The Suffrage Science scheme was founded in 2011 by the Medical Research Council’s London Institute of Medical Sciences (then Clinical Sciences Centre) on the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. 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 scheme comprises of three branches: Life Sciences (founded in 2011), Engineering and Physical Sciences (founded in 2013), and Maths and Computing (founded in 2016).
The awards themselves are items of jewellery commissioned from students of the art and design college, Central Saint Martins-UAL, who worked with scientists to create pieces inspired by research and the Suffragette movement, from which the scheme takes its name. Each of the women who have been awarded the jewellery nominate who they wish to pass on their award to every two years.