Digital & IT at ZEISS

ZEISS Women Award

For women with ambition in Digital & IT

Application deadline: 26.07.2024

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ZEISS Women Award 2024

The ZEISS Women Award 2024 is coming up and this year, the award will recognize outstanding scientific achievements, business cases, projects or non-profit initiatives for the first time in the three categories of Digital Research, Digital Entrepreneurship, and Digital Social Impact. The award is intended to honor and acknowledge pioneering, visionary, and trailblazing women in IT. It is an important contribution to giving women in the digital and IT sector visibility, thus inspiring the next generation to follow this path. The award winners act as role models in their field and create transparency about possible career paths for talented young women.

The application conditions for the ZEISS Women Award 2024 are clearly defined. Female graduates and students in Digital & IT who gained their Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD degree or diploma in the past winter semester 2023/24 or who are about to graduate can apply.

“I am proud that we can acknowledge these young female talents in the IT sector and make their careers visible. They are strong role models for all young women keen on a future career in technology and they face the challenges presented by society with a clear view. Our message is, make your own way and stay true to yourself,” says Georg von Erffa, Head of Corporate Human Resources.

The ZEISS Women Award 2024 winners will receive their awards and EUR 5,000 prize money during a ceremony in Munich on 16 October 2024.

Digital Research

This category is awarded to applicants based on their significant role in research projects. To win the award, the research project or paper should be outstanding in the university context, show relevance and topicality in the research context and contribute to the expansion of the current state of research. This can be, for example, the establishment and substantiation of a novel thesis, the first extension of a research theory to include practical feasibility or the demonstrable refutation of a previously valid assumption.

Digital Entrepreneurship

This category recognizes those who have thought outside the box and thus demonstrated a particular flair for trends, needs or innovation in the digital and IT context. The award is presented to applicants for projects based on digital products, platforms or services. This might be, for example, the establishment of a new business model or the (imminent) founding of a start-up. A prize for visionary women who take bold paths.

Digital Social Impact

The award in the Digital Social Impact category honors applicants who make a valuable contribution to society by driving an initiative in the digital and IT environment. This can be achieved, for example, by founding a non-profit organization/non-governmental organization, developing a technology to overcome societal challenges or by launching an initiative (e.g. for more social justice/easier access to digital education/STEM support).

Application conditions

1. Your studies are in Digital & IT, and you are dedicated to actively shaping the future of the industry.

2. You have already gained your Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD degree or diploma in the past winter semester 2023/24 or are about to graduate at the time of application and are just starting your thesis, are in the middle of editing it or are still waiting for your final result.

3. Does your project, research paper or initiative contribute to one of the three categories? Then send us your completed application documents by 26 July 2024. Please note: you cannot apply for more than one category.

Application documents

  1. Up-to-date resume
  2. Current grade overview with indication of your (expected) final grade
  3. Abstract of the project/research paper or initiative with respect to its impact and innovative nature, plus description of own intrinsic drivers
  4. Supporting evidence – more information available on the application portal

Apply now for one of the three categories:

Jury 2024
Susan-Stefanie Breitkopf

Member of the Executive Board of the ZEISS Group
Chief Transformation Officer

Dr. Jörg Petschulat - Head of Global R&D ZEISS Semiconductor Mask Solutions
Anke Haas

Senior Technical Consultant,
IBM Deutschland GmbH

Dr. Nancy Hecker-Denschlag

Advanced Technology
ZEISS Expert Ladder – Principal
ZEISS Medical Technology

Dr. Michelangelo Masini

Head of Corporate Research & Technology
Carl Zeiss AG

Dr. Felix Streiter

Managing Director Carl-Zeiss-Foundation


Further jury members will be announced shortly

Answers to the most frequently asked questions

FAQs summarized

When and where will the ZEISS Women Award 2024 be presented?

The award ceremony of the ZEISS Women Award 2024 will take place on October 16, 2024 in Munich for invited guests. There will also be a virtual livestream, the link to the stream will be provided on this page before the event.

Who can apply for the award?

