Four female scientists receive WISE position

19 January 2017

Dr. Elisabeth Adams, dr. Barbora Hola, dr. Stacey Jeffery and dr. Anja Spang have been given a position in the first round of the NWO Women In Science Excel (WISE) programme at the following research institutes respectively: ASTRON, NSCR, CWI and NIOZ. The tenure track programme provides these talented female scientists with the opportunity to continue or develop their own research group and ultimately advance to a top position at the institute in question.

Beeld NWO-programma Women In Science Excel (WISE)

The WISE tenure trackers were selected from a pool of 106 applicants. ‘It’s an impressive number and shows once again that there’s more than enough female talent out there,’ says professor Vinod Subramaniam, rector of VU Amsterdam and independent chair of the selection committee. The WISE programme aims to improve the gender balance among NWO’s own scientific staff. WISE was launched in June 2016 and will provide twenty positions in the coming five years at NWO research institutes, including ARCNL, the Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography. The evaluation committee, consisting of distinguished and international scientists is very enthusiastic about the NWO initiative. ‘With these four tenure trackers in this first round, we have achieved the programme’s aim of attracting talent to the Netherlands and keeping talented scientists here and providing them with opportunities. WISE is thus make a real difference in attracting and promoting the advancement of top female researchers,’ says Subramaniam.

Highly talented researchers
Each of the WISE tenure trackers has an impressive international career. The WISE fellowships for dr. Adams and dr. Hola will enable them to stay at ASTRON and NSCR respectively, where they already work, and enable them to set up their own research groups. Dr. Adams will conduct research on dwarf galaxies as a test bed of cosmology and galaxy formation and was selected for the major impact of her research, among other reasons. Dr. Hola was praised for the social relevance of her research and her ambitious and original research proposal to NSCR. With her WISE position Hola aims to build a center for empirical legal studies of international criminal law. Dr. Jeffery is receiving a position at CWI for her clear research plan on the use of quantum computers in terms of computation and data security, among other reasons, as well as her extensive academic record. Dr. Spang stood out for her vision and her ambitious and detailed research proposal. Spang will conduct research on archaea to gain new insight into the early evolution of life on Earth as well as ecosystem functioning in marine environments. The tenure trackers will start their work at the institute of their choice this year, which coincides nicely with the 'Westerdijk Year', named after the first female professor in the Netherlands, during which various organisations, including NWO, will focus on the position of women in science.

About WISE
With a focus on guidance and the right facilities, the programme will provide talented international and national researchers with a great career path towards a tenured position. The tenure track positions target female researchers who have started their careers and obtained their PhD at least three years ago. They will have to submit a research proposal and indicate at which NWO institute they would like to work. Successful candidates will be offered a five-year tenure track position at the institute of their choice. Following a successful tenure track, researchers fellows will receive a tenured position at the institute of their choice.

Source: NWO