Yalinu Poya is one of 25 researchers out of a global pool of 837 scientists to win the Green Talent award by Germany's Ministry for Education and Research in an official ceremony in Berlin.
The awards are part of the Green Talents International Forum for High Potentials in Sustainable Development, which aims to promote international exchange of innovative, green ideas, and awards young researchers each year, selected by a jury of German experts.
Poya is studying her PHD in chemistry at the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom.
In her research, Poya is developing novel catalysts for ammonia synthesis, an essential element for the production of synthetic fertilisers used in agriculture.
Currently the process of ammonia production requires large-scale plants consuming great amounts of energy and leading to a high CO2 output.
Poya's research aims to make ammonia synthesis more sustainable, efficient and applicable in smaller plants.
"Humbled to be selected for this prestigious international award," Poya tweeted.
Green talents said it was Poya's fresh perspective on addressing global challenges of food and energy security, climate change and energy generation from renewables that made the jury's easy choice.
Poya told Radio New Zealand she hoped her achievement would encourage other young women in PNG and the Pacific to pursue STEM careers.
"The world is moving fast and we should not live in the norms of our PNG and Pacific societies which sadly limit women," she said.
"My message to all the girls and women in the Pacific is do not limit your potential and underestimate yourself. You are some of the strongest women in the world and you are naturally gifted. If you have a passion for STEM, go for it."