Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Save the Date! EPWS General Assembly 2015


4 November 2015: EPWS General Assembly 2015

The EPWS General Assembly 2015 will take place in Berlin on 4 November 2015 in the afternoon. More information will be announced by the Association and on the EPWS website in due time.

5 November 2015: Conference “Ready for Dialogue”

The conference “Ready for Dialogue” in Berlin on 5 November 2015 aims to contribute to the targeted consideration of the innovative potential of the gender dimension in science and research as well as in research policy through the purposeful linking-up of relevant actors in the field at national and European level.

The event will be organized by the Essen College of Gender Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, in close cooperation with the European Platform of Women Scientists EPWS as European partner organization. The project “Ready for Dialogue. Conference on the Gender Dimension in Science and Research” is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF, Germany, under grant number 01FP1456. The conference website and more details on how to register will be announced in due time.

CERN: Post Career Break Fellowship

"Have you taken time out for personal reasons from your career in science or engineering? Would you be interested in returning to work if you could?

CERN 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 200 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: 7 September 2015; 23:59 CET /
Deadline to submit all required documents: 9 September 2015; 23:59 CET

Monday, June 29, 2015

EU Prize for Women Innovators 2016

"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:

Monday, June 22, 2015

BBC News - The women whom science forgot

"A quick web search for the world's most famous scientists lists, among others, Galileo, Einstein, Newton, Darwin, Stephen Hawking and Alexander Fleming.

One of the few women to receive a mention is Marie Curie, a physicist and chemist who basically discovered radiation and helped apply it in the field of X-rays.

She won two Nobel Prizes, in physics and chemistry. Yet even so, she was turned down for membership of the prestigious French Academie des Sciences in 1911, the very year she went on to win her second Nobel Prize.

The Nobel laureate Sir Tim Hunt was heavily criticised for his disparaging remarks about women in science last week, which for some raised the issue of where women stood in the scientific community.

The larger truth is that women have made big and important discoveries in science - think of Dorothy Hodgkin, the brilliant crystallographer who mapped the structure of penicillin and went on to be awarded a Nobel Prize in 1964.
Hodgkin was the first woman to win the prestigious Copley Medal, and she remains the only British woman to have won a Nobel in the sciences. Yet at the time, the newspapers carried headlines such as "Oxford housewife wins Nobel".

But many female scientists in the past were not given the credit they deserved for their achievements. As a result, their names have all but disappeared from public consciousness.
Here are just a few......"

read full report:

Friday, June 12, 2015

Barometer stubbornly stuck on low pressure for Women in Life Sciences

Jan Peters, co-author with Nancy J Lane, of a review of the Status of Women in the Life Sciences
Full article published April 2015 and available here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9780470015902.a0003457.pub2/full

"The chattering classes seem to be talking non-stop about the skills shortages in engineering and the under representation of women at all levels. Don't get me wrong, I am passionate about women in engineering, but I'm increasingly concerned about the lack of progress in the life sciences and what this might mean should the engineering numbers rise.

You could consider the life sciences as a barometer for progress in addressing the under-representation of women in STEM, having had parity or better with men at undergraduate (47% in 1970 in the UK) and postgraduate level for some 30 or so years. But the cracks in the glass ceiling are all too stubborn. It's true we have had some very high profile appointments of life science women and even recent Nobel Laureates, but the fact remains that in the UK at professorial levels there are still only 15% women. I was a bit startled too to read Sheltzer's work published last spring of the few women in elite life science laboratories. Perhaps it's time for a re-focus - so when the engineers make it to 15% of professors, the cultural barriers and inequities in recognition have already been addressed and it is but a fleeting point. I learned three lessons from undertaking this review.
Why is there a continual need to justify work on gender or diversity and science?
In 2014 organizations and businesses were still questioning the business case for diversity and demanding evidence. The Department for Business Innovation and Skills obligingly complied (again) and published another business case document. In a  previous (2006) report from the European Commission evidence of better performance by more diverse teams was published. The authors surmised that increased diversity was achieved in parallel with a greater investment in training managers to acknowledge, respect and make better use of their diverse teams. So rather than needing to make a case for increasing diversity the case was clearly one of better management practice, summarized in the InterAcademy Council report 'Women for Science' in 2007. It isn't like some life science business sectors don't employ a high number of women - in private sector pharmaceutical research there are 45% women across Europe; why is it so much lower in other life science sectors? What can we learn?

So lesson 1 - Let's see a consistent high standard of good management practiced across the life sciences with a due high regard for fairness, respect and equitable reward to all.
How are we to advance women into senior leadership positions?
It's always a difficult question: is it targets, quotas and / or merit as a method for addressing the gender gap at senior levels?
No man or woman wants to be seen as a statistic or special case. We all want to achieve based on merit. I have always been against quotas but have come to the conclusion that as a short term policy measure it is the only option. In places where quotas have been introduced such as Norway the evidence contradicts the argument that they lower the quality of appointments to boards. For those strongly opposed to quotas, saying they are unfair, don't forget that they are being introduced in a system that is already inherently and unconsciously not fair. It is not the quotas themselves that cause the change, rather the affirmative action of creating strong candidate pools, awareness of unconscious bias and other efforts that ultimately make the difference. (Why else do we continue to see women excluded from some of the most prestigious laboratories?) Without quotas, efforts to make a difference seem to lack impetus.

