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About the Water Woman Award

water@leeds in partnership with Faculty of Environment Athena Swan team launched the Water Woman Award in 2020.

Water Woman aims to recognize the achievements of women in research, and their power to inspire others.

By rewarding achievements by women whose work contributes to the scientific objectives of water@leeds in securing competitive research funds, producing world-class research or achieving significant societal impact, the Water Woman Award aims at highlighting their efforts in an academic world in which the hurdles are still greater for women.

Application criteria

The Water Woman award is based on two equally weighted criteria: the nature of the achievement, and its potential for empowering and inspiring other women into following their example.

The Water Woman Award concerns achievements having taken place (or having reached a significant milestone) within their last 5 full time equivalent years[1]. Contributions can be of any discipline or support sector of the University contributing to addressing water related challenges. The awards are open to all women employees of the University of Leeds from all backgrounds.

The Award will be split in 4 categories and the winners will receive £1000 each, transferred to their staff development account:

  • Research Funding:  in recognition of securing significant competitive research funding[2]
  • Research Excellence:  in recognition of outstanding research (e.g. academic publication or equivalent)
  • Societal impact and Knowledge transfer: in recognition of translating research and innovation
  • Academic support: in recognition of critical support provided to the achievement of any of the above (e.g. through administrative, organizational or technical support)

For 2021 we launched an additional Early Career Award.  Early career is defined as being within eight years of the award of their PhD [3] and applies to any of the above categories. Applicants without a PhD will still be considered for the Academic Support Award.

Applications for the 2023 Award are now closed. 

For more information, please contact:

Prof. Julia Martin-Ortega ( or

Dr. Gabriela Lopez-Gonzalez (

[1] i.e. the time of career breaks is to be discounted from the 5 years.

[2] The level of significance will be considered in relation to the discipline and area of work and does not include a specific threshold of the value amount.

[3]. We class an early career researcher (ECR) as being within eight years of the award of their PhD (this duration should exclude any period of career break, for example, family care or health reasons) Or within six years of their first academic appointment (by 'first academic appointment', this is a paid contract of employment, either full-time or part-time, which lists research and/or teaching as the primary function).