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Royal Society announces new Athena Prize Diversity Award

23 November 2015

The Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science, has today announced a new national award which recognises individuals and teams in the UK research community who have contributed towards the advancement of diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in their institutions and organisations. The award aims to inspire innovation and leadership in diversity issues.

The Royal Society Athena Prize, to be awarded biennially, will join the Society’s prestigious set of medals and awards announced each summer. 

Nominations for the inaugural 2016 round of the Royal Society Athena Prize will open in the new year, with more information on the selection criteria and nominations process to be provided nearer the time.

Speaking about the award, Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, said, “It gives me great pleasure to be able to announce the establishment of the new Royal Society Athena Prize. 

“I would like to encourage everyone in the research community to look around their institutions and organisations and think of who they might nominate for the Athena Prize. Do you know someone who has set up an innovative project that is contributing to the advancement of diversity in science, someone who is persistent in the face of adversity and limited funds, someone who is inspirational and has kick-started a culture change and should be recognised for their efforts? If so, we’d like to hear from you when we open up nominations for Royal Society Athena Prize in early 2016.” 

The top project will receive a medal plus a cash prize of £5,000 and runners-up will receive a cash prize of £1,000. Prizes will be presented at the Royal Society’s annual autumn diversity conference, where the winners will talk about their projects.

The Royal Society is committed to promoting and increasing diversity in UK STEM. A diverse and inclusive scientific workforce draws from the widest range of backgrounds, perspectives and experiences thereby maximising innovation and creativity in science for the benefit of humanity.

For more about the Royal Society’s commitment to diversity please visit our diversity pages