdoctoral research in the life sciences. The aim is to help young researchers widen their expertise, by spending time at a leading research center outside of their own country. An additional special fellowship, named “in the footsteps of Marie Curie”, is also awarded each year to a former recipient of an international fellowship, who has gone on to achieve exemplary results.
Many more scholarships for women are also offered by individual universities and departments, often with the aim of supporting women within a traditionally male-dominated subject or professional sector. Examples include the Duisenberg School of Finance Scholarship for Women in Finance, the EDHEC Business School MBA Scholarship for Women and the IE Business School MBA Scholarship for Women, all of which are offered in partnership with QS.
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