Friday, March 27, 2015

Marie Curie and Dorothy Hodgkin documentaries on the BBC Radio 4

On the BBC Radio 4's podcast:  The Curies

"Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the scientific achievements of the Curie family. In 1903 Marie and Pierre Curie shared a Nobel Prize in Physics with Henri Becquerel for their work on radioactivity, a term which Marie coined. Marie went on to win a Nobel in Chemistry eight years later; remarkably, her daughter Irène Joliot-Curie would later share a Nobel with her husband Frédéric Joliot-Curie for their discovery that it was possible to create radioactive materials in the laboratory. The work of the Curies added immensely to our knowledge of fundamental physics and paved the way for modern treatments for cancer and other illnesses."

Also on the BBC Radio 4 : An Eye for Pattern:  The Letters of Dorothy Hodgkin '  by  Georgina Ferry

"The correspondence of Dorothy Hodgkin (1910-1994), broadcast for the first time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her winning the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1964. Her letters, introduced by her biographer Georgina Ferry, reveal a passionate and gentle woman who juggled pioneering research in x-ray crystallography with bringing up three children, while her husband Thomas spent much of his time in Africa.

Dorothy Hodgkin remains the only British woman to have been awarded a Nobel Prize for science. She really ought to be a household name." 

Call for tenders: Integrating Gender Equality into Research Performing Organisations

The European Institute for Gender Equality recently launched a tender for the project Integrating Gender Equality into Research Performing Organisations. Research, Practices and setting up of an on-line Tool on Gender Equality Plans!

The general objective of the project is to enhance gender equality in the EU policy area of research by providing policy makers with information on implementing gender sensitive policies in research institutions and by supporting research institutions with sound methodological guidelines for mainstreaming gender in administration, achieving structural transformation, including the change of organisational culture.

The specific objective is to develop an online tool for competence development on the implementation of gender equality plans in research institutions. The tool would specifically:

  • Rely on the need to effectively implement EU Directives on gender equality in the labour market in Research Performing Organisations (RPOs) and universities ;

  • Explain the importance of institutional transformation for RPOs and universities as an essential element of gender mainstreaming;

  • Put forward steps for a systematic implementation and monitoring of gender mainstreaming in RPOs and universities;

  • Provide possibilities to improve the knowledge of the management, researchers, academics and human resources staff on tools and methods aimed at mainstreaming gender within their organisations customised to the needs of RPOs and universities. 

Closing date: 18-05-2015
More information here 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Fem'Energia 2015 award

Since 2009, Electricité de France, WiN (Women in Nuclear)-France and WiN-Europe have been working closely together to organise a special award, the "Fem'Energia Award", which aims to recognize the exceptional contribution made by female students and professional women to nuclear activities in France and Europe.

If you are a young woman student, in France in a high-school or an university, or a woman working in the nuclear sector in the European Union and Switzerland, apply for the Fem'energia Awards 2015.

The deadline for applying is April the 30th!

Applying form and rules:


More information:

Thursday, March 12, 2015

European Commission's Report on Equality between Women and Men - 2014

"The present report outlines the progress achieved in 2014 in the six priority areas of the Commission’s 2010-15 strategy for equality between women and men. It is a way for the Commission to review EU and Member State action on gender equality and identify remaining challenges and gender gaps, on the basis of updated information and statistics.

It strengthens the EU’s accountability and lays the ground for evidence-based policie. Although gender gaps have narrowed in recent decades, inequalities within and between Member States have grown overall and challenges remain in critical areas:

• gender gaps in employment and decision-making have narrowed in recent years, but women still account for less than a quarter of company board members, despite representing almost half of the employed workforce (46%). Also, the extent of gender equality varies substantially across Member States and has not reached everyone. Deficient work-life balance policies hamper women’s employment and therefore the potential for economic growth;

• progress in closing the gender pay and pension gaps has been frustratingly slow. The former is stagnant at 16% and the latter has reached 39%. Occupational segregation is still widespread and women tend to be concentrated in less well-paid sectors;

