OWSD members were invited to submit posters to be presented during the conference on the four themes below. Please note that the Call for Poster Submissions has now closed. Posters are now being reviewed, and selected presenters will be notified shortly.


Applied sciences: impact on development

The purpose of the session on ‘Applied science: impact on development‘ is to provide clear and compelling examples of research that has a direct impact on communities, countries, and regions. Researchers might want to highlight links with industry; implementation of products in the community; impact on lifestyles, economies, health and well-being. The objective is to provide cogent examples of how scientific research is a force for development in your country, and worth investing in. The aim is to show how women scientists are making a difference because of direct knowledge of the needs of the community, and therefore an ability to ensure the relevance (and therefore enthusiastic take-up and implementation) of the products of research.Invited keynote speaker: Ethel Cofie, Ghanaian IT professional, entrepreneur and consultant.

Named one of the Top 5 Women impacting IT in Africa, Ethel Cofie is CEO and Founder of EDEL Technology Consulting, an IT Consulting Company in West Africa and Europe, recently named IT Consulting Firm of the year by the Telecoms and IT Industry. She is also Founder of Women in Tech Africa, Africa’s largest women in tech group with members in over 30 Africa countries and in the diaspora and growing.

Impacts of COVID-19 pandemic

The purpose of the session on ‘OWSD members’ responses to COVID-19’ is so that women scientists can fill in the specific details of what is often and predominantly ‘dry data’ available so far in their countries and regions about the pandemic in general (when and for how long there was a lockdown, number of intensive care hospital beds occupied, number of deaths, impact on employment and the economy, availability of goods and services, etc.) We do want you to provide this data, if you can, since it provides a comparative context between countries and regions. We also want you to consider ‘dry data’ and commentary that is available – for example, on the impact of COVID-19 on scientific research output, or how scientists in general have responded.

We also want to see and hear about your personal and professional experience and responses – has it made a difference being a woman? What has become more difficult for you in your research during the times of COVID-19? Has anything instead become easier? What do you think will be the longlasting impacts? What do you hope might change in future for your professional and personal life as a result of the pandemic?

Basic sciences for development

The purpose of the session on ‘the importance of the basic sciences for development’ is so that women scientists can demonstrate how their work in the 'theoretical' or 'pure' aspects of maths, physics, chemistry and biology has had a traceable impact on the lives, well-being and/or economy of their countries and regions.  For example, training other researchers in basic and advanced mathematics has an impact, since so much applied research depends on this theoretical foundation: basic research supports the 'knowledge economy', the development of which has been shown to be one of the most important factors in increased GDP. Presenters may wish to defend curiosity itself as hugely significant, stimulating 'thinking outside the box' and enabling a problem-solving mentality, which leads to new discoveries and innovations. Presenters may also demonstrate how their theoretical input has provided the means to developing other more recognisably 'applied' instruments or products.

Sex-gender as variables in scientific research

We want to see your examples of how considering sex-gender variables may have dramatically changed your own, or others’, results. Or, how a new awareness of sex-gender variables as a researcher may have had a direct impact on your methodology? Do you have recommendations for other researchers? Can you describe the differential outcome of your research had you NOT considered sex-gender variables? How will you convey the importance of sex-gender variables to your students? What does it actually mean to take sex-gender variables into consideration? Concrete examples are appreciated!