site.btaThree Bulgarian Laureates of International Science Awards Announced on Tuesday

Three Bulgarian Laureates of International Science Awards Announced on Tuesday
Three Bulgarian Laureates of International Science Awards Announced on Tuesday
From right: Rositsa Paunova, Rosita Kokotanekova and Nikoleta Kircheva at the awards ceremony, Sofia, November 28, 2023 (BTA Photo)

Three Bulgarian scientists are among the winners of the 2023 International Awards For Women in Science, established by UNESCO and French cosmetics giant L'Oreal. The laureates - Nikoleta Kircheva, Rosita Kokotanekova and Rositsa Paunova - were announced at a ceremony for the 13th Bulgarian edition of the awards that took place at Sofia University on Tuesday evening.  

More than 30 women took part in the competition. A jury headed by Sofia University Vice Rector Nikolay Vitanov picked the three winners, who will receive fellowships of EUR 5,000 each. The funding is intended to support their research activities in Bulgaria.

Nikoleta Kircheva is an assistant professor at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences’ (BAS) Institute of Optical Materials and Technologies. She is awarded for the project “Development of Alternative Antibiotic Therapy with Emphasis on Metals with Antibacterial Activity". Kircheva thanked the team she works with at the Institute as well as her husband for his support in raising their three children.

Rosita Kokotanekova, who is a senior assistant professor at the BAS Institute of Astronomy, also highlighted the important role of family in women's success. She followed in the path of her parents, who are astronomers. She is distinguished for the project "Participation in the Comet Interceptor/Comet Nucleus Evolution Mission". Kokotanekova has been honoured for her contribution to the study of asteroids in the belt between Mars and Jupiter by the International Astronomical Union, which named an asteroid/comet after her.   

Rositsa Paunova is an assistant professor and a full-time PhD student at the Department of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology at the Medical University in the city of Plovdiv. She won the award with the project "Discovery of New Biomarkers Characterizing Negative Symptomatology in Schizophrenia". Paunova drew attention to the social stigmatization of people with mental illnesses and stressed that these illnesses can be managed with the right targeted treatment.

The award ceremony was attended by Vice President Iliana Iotova, Sofia Mayor Vassil Terziev, Deputy Foreign Minister and Chairperson of the Bulgarian National Commission for UNESCO Elena Shekerletova, Deputy Minister of Education and Science Genka Petrova, BAS President Julian Revalski, Sofia University Vice Rector Nikolay Vitanov, L'Oreal General Manager for Bulgaria and Adria-Balkans Vanya Panayotova, researchers, lecturers and journalists. 

Vice President Iotova greeted the participants in the competition. “Only 60 out of the nearly 900 Nobel Prize laureates since 1901 are women – that is too few,” she said. Iotova has supported the programme for seven years in a row.

The awards are handed out annually to female scientists in recognition of their talent and scientific ambitions to change the world for the better. A total of 36 women have been awarded with a total prize pool of EUR 180,000 so far.

The global For Women in Science programme was created in 1998 when L'Oréal and UNESCO joined forces to support women scientists and promote their scientific work by founding the For Women in Science Awards. The L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science National Fellowships are awarded for projects in more than 50 countries. They were awarded for the first time in Bulgaria in 2008.







By 21:46 on 22.02.2024 Today`s news

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