2022 Rising Talent Fellows

London,25th May 2022 – The L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women In Science programme has today announced the recipients of the 2022 Rising Talent fellowships which recognise exceptional early careers women scientists in the UK and Ireland.

The programme, a partnership between L'Oréal UK & Ireland, the UK National Commission for UNESCO and the Irish National Commission for UNESCO, with the support of the Royal Society, offers grants to promote, enhance and encourage the contribution of women pursuing research careers in the UK or Ireland. A Fellow has been awarded in each category of Engineering, Life Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science and Physical Sciences and following remarkable entries in Sustainable Development, two Fellows have been awarded in this category in 2022.

Thierry Cheval, L'Oréal UK and Ireland, Managing Director said: “The 2022 Rising Talents are working on some of the biggest challenges that the world faces today including environmental and health challenges where their research advances could benefit us all. We are proud to be championing another group of exceptional For Women in Science Fellows.”

James Bridge, UK National Commission for UNESCO, Chief Executive Officer and Secretary-General, said: “Congratulations to the 2022 Fellows. We are very proud to be able to support these outstanding researchers to undertake the ground-breaking work that they do. There is still much more to be done to achieve true gender equality in science but it is clear that, as a global community, we must recognise and promote the achievements of women scientists.”

Congratulations to the 2022 Fellows:


Dr Martina Cihova (Imperial College London)

Dr Martina Cihova’s research looks to improve the way medical equipment interacts with human tissue and give a fundamental understanding into the materials’ durability with the aim to maximise the equipment’s functionality and ultimately improve patient care.

Martina is currently a Research Associate in the Department of Materials at Imperial College London and Fellow of the Swiss National Science Foundation. She holds an MEng in Bioengineering from KIT Karlsruhe and a PhD in Materials Science from ETH Zurich.

Life Sciences

Dr Myriam Haltalli (University of Cambridge)

Dr Myriam Haltalli’s research intends to investigate how the blood system is modified by infection at a molecular level and whether this results in “scars” that remain, even after recovery, and compromise health later in life.

Dr Haltalli completed her PhD at Imperial College London, using an interdisciplinary approach to investigate how severe infection affects haematopoietic stem cells and their bone marrow microenvironment. She is currently a research associate at the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute.

Mathematics and Computer Science

Dr Bernadette Stolz (University of Oxford)

Dr Bernadette Stolz’s research applies mathematical methods that study 'shape' in data to show the complexities in cancerous tissue which could help with treatment predictions and scheduling.

Dr Stolz obtained her DPhil, which was awarded two prizes, from the University of Oxford in 2020 and is now a postdoctoral researcher in the Centre for Topological Data Analysis in the Mathematical Institute at the University of Oxford.

Physical Sciences

Dr Rachel Montgomery (University of Glasgow)

Dr Rachel Montgomery is a nuclear physicist. Her research aims to further our understanding of the sub-atomic particles which bind together to form nuclei. She is developing novel instruments to measure these particles and is particularly interested in transferring these technologies to the field of nuclear medicine.

After obtaining her PhD from the University of Glasgow, Dr Montgomery was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics. She is currently a UKRI STFC Ernest Rutherford and Lord Kelvin/Adam Smith Leadership Fellow at the University of Glasgow.

Sustainable Development

Dr Christina Faust (University of Glasgow)

Dr Christina Faust is a landscape disease ecologist and her research aims to mitigate the emergence of zoonotic diseases (animal to human diseases such as covid-19) in human populations. Her research proposal will identify mechanisms and key environmental features that minimise rodent viral zoonoses in restored forests.

Dr Faust is a NERC (Natural Environment Research Council) Independent Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow in the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine. She obtained a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University in 2016.

Dr Jenny Zhang (University of Cambridge)

Dr Jenny Zhang is using plants to create energy through photosynthesis. Her research proposal focuses on building a platform that will accelerate the usage of successful biohybrid energy conversion products.

Dr Zhang obtained her PhD in chemistry from the University of Sydney and then joined the University of Cambridge as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow to investigate how biocatalysts can be exploited in energy conversion. She holds a David Phillips Fellowship to research how living photosynthetic cells can be re-wired to materials to deliver innovative solutions for sustainable chemical and power generation.