Biennial Science Award

The Biennial Science award winner for 2020 has now been selected. The next award round will be held in 2022. For more information please see the Apply Now page.

The Aims of the Award The Zonta Science Award was established to further the status of women in scientific fields. The Award is for an emerging woman scientist (i.e., a recent PhD graduate rather than a woman well established in the science field).

Priority will be given to a woman working in area of science where funding is not readily available.

The aims of the Award are to:

  • encourage women to pursue a career in science
  • actively promote science as a career for women
  • recognise and encourage others already in the scientific field, and
  • acknowledge the valuable contribution of women scientists.

(Click for FAQ)
The applicant must be a woman who:

  • has a PhD (usually within 7 years of graduation)
  • has excelled in the fields of pure or applied science (excluding clinical medicine i.e. medical research that involves direct contact with patients),
  • is a New Zealand resident and resides in New Zealand,
  • is studying for further post doctorate qualifications or is involved in research that has widespread benefits.

We are looking for an ‘all round’ woman, who:

  • contributes to her community,
  • appreciates the role of women in science,
  • is/will be an advocate for these women, and,
  • for whom this Award would be a means to further advancement.

Applications Closing date for submissions is midnight Monday February 3rd 2020.

What the winner receives The Award recipient receives:

    • $15,000 cash to fund travel expenses and/or research material and equipment
    • $3,000 for return air travel to Europe or the USA flying economy class (to be used to attend professionally related conferences or places of further study), and a
    • Commemorative medal and certificate of achievement.

The selection process During the selection process up to ten finalists are selected from all applicants. These finalists are then referred to a panel of invited judges with university, government, science, industrial or business backgrounds.

The judges rank the candidates and develop a shortlist of up to three applicants. The shortlisted applicants will be interviewed in Wellington in April 2020 and a winner selected. An award ceremony will be held in Wellington in May 2020.

The Award recipient’s tasks The Award recipient will be asked to:

  • travel within one year of receiving the award
  • provide photo and promotional opportunities and give media interviews as requested
  • provide a written report within one month of their return to New Zealand on the benefits of receiving the award and the research outcomes, and
  • speak at one of the Zonta Club’s monthly meetings, and one sponsor’s meeting if requested, about the award, the outcomes and the research benefits it provided.

Sponsorship The Zonta Club of Wellington makes an annual financial contribution in addition to administering the Award. Since the inception of the Award the John Ilott Charitable Trust has been a sponsor. In 2018 gold sponsors are New Zealand scientist Dr Jilly Evans PhD FRSNZ now working in the USA and Istar Limited in memory of Dr Diana Edwards.

We are very grateful for the support received from our sponsors and the recipient is expected to acknowledge our sponsors when appropriate.

Zonta International Founded in 1919, Zonta International is a global organisation of executives and professionals working together to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy. Globally more than 30,000 members belong to just under 1,200 Zonta Clubs in 67 countries.

Zonta International District 16 comprises 30 Zonta Clubs within New Zealand. The Zonta Club of Wellington was formed in 1969.

For further information see website

Contact details The Convenor, 2020 Zonta Science Award