• Men drop out of school more often and perform less well in reading. Women are more likely to have a higher education degree but are significantly under-represented in STEM studies and careers, in research and in senior posts at all levels of education, including higher education;

• the prevalence of gender-based violence is still alarmingly high. A third of women in the EU have experienced physical or sexual violence;

• while a few national parliaments and governments are about to reach gender parity, women still account for less than a third of ministers and members of parliaments in the vast majority of Member States. At this rate of change, it would take another 70 years to achieve gender equality. Therefore, active policy initiatives are needed to accelerate progress and meet the expectation of citizens. Nearly all Europeans (94%) agree that equality between women and men is a fundamental right and a large majority of citizens (76%) believe that tackling inequality between women and men should be a priority for the EU."


EU Prize for Women Innovators 2014

"On the occasion of International Women's Day, the European Commission is launching today the third edition of the EU Prize for Women Innovators to reward three women who have achieved outstanding innovations and brought them to market. The prize aims to raise awareness of the need for more female entrepreneurs and to inspire other women to follow in their footsteps. The first prize is worth €100 000, the second prize €50 000 and third prize €30 000.

The prize is being launched during a working lunch with outstanding women in academia, research, industry and media, hosted by the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas. The event reflects on how to increase the participation of women in research and innovation and their share of top positions in the industry and academia. Participants to the lunch include female rectors, previous winners of the EU Prize for Women Innovators, leaders of EU initiatives on gender equality, as well as both senior and young scientists.

Commissioner Moedas said: "There may have been some improvement in recent years but, in Europe, female researchers and entrepreneurs remain a minority. Whether economically, intellectually or socially, we cannot afford to continue missing out on this vast pool of untapped talent. The EU Prize for Women Innovators recognises women entrepreneurs for their valuable achievements, inspiring both men and women alike."

"Gender equality is not only a moral imperative but it also makes economic sense", said Věra Jourová, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality. “Diversity is good for innovation and entrepreneurship, because it brings new talent and fresh ideas. The EU Prize for Women Innovators showcases female talent and can encourage other women to pursue careers in science and entrepreneurship where women are still underrepresented."

For more information
Media contact:

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Childcare Policies in Science: Euroscientist

EPWS Vice-President Prof. Claudine Hermann has been interviewed for a recent article on Euroscientist - Inadequate Childcare Policies Affect Scientists’ Careers.

The article, by Janna Degener, investigates the difficulties faced by women scientists in balancing their career with raising children, providing a number of examples of European policies that frame this issue.

"The issue is largely a cultural one. “It is not due to science but due to the cultures of the different countries that the problem of childcare is more on the shoulder of women than men. But the role models and the family models are changing slowly and that affects scientists and other high educated women,” says Claudine Hermann , vice-president of the European Platform of Women Scientists, retired professor of physics at the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, France, with three children. 

Hermann claims that scientific institutions should invest more money to support female and male scientists with children to compensate the fact that the number of scientists with children varies much from country to country."

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Breakthrough Prizes: Physics, Life Sciences, Mathematics

The Breakthrough Prizes honor important, primarily recent, achievements in the categories of Fundamental Physics, Life Sciences and Mathematics.

The prizes were founded by Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, Yuri and Julia Milner, and Jack Ma and Cathy Zhang. Committees of previous laureates choose the winners from candidates nominated in a process that’s online and open to the public.

"Knowledge is humanity’s greatest asset. It defines our nature, and it will shape our future. The body of knowledge is assembled over centuries. Yet a single mind can extend it immensely. Einstein reimagined space and time. Darwin distilled the chaos of life to a single idea. Turing figured out what it means to think. Great scientists enrich us all. They enable technologies that ease our lives, but they also show us what’s beyond our horizons."

EPWS on International Innovation

EPWS Vice-President, Prof. Claudine Hermann introduces the Platform on Issue 171 of International Innovation, a leading publication that disseminates research and provides the latest news on funding and policy issues in one easy-to-understand space.