Lesson 2 - Organizations need to take a much tougher stance on implementing affirmative action. Quotas are a short term policy kick-starter and are not to be feared.
Is our science gender inclusive?
How come in 2015 we still read of research ignoring gender as a variable in studies of disease and medicine?
Does it matter that medicines aren't tested on men and women? Who would have thought that Aspirin was never tested on women and yet is taken by millions everyday? A meta-analysis in 2006 showed that Aspirin affects platelets differently in men and women. What more might we learn by doing better science? The European Commission evaluated the Framework 5 Programme and showed how few science studies consider gender when there is a scientific reason to explicitly do so. As a result new measures have been implemented for Horizon 2020 Programme that will require scientists to explain if they do not address gender in their studies. This is all good, but these policies have no impact on private sector research. So it is likely that we shall still we hear of work that has failed to consider half the population and may cause potentially life threatening errors or will miss crucial discoveries.

Lesson 3 - A new vigorous dialogue is needed on the male orientation of science to ensure that gender becomes a de facto consideration for every piece of work.
For the main waste of talent and missed opportunity is not in engineering, but in the life sciences where so many women have studied and been lost. Academia, policy makers and employers must turn up the heat and do more than offer networking or personal development events for women and address an issue that faces the life science community as a whole."

Jan Peters PhD FRSA : Director, Katalytik Ltd : 0797 4011278 : Skype Peters475 : jan.peters@katalytik.co.uk<mailto:jan.peters@katalytik.co.uk> : katalytik.co.uk : christchurchtides.blogspot.co.uk

Monday, June 8, 2015

BBC News - How US students get a university degree for free in Germany

While the cost of college education in the US has reached record highs, Germany has abandoned tuition fees altogether for German and international students alike. An increasing number of Americans are taking advantage and saving tens of thousands of dollars to get their degrees.

In a kitchen in rural South Carolina one night, Hunter Bliss told his mother he wanted to apply to university in Germany. Amy Hall chuckled, dismissed it, and told him he could go if he got in.
"When he got accepted I burst into tears," says Amy, a single mother. "I was happy but also scared to let him go that far away from home."
Across the US parents are preparing for their children to leave the nest this summer, but not many send them 4,800 miles (7,700km) away - or to a continent that no family member has ever set foot in. .........

read more:
By Franz Strasser BBC News, Germany

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

genderSTE : call for Training School in Istanbul

Engendering Research about Cities, Transport, Energy & Climate Change

COST Training School. A Residential Workshop for Early Stage Researchers

Monday evening 2nd November – Friday evening 6th November, 2015

Istanbul, Turkey

This workshop is designed to encourage early stage researchers (ESRs) to consider how gender relations shape research in the EU priority areas of cities, transport, energy and climate change.

Gender relationships structure society, and therefore most research is, in some way, gendered. Gender affects who does research, how and which research questions are identified as important, which methodologies are chosen, the case studies and data sets used, and the analysis undertaken. For an increasing number of researchers, these considerations are explicit, but for others they remain implicit, or even unconscious. Better recognition of gender relations and their implications, and attention to how these affect research, ultimately makes for better science with more robust results. This is being acknowledged by funders such as the European Union, and the North American National Institutes of Health, and publishers such as Nature and The Lancet, who are now requiring authors to identify how they have taken gender into account in their research frameworks.

The aim of this workshop is to encourage ESRs to explore how gender affects their existing or proposed research, and consider how they might incorporate a gender perspective. Workshop tutors are experienced researchers with gender expertise, and the programme will build from introducing the concept of gender and developing its complexity, in general, to working on case studies of urban design, housing, transport, energy and climate change, so that participants can understand how they can incorporate sophisticated gendered analyses into their PhD and postdoctoral research.


Inés Sánchez de Madariaga, Polytechnic University of Madrid. SP
Marion Roberts. University of Westminster. UK
Susan Buckingham. Brunel University. UK
Frances Hogdson Institute for Transport Studies. University of Leeds: UK
Florian Reinwald. University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences of Vienna. AT
Lidewij Tummers. Faculty of Architecture TU Delft. TN
Klaus Schroeder. Design People. DK
Hilda Roemer Christiansen. University of Copenhagen. DK
Nüzhet Dalfes. Istanbul Technical University. TK
Handan Türkoğlu. Istanbul Technical University. TK
Yurdanur Yüksel. Istanbul Technical University. TK
Haluk Gerçek (TBC) . Istanbul Technical University. TK

(List to be completed)


genderSTE is a policy-driven targeted network funded by COST, European Cooperation in Science and Technology (http://www.cost.eu/). COST provides funding for our activities since our launch on November 28th 2012.

The target groups/ end users of genderSTE include science and technology policy, funding and performing institutions and stakeholders relying on the results of the science and technology. genderSTE will direct its activities to the first three groups and the results of genderSTE’s activities will result in better outcomes for the end users.


