The local arm of French cosmetics giant L’Oreal has awarded scholarships for ten female university students under its “L’Oreal Sorority in Science” program to help them develop into future scientists.
Each student is awarded a Rp 20 million ($1,500) grant to pursue her studies. The grantees were chosen from candidates who were most in need of financial aid.
“We initiated the L’Oreal Sorority in Science in 2014 to bridge the education gap, and help produce more scientists for Indonesia,” Melanie Masriel, L’Oreal Indonesia’s head of communications, said on Thursday (06/10).
According to Melanie, L’Oreal Sorority in Science will also give opportunities for the scholars to join other sorority programs within the L’Oreal Science Projects: the L’Oreal Girls in Science and L’Oreal-Unesco for Women in Science.
The program also matches the company’s global #ChangeTheNumbers campaign, which calls for more women researchers in science projects.
The L’Oreal Sorority in Science scholars include students from universities across the archipelago, including Bandung Institute of Technology, University of Indonesia, Atma Jaya University, Diponegoro University, Sebelas Maret University and Sumbawa University of Technology.
One of the scholars, pharmacy student Mega Watty from University of Indonesia, inspired many of the audience at the scholarship announcement with her research proposal in bioinformatics.
“Bioinformatics is the weapon that could break the paradox of plenty paradigm,” Mega said.
Paradox of plenty, or the resource curse, is one of Indonesia’s main problems, according to Mega, as the country has a lot of resources for scientific research but lacks the database to make it possible.
Mega, who aims to use the L’Oreal funding for a research into marine fungi, said that bioinformatics could be an efficient method of reference for researchers around the world so they can easily access data on resources in Indonesia.
“This would in turn help improve Indonesia’s contribution to the database,” she added.