Ten Years For Women in Science
In 2012, L’Oréal Nederland and the Dutch Unesco Commission introduced the national For Women in Science programme in collaboration with the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study and the Dutch Network of Female Professors (LNVH). Now, ten years later, this societal initiative is still proving its value. Under the motto ‘The world needs science, science needs women’, the FWIS programme promotes the scientific careers of women and, by doing so, aims to increase the number of female professors in the Netherlands.
The award ceremony’s programme included two former laureates: dr. Maryam Kavousi (laureate 2014), associate professor at the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam and dr. Jorien Treur (laureate 2021), assistant professor at the psychiatry department of the Amsterdam UMC, location AMC. They discussed their experiences and future dreams with this year’s winners. During the award ceremony, Minister of Education, Culture and Science (OCW), Robbert Dijkgraaf, congratulated the For Women in Science laureates in a special video message. Watch the video here.
Every year, the Dutch FWIS programme provides two research grants worth €25,000 to two outstanding female scientists in the field of life sciences, to enable them to carry out in-depth research in their own field of study. For the duration of a semester, exempt from regular activities such as teaching and administrative and clinical tasks, they can fully focus on their scientific work. In addition, FWIS awards the Rising Talent Prize: three research-related incentive prizes for young women in the life and exact sciences.
The laureates of the ‘For Women in Science’ grants 2022 are dr. Betty Tijms and dr.ir. Marjon de Vos.
Dr. Betty Tijms is a psychologist, neuro-informatician and associate professor at the VUmc Alzheimer Center in Amsterdam. Tijms conducts research into the very earliest changes in the brain in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. 1 in 7 people develop this brain disease and at the moment there is no medicine that can slow down or cure the disease. This is due to major differences in the underlying causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Tijms recently discovered three different molecular Alzheimer’s subtypes. Based on the assumption that each subtype has its own specific treatment and that each patient therefore requires a tailor-made treatment, she is now trying to map out the different subtypes and the underlying causes. In this way, Tijms hopes to contribute to accelerating the discovery of medication and treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. She will spend her time at NIAS reflecting on next career steps, data analysis, writing several papers and organizing an interdisciplinary workshop.
Dr. ir. Marjon de Vos is a microbiologist and assistant professor of Microbiology at the Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences of the University of Groningen. Her research focuses on the bacteria that cause urinary tract infections, focusing on the interactions between these bacteria influencing the evolution of antibiotic resistance. She also studies the bacteria that live in the bladders of healthy people. She wants to understand how bacterial interactions influence evolution. Because, she says, if we know how certain bacteria influence the growth of other bacteria, we can potentially direct evolution. Marjon will use her time at the NIAS-KNAW to think about and reflect on new research lines and projects, she will also write papers and organize a interdisciplinary workshop, all in the inspiring environment of NIAS, free from other academic tasks.
Winners of the Rising Talent Awards are Linda Al-Hassany, Sanne van Neerven and Nga Phung.
Linda Al-Hassany (1993), the number one of the FWIS-Rising Talent Prize 2022, is working on her PhD research at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam on pharmacological and cardiovascular aspects of migraine. She will receive € 3,500.
The For Women in Science program is a cooperation between L’Oréal, the Dutch UNESCO commission, the Dutch Network of Women Professors (LNVH) and Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen. Read more about all partners.