Girls are leading the way!

Girls Leading in Science (GirLS) is the name of a special competition initiated by women scientists from Solvay Research and Innovation (R&I) as a way to inspire young people, and more specifically girls, to pursue higher education in a scientific or technological field. 

The competition was designed with the aim of changing the way people think, stamping out gender bias, and teaching contestants how to work collaboratively toward a common goal.

Conducted in two stages, the competition consists of a pre-selection phase and a final. During pre-selection, 35 students were chosen based on their short video submissions in which they discussed the scientific or technical subject of their choice. Projects were submitted by a total of 12 applications (in-group), representing the three regions of Belgium.

Emy Collin Grils Leading in Science


"The breadth in scientific knowledge is fascinating. There is always new discovery to understand. And, as soon as we pay attention to scientific phenomena surrounding us, it is difficult to resist the curiosity which invades us and pushes us to always go beyond."

Emy Collin 
Biomedical Science Student and GirLS 2021 winner

The 2022 contestants had to demonstrate their creativity and scientific skills while, in groups, brainstorming on a fascinating theme: “What if the earth let go of its spin around the sun?"

In the morning, the team's Hackathon competition took place. The afternoon is devoted to the defense of the projects in front of a jury, followed by an experts panel on “women’s scientific careers in the industry”. The candidates with the best project and the best-proposed solution will be offered a Solvay grant to continue their future education in STEM. The most creative group imagined a world that would need protection from radiation & heat/cold and invented big domes of self-sufficient groups: water, heat, oxygen & food would be covered in those domes.  

The organization, partly composed of volunteers, was really grateful to count on 8 facilitators, all Solvay employees that offered their time to help the students communicate and handle the challenge in the allocated time.


Brussels, Belgium 




groups in the final


applications (in-group)

Winning team

The winning team was composed of two girls and two boys — Alice, Jennifer, Thomas and Vincent. They impressed the jury with their energy and innovative project.  All of them received the prize of having their first-year tuition paid for scientific or technical studies at university.

Girls Leading in Science 2022 Group
Girls Leading in Science 2022 (4)