Applications in the three categories Digital Research, Digital Entrepreneurship and Digital Social Impact are open to graduates who have already gained their Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD degree or diploma in the past winter semester 2023/24 or are about to graduate at the time of application and are just starting their thesis, are in the middle of editing it or are still waiting for their final result.

Can I also apply if I will not graduate until the winter semester 2024/2025?

No, the graduates of WS24/25 can apply for the ZEISS Women Award next year.

What criteria do I have to fulfill to participate?

The application conditions are clearly defined and can be found at the top of this website. Fulfillment of the conditions is a prerequisite for participation in the application process.

Do I have to apply in German?

No, the application can also be submitted in English.

Is there an application deadline?

The application period ends on July 26, 2024 at 11:59 p.m.

Is it possible for individuals and teams to apply?

The ZEISS Women Award can only be applied for as an individual. The award is intended to honor and recognize pioneers, visionaries and initiators who, through their commitment, create visibility for women in the digital and IT field and act as role models. Applications from groups will not be considered.

How does the application process look like?

Do you fulfill the conditions of participation and does your project, research work or initiative contribute to one of the three categories? Then nothing stands in your way to apply! Click on the corresponding application link in your category and submit all your application documents. We'll keep our fingers crossed for you!

Digital Research
Digital Enterpreneurship
Digital Social Impact

Which application documents must be submitted for the application?

The application documents to be submitted are listed at the top of this website. Further additional documents can be viewed in the applicant portal by clicking on the respective “Apply now” button. These additional documents can be, for example, proof of your publication, key figures of the business case, additional material for illustration or certificates/awards/patent applications. For the evaluation process and comparability, it is advantageous to get as detailed a picture as possible of you and your work.

Can I apply in multiple categories?

Unfortunately, an application in several categories is not permitted.

How do I choose the appropriate category?

The three award categories are very broadly defined. The scope of the categories is intended as a guide for your application - at the same time, of course, we know that not every project can always be assigned to just one category. If none of the categories seem to fit - don't worry! Send us your application in the category that best suits you and your project. As part of the evaluation process, we will analyze your application in detail. If, in individual cases, we see a better chance for you in another category, we will contact you and reserve the right to reassign your application.

What is the abstract including a description of the motif all about?

We want to get to know your project and the motivation behind it as precisely as possible! The abstract of your project/research work or initiative helps us to do this. It should illustrate the innovative character and impact of your work and also be comprehensible to people outside the field. We would also like to know more about your personal intrinsic motivation. The description of your motivation can, for example, relate to the following questions:

How did the idea come up?

Was the impulse born out of personal motives or personal concern?

What is the motivation behind the project?

Summarize your abstract and the description of the motive in one document. The total length of the document should not exceed two A4 pages.

What is meant by “leading role/personal involvement”?

The aim of the ZEISS Women Award is to recognize women who make/have made a valuable contribution to the digital and IT environment through their work or research and who really go the extra mile. In order to differentiate and distinguish this special commitment and extraordinary effort from regular project work, it must be made transparent by providing evidence. Show us your extra mile!

Can I edit my application at a later stage?

Unfortunately, this is not possible. Please check your application carefully, including all attachments, before sending the documents to us. Submitted applications can no longer be reviewed.

Is there any prize money?

The first-place winner in each category will receive the ZEISS Women Award and a prize of €5,000.

What happens after I submit my application?

All submitted applications will be checked by us upon receipt for compliance with the conditions of participation and formal completeness. After this, the selection process will start. Candidates who make it onto the shortlist will be contacted by us and informed about the next steps. We ask for your understanding that we cannot provide a status update during the application and selection process.

What determines the winners?

Our jury will nominate the selection of finalists from all applications received in September. The winners of the three categories will be announced and honored at the ZEISS Women Award ceremony on October 16.

Who is behind the award?

The award is organized and sponsored by ZEISS.

Impressions 2023

ZEISS Women Award 2023
ZEISS Women Award 2023
ZEISS Women Award 2023
ZEISS Women Award 2023
ZEISS Women Award 2023
ZEISS Women Award 2023
ZEISS Women Award 2023
ZEISS Women Award 2023
ZEISS Women Award 2023
ZEISS Women Award 2023
ZEISS Women Award 2023
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