Prof. Hermann discusses EPWS' history, its Members and activities, and the main goals and challenges for the near future.

Read the Full Article on International Innovation



Elisabeth Schiemann Kolleg of the Max Planck Society: Call for nominations

The Elisabeth Schiemann Kolleg of the Max Planck Society is calling for nominations of female postdocs, group leaders, junior professors or female scientists working towards their habilitations in chemistry, physics, mathematics,computer science or technical disciplines.

Within the Elisabeth‐Schiemann‐Kolleg, scientific membersof the Max Planck Society foster the careers of excellent female scientists after their postdoc phase, helping them to succeed on their way to a possible appointment as a University Chair or a director at a Max Planck Institute. Additionally, the Kolleg offers a platform for transdisciplinary scientific exchange. Fellows are not supported financially.

All professors and directors of research institutions worldwide can nominate candidates. It does not matter where and how the candidates are employed, only tenured researchers are not eligible.

A complete nomination includes the candidate’s vita and her brief summary of current and future scientific activities, as well as two recommendation letters, by the nominator and by another professor. One of them should come from a German research institution or university.

Deadline for nominations: February 28th, 2015

Monday, February 9, 2015

iGIANTS - impact of gender/sex on innovation and novel technologies summit

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is launching a new program called iGIANTS which stands for the impact of gender/sex on innovation and novel technologies summit. It will be an opportunity to highlight groups which have made progress in the sex/gender space and to inspire them to serve as ambassadors for their respective sectors to foster more interest and innovation. It is an exciting time to move from the research bench to the bedside, to the design of driver's seats and cockpits to even computer keyboards and sporting equipment. Sex/gender impacts every aspect of our lives.

Thirty years of research reveal that sex and gender bias is socially harmful and expensive. From 1997-2000, 10 drugs were withdrawn from the market in the United States because of life-threatening health effects. Eight out of these 10 drugs posed greater health risks for women than men (GAO, 2001). It costs billions of dollars to bring pharmaceutical agents to market. Additionally, when these drugs fail or have serious side effects, they cause significant suffering and even death. In regard to transportation, "out-of-position" drivers which are often women lead to more injuries in automotive accidents. Understanding how men and women use information technology is also essential to new engineering designs and novel technologies. Sex/gendered innovations stimulate sex/gender-responsible science and technology which enhances the quality of life of men and women globally.


In 2014, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy developed a blueprint for the formation of the iGIANTS to foster innovation and novel technologies through partnerships and outreach with diverse sectors and stakeholders.

Participants: 50-60 representatives from the following sectors will participate in the Summit: transportation, information technology, biotechnology, and retail. Representation from the following stakeholders will be invited: agencies, academia, industry, advocacy, and the White House.

Format: Brief presentations (10 minutes each) from the sectors represented that have achieved significant accomplishments focused on sex/gender. This didactic session will be followed by break-out sessions in which representatives from different sectors will discuss approaches to incorporate sex/gender into their activities. In a closing session with all participants, groups will share outcomes from their respective break-out sessions and stakeholders will present statements of commitment to promote sex/gender-based initiatives.

Co-Hosts: OSTP, the White House Council on Women and Girls, DHHS Office on Women's Health

Location: White House South Conference Center

Time: Summer 2015


 1) Short Term: Raise awareness of the impact of sex and gender in health care and other sectors. An overview of the challenges and barriers as well as the advantages and solutions to accomplish this will be defined. (Pre-summit)

2) Immediate: Statements of commitment for sex/gender-based initiatives to improve the lives of both men and women will be delivered at the the conclusion of the Summit. Representatives will commit to serve as ambassadors for their respective sectors to encourage further collaboration and participation by their peers to promote the impact of sex/gender as a means to advance innovation and novel technologies. (During Summit)

3) Long Term: Demonstration of progress to incorporate sex and gender into innovation and technology to foster improved efficiency in the work place, daily lives, health care and other sectors. For example, new policies, curricula, partnerships, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and devices will be developed. (There will be a summit one year post initial event to showcase accomplishments.)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

ENEA International Fellowship Programme 2015

With the purpose of contributing to the creation of the European Research Area, the ENEA International Fellowship Programme aims at helping researchers to reach or reinforce a position for professional maturity and independence.

