UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


Professor Bianca de Stavola recognised with Suffrage Science award that celebrates women in STEM

6 November 2020

Professor Bianca de Stavola, Professor of Medical Statistics at UCL GOS ICH, has been chosen to receive a prestigious award celebrating the achievements of women in STEM.

Professor Bianca de Stavola

Professor de Stavola will be honoured at the third Suffrage Science Awards for Mathematics and Computing online celebration on Friday 6 November 2020.

Over one hundred years after the first women in Britain got the vote, women still make up only 24% of those working in core science, technology, engineering and mathematics occupations in the UK (1).

Solving the ‘leaky pipeline’ issue is a long-term challenge for maths and computing. Recent data has revealed that women make up just 13% of students studying computer science or related university courses in the UK. When you compare that figure to other STEM related courses, the stark contrast becomes evident. Women studying biology total 61% and of students studying chemistry, 44% are women. There is a similar lack of females studying mathematics courses – a total of 36% of students (2).

On Friday 6 November 2020, 11 mathematicians and computer scientists, who work in STEM fields across the world, will be recognised for their scientific achievements and the work they do to promote maths and computing for the next generation. The Suffrage Science awards scheme, curated by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences, celebrates women in STEM subjects, and encourage others to enter scientific fields and reach senior leadership roles.

“I am very pleased to nominate Bianca de Stavola for the Suffrage Science Maths & Computing Awards 2020. Bianca plays a key role in medical statistics, particularly in the area of causal inference, where she has made a fundamental contribution to the dissemination of methodologies and their application to real life problems. Bianca’s career has also been characterised by her generosity in developing the potential of young statisticians and the support to female scientists. This award is a well-deserved recognition of these contributions.” – Professor Daniela de Angelis, MRC BSU, Cambridge

Professor Bianca de Stavola said "I am sincerely humbled by receiving this award but also delighted to follow Daniela De Angelis’ steps! Daniela and the women scientists that were awarded with and before her, are the examples that inspire young women to enter and thrive in academia. I hope to join them in doing exactly that:  with more diversity among scientists in leadership position there will be greater equality of opportunities."

The 11 awardees are chosen by the previous award holders for their scientific achievements and ability to inspire others. This scientific “relay” takes place every two years, and creates an inspiring network of women connected by their link to the scheme.

"We are immensely proud of Bianca’s success as gender equality is very important to our strategy at GOS ICH and this news comes shortly after our success with the Athena SWAN Gold Award”, said Professor Rosalind L Smyth,  Director, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health

The awards themselves are hand-crafted items of jewellery created by art students from Central Saint Martins-UAL, who worked with scientists to design pieces inspired by research and by the Suffragette movement, from which the award scheme takes its name.

At this special “virtual” handover event, award-winning science writer, author and broadcaster, Dr Kat Arney, will lead a discussion on central themes of 2020, in particular the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement. A panel of three will discuss the implications of both for women STEM.

The panellists are:

The Suffrage Science scheme was initiated by Professor Dame Amanda Fisher, Director of the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences, in 2011.

Professor Fisher said: “The creation of the Maths and Computing Suffrage Sciences Awards in 2016 recognised the increasing importance of mathematics and computing to the life sciences. As in all branches of the awards, their purpose is to celebrate women scientists, their scientific achievements and ability to inspire others. This is especially important in maths and computing, where women students studying these subjects are still in the minority. We are delighted to welcome this year’s awardees into the growing Suffrage Science community of over 130 women from across the globe, and look forward to supporting them to inspire the next generation.

The 2020 award winners are:

Dr Rhian Daniel

Cardiff University

Dr Juhyun Park

Lancaster University

Professor Apala Majumdar

University of Strathclyde

Professor Bianca de Stavola

University College London

Professor Sara Lombardo

Loughborough University

Professor Wendy Mackay

Inria, Paris-Saclay

Professor Yvonne Rogers

University College London

Professor Alexandra Silva

University College London

Professor Nobuko Yoshida

Imperial College London

Dr Sue Sentance

King’s College London/Raspberry Pi Foundation

Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon


The current award holders (2018) are:

Professor Ruth Keogh

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Dr Tereza Neocleous

University of Glasgow

Dr Nina Snaith

University of Bristol

Professor Daniela De Angelis

MRC BSU/Cambridge

Dr Eugénie Hunsicker

Loughborough University

Professor Sally Fincher

University of Kent

Professor Julie McCann

Imperial College London

Professor Jane Hillston

University of Edinburgh

Professor Ursula Martin

University of Oxford

Dr Hannah Dee

University of Aberystwyth

Dr Vicky Neale

University of Oxford

The Suffrage Science jewellery was created by art students from Central St Martins-UAL, who worked with scientists to design pieces inspired by research and the Suffragette movement, from which the award scheme takes its name. The Maths and Computing 2020 awardees will be celebrated at a virtual event alongside the 2020 Life Sciences recipients on 6 November 2020.


Professor Bianca de Stavola


If you would like further information about the awards please contact Dr Sophie Arthur, Science Communications Officer at the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences.


Name: Sophie Arthur

Mobile: 07725 159772

Email: sophie.arthur@lms.mrc.ac.uk

Notes for editors:

1.  https://www.wisecampaign.org.uk/statistics/2019-workforce-statistics-one-million-women-in-stem-in-the-uk/

2. Data from HESA data and analysis of all students by subject area and sex, data referred to is percentage of female students who enrolled in the first year of their full-time first degree in the UK https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/students/what-study

The Suffrage Science scheme was founded nine years ago by the Medical Research Council’s London Institute of Medical Sciences (then Clinical Sciences Centre). It celebrates and inspires women in science, creating a self-perpetuating cohort of talent that will encourage others to enter science and reach senior leadership roles. The awards themselves are heirloom items of jewellery commissioned from students of the art and design college, Central St Martins-UAL, who worked with scientists to create pieces inspired by research. The pieces also draw inspiration from the jewellery of the Suffragette movement from which the award scheme takes its name. https://www.suffragescience.org/

MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences is an Institute of the Medical Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation. It is a vibrant research environment in which scientists and clinicians collaborate to advance the understanding of biology and its application to medicine. LMS research programmes are focused in three sections: Epigenetics, Genes and Metabolism, and Quantitative Biology. https://lms.mrc.ac.uk/