Young researcher Katja Klinar receives a fellowship in the framework of the L'oréal – UNESCO national call "For women in science" 2022

date: 30.03.2022

category: Sporočila za javnost


Assist. Katja Klinar, MSc (Eng) in Mechanical Engineering, is one of this year's three recipients of the L'Oréal- UNESCO National Fellowship Programme "For Women in Science" of EUR 5,000, awarded for the 16th time by the partners of the L'Oréal Adria Programme and the Slovenian National Commission for UNESCO. Katja, together with Tina Kegel and dr. Eva Turk joined 43 previous female scholarship recipients awarded the scholarship for their outstanding scientific achievements.

Katja Klinar, a 30-year-old physicist and mechanical engineer, is from Gorje in Gorenjska. After graduating in Physics, she studied Process Mechanical Engineering and began working as a young researcher in the Laboratory for Refrigeration and District Energy. As part of her doctoral studies, she is currently researching the use of thermoswitches and thermodiodes in temperature change systems.

Katja has been awarded the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering prize for high quality scientific publications three times, won the prize for the best poster at the International Conference on Nanoscale and Microscale Heat Transfer in Finland and was awarded the Prešeren Prize by the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Ljubljana for her work on Thermomagnetic analysis and design of a magnetic structure with a magnetocaloric regenerator.

"The job opportunities for young researchers in science and technology in research groups are enormous, but on the other hand there are not enough incentives for researchers at the beginning of their careers,” says Katja Klinar, for whom the scholarship is above all a confirmation that she is on the right track: "I hope it will help me and women in science in general by giving them more public visibility. Maybe my story can convince a few more girls to study engineering or physics or to get involved in science..”

Katja Klinar

Photo: Jani Ugrin

Women scientists are conducting groundbreaking research all over the world. But despite their remarkable discoveries, they still make up only 33.3 % of the world's researchers, according to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, and their work rarely gets the recognition it deserves. Less than 4 % of Nobel Prizes in science have ever been awarded to women, and only 11 % of senior research positions in Europe are held by women. In science, women researchers have shorter and lower-paid careers, and their work is underrepresented in high-impact journals.

“Every year, statistics, surveys and polls like the one conducted by the L'Oréal Foundation show that programmes to support women researchers are more than necessary and important. Especially for young women who are just starting to make a name for themselves in the world of science. Programmes like L'Oréal- UNESCO 'For Women in Science' help and encourage women to gain recognition for their work in the scientific community and the wider public, while drawing public attention to the importance of women in science and breaking down stereotypes," says Irena Šarić Dombaj, Director of Corporate Communications at L'Oréal Adria, who, together with the Slovenian National Commission for UNESCO, has so far supported 46 young female researchers through the programme. She adds that the call for L'Oréal- UNESCO 'For Women in Science' scholarships is already well known in Slovenia: "This is proven by the extremely high number of applications we received for this year's call. 38 women applied for the scholarship and the national committee had an extremely difficult task to select the top three due to the quality of the research papers.”

Gašper Hrastelj, Secretary General of the Slovenian National Commission for UNESCO, emphasised, "The L'Oréal- UNESCO National Fellowship Programme 'For Women in Science' is a traditional programme of the Slovenian National Commission for UNESCO, as gender equality continues to be one of the priorities of UNESCO. Women in science publish less, are paid less for their research and do not advance as far in their careers as men. However, there is little international data showing the extent of these differences. That is why UNESCO is also working on developing methods and indicators to obtain more accurate data on gender equality." On the selection of this year's awardees, he added: "Our fellows are important role models whose achievements can contribute to advances in science and to improving women's access to all levels of science, and they need our support right now, which is why we are delighted to be working with L'Oréal Adria on this programme."

We would like to congratulate Katja and the other fellowship recipients and wish them a successful research career!

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