In this framework, ENEA invites applications for 8 international research fellowships open to researchers willing to spend a mobility period working in ENEA Research Centre.

The deadline for applications is March 13, 2015.

Fellowships are being awarded to early-stage researchers with less than four-year research experience, since gaining a University diploma giving access to doctoral studies. Candidates will carry out research activities in a broad spectrum of ENEA R&D programmes referring to the main theme of EXPO Milano 2015 “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”.

More information:

ENEA implements the European Charter for researchers and the Code of conduct for their recruitment and strongly encourages applications from women.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

CERN: Post Career Break Fellowship

CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is piloting a programme to offer full-time or part-time Fellowships to science and engineering graduates wishing to re-start their careers. This is an outstanding chance for you to update your knowledge and skills working for up to three years in an international environment at the forefront of research. 

CERN is proud to be involved in COFUND a European Commission Marie Sklodowksa-Curie Action to stimulate mobility and career development through fellowship programmes. Through the COFUND programme, we will be offering a limited number of 3-year Fellowships to top-ranked Senior Fellows. Candidates meeting these requirements will be considered for a COFUND Fellowship. One feature of the COFUND programme is the possibility to spend up to 12 months of the Fellow contract at another institute, provided that the work still corresponds to your original project at CERN. 

Role Description
CERN already runs a very successful Fellowship Programme which awards approximately 180 Fellowships per year in both for research work (experimental or theoretical physics) and advanced development work and related research in a broad range of applied science, computing and engineering fields.

This pilot programme will offer one full-time or two part-time Fellowships and is aimed at candidates with either a Junior or a Senior Fellow profile depending on the qualifications and experience of the individual.

Fellowships are normally granted for two years. Extensions for part or all of a third year are granted only in exceptional circumstances.

Deadline to submit applications: 2 March 2015; 23:59 CET / Deadline to submit all required documents: 4 March 2015; 23:59 CET

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Technical University of Denmark - 20 Fellowships under the international HC Ørsted Postdoc COFUND Programme

Technical University of Denmark (DTU) invites highly talented young researchers who have obtained outstanding results during their PhD studies and demonstrated excellence and potential in their field of study, to apply for one of the 20 fellowships under the international HC Ørsted Postdoc COFUND Programme, cofunded by Marie Curie Actions. The programme, is named after Hans Christian Ørsted, discoverer of electromagnetism and founder of the university. 

Applications should be based on the details of the full call text, which can be downloaded at
Applications must be submitted via DTU’s online submission form at To apply, please click the link “apply online”, fill in the online application form and attach your application.

Applications received by other means will not be considered.

Applications must be submitted as one compiled PDF and should contain all the requested annexes in the following order:
Annex #2 CV and list of publications*
Annex #3 Ethics issues table*
Annex #4 PhD documentation (or declaration from supervisor)
Annex #5 Letters of recommendation (from graduating university and latest employer) **
* Use templates available for download at
** It is possible for the graduating university and latest employer to send the letters of recommendations in confidence directly to the secretariat.

DTU recommends that the research plan is developed in close cooperation with the hosting research department and professor. The research plan should be formulated to be comprehensible to professors and researchers without expertise in the specialist field in question.

Applicants can apply for an individual postdoctoral fellowship of up to 24 months. At the time of deadline, the applicant must not have resided or carried out their main activity in Denmark for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the deadline. The applicant must be an Experienced Researcher, i.e. must have obtained a PhD degree, or be very close to graduating (PhD degree must be obtained by the time of employment).

Application deadline is Monday 23 February 2015 (midnight, CET)

For more information about the programme please visit or contact the secretariat at

DTU welcomes applications from all interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background.