The deadline for the submission of the Application Form is 30/07/2015.
The selection of the candidates will take place before 10/09/2015.
Please submit your application to: genderstetraining@ceu.edu

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

EPWS Vice-President awarded medal of Légion d’Honneur of the Republic of France

On May 20th 2015, in the Elysée Palace, Prof. Claudine Hermann, Vice-president of EPWS, co-founder and President of honor of the French association Femmes &Sciences, was awarded by French Republic President Monsieur François Hollande, during a collective ceremony.

She received the medal and plaque of "Grande- Officière of Légion d’Honneur" (i.e. 4th level in this order), in recognition of her former activities of first woman professor at Ecole Polytechnique and for her current involvement in the women and science issue.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Women in Science - Summer School El Escorial, Spain

Universidad Complutense de Madrid, in cooperation with Norwegian and Icelandic institutions, as well as with various Spanish ministries, launches the Summer School entitled "Women in Science. Reflections and experiences from the North and South of Europe and the United States".

The course is organized within the NILS Science and Sustainability programme, funded by the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area.

The event includes international top experts as Stephanie Bird (MIT, USA), highest level professors from Spain as Margarita Salas, Amelia Valcárcel, Eulalia Pérez Sedeño and others, as well as representatives from Norway and Iceland. It will provide us the opportunity to reflect on the social nature of science, the barriers to the participation, use and production ofscience and technology by women, and to identify good experiencies in order to promote equality in science.

"Women have contributed to science from its beginning, although this has not been fairly acknowledged. From the studies of science, it is widely described the lack of equality among women and men concerning scientific and technological production, as well as the existence of obstacles that are specific to women when accessing relevant positions in the academia, the industry and the administration. Such barriers have led to a deep reflection on the social nature of science and technology and on the strategies in order to overcome this inequality.

This school aims at facing this reflection, as well as at deepening on the situation of women in the science systems in various countries such as Spain, Norway, Iceland and United States. We also aim at identifying best practices on the promotion of scientific entrepreneurship enhancing women’s and men’s initiatives, at knowing the personal experience of researchers face to face, as well as at identifying what is the gender treatment in the main source of funding for science in Europe, the Horizon2020 programme.

The course gathers internationally well known researchers who will talk us about the conclusions of number of studies, approaches and perspectives in Europe and United States of America, as well as about their experience and proposals for a higher equality in this field. The combination of lectures and round tables shall allow participation and exchanges among attendees and speakers. The school is addressed to bachelor and post-degree students in experimental and social sciences, to active researchers and technologues, and to professionals in the administration related to scientific, educational, entrepreneurship and equality policies. We aim at exchanging knowledge and experiences and also at identifying further cooperation opportunities."

Deadline for applying for financial support is May 29

Ready for Dialogue: Conference on the Gender Dimension in Science and Research

"Ready for Dialogue"

Conference on the Gender Dimension in Science and Research

BERLIN, Germany

5th of NOVEMBER 2015

9.00-18.30 hrs 

How can we target and eliminate existing blind spots concerning the importance of sex and gender in science and research? How can the contribution and potential of the gender dimension to scientific excellence and innovation more purposefully be taken into account for the benefit of science and research as well as research policy at national and European level?

The international conference “Ready for Dialogue”, in Berlin, will take these questions as starting point. The conference aims at initiating a strategic dialogue among relevant national and European key players, such as associations, (research) institutions and organizations that work within and outside the university context on the integration of the gender dimension in science and research. The aim is to foster the exchange between “knowledge” and “political action”, to strengthen and expand existing approaches in both areas and to develop a roadmap for the institutionalization of a regular dialogue.

The following topics are scheduled for discussion:

1. The conceptual approach of the strategic gender dimension and its sharpening with respect to strategic gender equality approaches.
2. The challenges with respect to the scientific recognition of the gender dimension in science, research and innovation, particularly within the excellence and innovation debate, but also in terms of discussions on the category ‘Diversity’.
3. The positioning of the strategic approach gender dimension in national and international research policies, such as research funding and targeted research programmes.

This conference addresses representatives of national and European institutional associations (institutions/organizations/networks) committed to the integration of the gender dimension in science and research or having an interest to do so in the future, actors in science and research that have yet to integrate the gender dimension into their scientific approach as well as junior scientists of all disciplines. As part of the event, all attending institutions will have the opportunity to present themselves and their activities in a concomitant poster session. Simultaneous translation into German and English will be provided.

The event will be organized by the Essen College of Gender Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, in close cooperation with the European Platform of Women Scientists EPWS as European partner organization. The project “Ready for Dialogue. Conference on the Gender Dimension in Science and Research” is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF, Germany, under grant number 01FP1456. The conference website and more details on how to register will be announced in due time.

Kindly forward this information to interested colleagues and organizations.

Both events take place prior to the European Gender Summit 2015, Berlin, 6-7 November 2015.

Dr Brigitte Mühlenbruch, President, European Platform of Women Scientists EPWS

Dr Maren A. Jochimsen, Managing Director,
Sonja Zurmaar, Project Coordination, Essen College of Gender Research, University of Duisburg-Essen, E-Mail: sonja.zurmaar@uni-due.de

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