For the second time, Henkel presents its research prize ”Martha Schwarzkopf Award for Women in Science”, dedicated to supporting female scientists. Alongside the main prize, an additional prize for “Emerging Talents” will also be awarded this year. The application period begins on February 11, on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Female researchers with a background in natural sciences, medicine or computer sciences can apply by pitching their contributions to the field of hair research or a related field. They have the chance to win 10,000 euros for the main prize or 5,000 euros for the “Emerging Talent” prize. 

“Progress in natural sciences thrives on diversity. However, women in science are still underrepresented. As we at Henkel are highly committed to gender equality, we celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science by kicking off the application period for this year’s Martha Schwarzkopf Award for hair science” says Frank Meyer, Senior Vice President Global R&D at Henkel Consumer Brands. Astrid Kleen, Director of Global Hair R&D at Henkel Consumer Brands adds: “Understanding human hair is essential for our innovations. With the Martha Schwarzkopf Award we honor the achievements of outstanding female researchers in the area of hair and scalp health.” 

The award is a tribute to Martha Schwarzkopf, who was one of the first women in Germany to lead a company and also found the Institute for Hair Research. Today, Schwarzkopf is one of the leading brands in Henkel's consumer business and the largest brand in the Consumer Brands hair care segment. All of the brand’s technical innovations build on the tradition of the Schwarzkopf Hair Research Institute, which operates research and development laboratories, hair test salons and academies of hair around the world. The award commemorates Martha’s entrepreneurial and innovative spirit as well as the empathy with which she guided both the company and the Schwarzkopf Hair Research Center. 

”We were surprised by the level of interest and quality of applications for the first Martha Schwarzkopf Award launched last year. Following the feedback from these applicants, we have decided to offer a prize for “Emerging Talents” in addition to the main prize this year. This way, we can make sure that we are supporting both experienced female scientists as well as promising researchers who are still at the start of their careers,” says Andrea Sättler, Director R&D at Henkel Consumer Brands and Chairwoman of the Martha Schwarzkopf Award expert jury.

How to apply 
The Martha Schwarzkopf Award is open to female researchers worldwide who possess a doctorate and have long-standing experience in the fields of natural sciences, medicine and computer sciences, whose field of work is in hair research or related fields, such as textile and wool fiber research, the analysis of biological surfaces or the interaction of substances with hair or scalp. Female researchers with a completed master's degree from the same research fields may apply for the award for “Emerging Talents”, even if they are still at the beginning of their scientific career. 

A jury of experts, consisting of distinguished female scientists who work in the Henkel Consumer Brands R&D, will evaluate the applications. The winner of the Martha Schwarzkopf Award will receive 10,000 euros as their prize, while the winner of the “Emerging Talent” Award will receive 5,000 euros. The award ceremony will take place in Hamburg, Germany, in November 2023. This year’s winners will have the opportunity to participate in a mentoring program with a leading Henkel scientist and will join the network including last year’s award recipients. 

The application period ends on May 1, 2023. Interested female scientists can send their application in German or English to

The following documents should be submitted with the application:

  • Letter of motivation with a statement of personal reasons why the candidate is applying for this award
  • Short curriculum vitae with a focus on the scientific field of work and interest 
  • List of most important publications
  • Summary of the candidate’s own publicly available research in the field of hair and scalp research, fiber technologies, computer-based models for the study of fibers, including scientific methods for surface analysis, fiber structure, dye synthesis or analysis of biological processes in the hair root (all research approaches are possible)
  • Application photo (optional)                                                                                 

The jury will select the winners by August 1, 2023. The decisive factors in the evaluation are the relevance of the work in the field of hair research, as well as the relevance for consumers and the environment. Further criteria are pioneering spirit, originality, innovation potential, the feasibility of the research projects, and the significance for the hair cosmetics sector.

About Henkel
With its brands, innovations and technologies, Henkel holds leading market positions worldwide in the industrial and consumer businesses. The business unit Adhesive Technologies is the global leader in the market of adhesives, sealants and functional coatings. With Consumer Brands, the company holds leading positions especially in hair care and laundry & home care in many markets and categories around the world. The company's three strongest brands are Loctite, Persil and Schwarzkopf. In fiscal 2021, Henkel reported sales of more than 20 billion euros and adjusted operating profit of around 2.7 billion euros. Henkel’s preferred shares are listed in the German stock index DAX. Sustainability has a long tradition at Henkel, and the company has a clear sustainability strategy with concrete targets. Henkel was founded in 1876 and today employs a diverse team of more than 50,000 people worldwide – united by a strong corporate culture, shared values and a common purpose: ”Pioneers at heart for the good of generations.” More information at


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