JAKARTA, 10 May 2021 – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), through the Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation (COSTI), and the U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with Underwriters Laboratories are proud to announce the national finalists in two categories for the Underwriters-Laboratories-ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women 2021.

This year, applicants compete in the Mid-Career Scientist category (for participants aged 45 years old and younger) and the Senior Scientist category (for participants aged 46 years and older).

Highlighting the competition theme of ‘Clean Water and Clean Air,’ the following women are selected as national finalists from 64 applicants across both categories to represent the participating ASEAN Member States.

National Finalists in the Mid-Career Scientist Category are:

  • Wida Susanty Haji Suhaili, Brunei Darussalam
  • HEU Rina, Cambodia
  • Intan Suci Nurhati, Indonesia
  • Aduwati Sali, Malaysia
  • Chit Wityi Oo, Myanmar
  • Mylene Gonzaga Cayetano, Philippines
  • Hongying Li, Singapore
  • Sumana Ratpukdi, Thailand
  • Thi Dong Quy Hoang, Viet Nam

National Finalists in the Senior Scientist Category are:

  • Neni Sintawardani, Indonesia
  • Rahinah Ibrahim, Malaysia
  • Seinn Lei Aye, Myanmar
  • Benilda S. Ebarvia, Philippines
  • Uma Seeboonruang, Thailand

Professor Sirirurg Songsivilai, MD., PhD, Chair of the ASEAN COSTI 2021 said, “Congratulations to all the national finalists! They represent the importance of women’s efforts to address issues surrounding haze and air pollution, as well as the lack of access to safe and clean water for around 110 million people living in Southeast Asia. It is not only inspiring the future generation, but their participation in the Science Prize is also an opportunity for them to demonstrate how science, technology and innovation can bring about positive outcomes by improving water or air quality for ASEAN.’’

The competition underscores the importance of women’s contribution in improving society in a sustainable way through their research. The finalists must present their research and applied technology as a solution that positively impacts the community.

In addition, their example will influence the next generation of women to pursue studies and work in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The national finalists will therefore prepare a three-minute video to foster awareness about their work, which will be promoted by the organisers.

“We are extremely proud to support the ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women. Access to clean water and clean air are among our most basic human needs and essential for healthy communities and thriving societies,” said Cara Gizzi, vice president of communications and education at Underwriters Laboratories. “We cannot underestimate the importance of this work, and we congratulate the national finalists, who come from all ages and backgrounds, for their significant contributions. Their work does more than contribute to the prosperity and safety of communities throughout the ASEAN region—it also has the potential to bring about lasting improvements in the environment and to advance the well-being of future generations.”

This competition showcases the partnership among ASEAN COSTI, the U.S. Government through USAID and Underwriters Laboratories, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to rigorous, independent research, through the discovery and application of scientific knowledge.

Underwriters Laboratories sponsors the Prize award of US$15,000 to the Senior Scientist Category winner and US$10,000 for the Mid-Career Scientist Category winner.

“The United States, together with ASEAN COSTI and Underwriters Laboratories, congratulates all the national finalists for their research to address the access to clean air and water, challenges faced by over 100 million ASEAN citizens.  Innovation is a critical component to achieving a world that is resilient to climate impacts, and advancements in climate-related science and technology offer the greatest economic opportunity the world has known since the Industrial Revolution. Research catalysed by these women scientists offer creative approaches that will help protect the health of ASEAN citizens and the earth while fostering a safer, more prosperous, and sustainable society,” said Melissa A. Brown, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. of the U.S. Mission to ASEAN.

In the next stage of the competition, the 14 national finalists will be narrowed down to two regional finalists per category. One winner from each category will be selected in October 2021.

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For additional information, contact USAID/ASEAN Communications Specialist, Samara Sanders at: jakartausaidasean@usaid.gov

Detailed information on each national finalist can be found at: http://scienceprize4women.asean.org.



The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) brings together Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam in a community united by a common desire and collective will to live in a region of lasting peace, security and stability, sustained economic growth, shared prosperity and social progress, and to promote ASEAN vital interests, ideals and aspirations.


The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to promote and demonstrate democratic values and advance a free, peaceful and prosperous world. Through international development programs and disaster assistance, USAID partners to save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help people emerge from humanitarian crises, progress beyond assistance and attain self-reliance.

About Underwriters Laboratories

Underwriters Laboratories Inc. is a nonprofit organisation dedicated to advancing the UL public safety mission through the discovery and application of scientific knowledge. We conduct rigorous independent research and analyse safety data, convene experts worldwide to address risks, share knowledge through safety education and public outreach initiatives, and develop standards to guide the safe, sustainable commercialisation of evolving technologies. We foster communities of safety, from grassroots initiatives for neighbourhoods, to summits of world leaders. Our organisation employs collaborative and scientific approaches with partners and stakeholders to drive innovation and progress toward improving safety, security and sustainability, ultimately enhancing societal well-being. To learn more, visit UL.org.