NitroEurope - Gender Committee

Members and responsibilities

  • Sophie Zechmeister-Boltenstern (chair, forum)
  • Julia Drewer (female experts network)
  • Jan Duyzer (questionnaires)
  • Agnieszka Eljasz (grants, awards)
  • Mari Pihlatie (questionnaires)

Main objectives:


• To defend gender equality
• To promote the role of female scientists in NitroEurope What does it do?


The gender committee has a forum as a permanent site for the discussion of gender issues, such as potential conflicts between career and family and to exchange experience and highlight differences in the gender issues awareness between EU countries.
The forum will also be a place for the distribution of announcements for jobs and training opportunities, and it will act as the platform to channel experience and good ideas, but also to deal with complaints.
Ideas raised by the forum as, for example, child care at NitroEurope meetings, video-conferences etc. to facilitate participation of scientists with children will be looked for implementation by the gender committee


The gender committee will initiate and maintain a monitoring activity, by means of annual questionnaires to be completed by all partners, on the recruitment of female researchers within the IP.It will actively help finding qualified females, and recruiting females, for open jobs in NitroEurope


 An annual gender action report will contain an inventory of what actions to promote gender equality have been performed at the level of the Integrated Project as a whole and of its major components and will document the overall success as compared to targets of promotion of female researchers and of promotion of involvements of scientist with young families in the IP activities . The gender committee will produce the report with the input of all partners of the Integrated Project.


News and Announcements


In 2010 questionnaires will be sent out again to analyse possible changes in the situation of women within the 5 years of NitroEurope – Please return them!!


In addition to that, the following work is planned for year 5 of NitroEurope:


  •  Advertize grants or prizes specifically dedicated to women
  • Promote Networking by creating a list of women scientists with contact details facilitating the international collaboration among women scientists and facilitate partnership in future EU-Projects




Sophie Zechmeister-Boltenstern




Follow this link.


Grants and Programmes available and dedicated to Women Scientists

 1. Margarete von Wrangell Postdoctoral Qualification Programme for Women


 The Margarete von Wrangell Programme aims to encourage excellent female scientists working at the universities of Baden-Württemberg to gain their postdoctoral lecture qualification (Habilitation). In cooperation with the host university, the programme offers financial support  and training for 5 years. Applicants can be of any nationality.

More detailed information (in German only)

New call for proposals (deadline July 2, 2010)

2. Irene Rosenberg Programme for female scientists in the area of engineering

To support qualified female engineers to take the steps towards professorship, the programme wants to encourage women who work for small or medium-sized enterprises (SME) and have a technically innovative idea to write a doctoral thesis. In cooperation with the SME, the programme offers funding for the scientist to realise her PhD-project.

More detailed information (in German only)

3. Mathilde Planck Lectureship Programme

To boost the amount of female professors at polytechnics as well as music and art academies in Baden-Württemberg, the programme provides the possibility to gain teaching experience at these institutes. Applicants should not be older than 42 and either have a doctoral thesis or more than 2 years working experience in their field. Applicants can be of any nationality.

More detailed information (in German only)

4. Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard Foundation

The CNV Foundation supports talented young women with children to enable them to create the freedom and mobility required to further their scientific careers. It is aimed specifically at graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in the fields of experimental natural sciences and medicine.

More detailed information

5. UNESCO-L'OREAL Co-Sponsored Fellowships Programme for Young Women in Life Sciences
The German UNESCO Commission and L'Oréal Germany, in partnership with the Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard Foundation, annually grant three fellowships valued at 20,000 EUR each to promote excellent women in German research. Sponsorship is open to women of all nationalities from the experimental natural sciences who are working at German universities and research institutes as post-doctoral researchers and whose further careers are endangered by the additional responsibilities of motherhood.

More detailed information

6. Schlieben-Lange Programme for female scientists with children

The programme aims to promote female academics on the road to the top positions in research. It aims to improve the compatibility of career and family during early career stages (doctoral thesis, postdoctoral lecture qualification) via financial support for 2 years. There is also a line of funding for women who plan their re-entry into a research career after parental leave. Funding is open to women of all nationalities who are working or doing their PhD at a university in Baden-Württemberg.

More detailed information (in German only)

7. Bertha Benz Award

The Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz Foundation annually publishes the Bertha Benz Award for young German women scientists  in the field of engineering. The award adresses women scientists who have received their PhD during the last 12 months and whose thesis has been marked with "summa cum laude".

Candidates cannot apply independently but must be recommended by a university or an independent research institute.

More detailed information (in German only)

8. Fast Track: Excellence and Leadership Skills for Outstanding Women in Science

The programme offers intensive seminars for young female post-doctoral researchers to strengthen their skills in research and research management. Fellowships are available for career-enhancing measures such as child care, personal coaching, language courses, or attending scientific conferences.

More detailed infomation

9.  MuT – Mentoring and Training

MuT is designed for excellent young female scientists in Baden-Württemberg. It offers mentoring and intensive support for career planning and development as well as preparation for the leadership and managerial demands of a future professorship. Researchers at all stages of their career from PhD on are welcome to join the programme.

More detailed information

10. The Mentoring Network for Women in Engineering and Natural Sciences

The network offers one-year courses in mentoring. Women with working experience in economics, science and administration coach students and junior scientists regarding their study plan, career entry and development and offer an insight into their daily working life.

More detailed information (in German only)

11. Volkswagen Foundation Dual Career Programme – Support for Academic Couples

Funding will be made available to dual career couples, where both partners are parents pursuing careers in the field of science and research. The foundation’s aim is to contribute to family support by helping young couples better meet the dual challenge of parenthood and career, especially the job-related mobility requirements.

More detailed information

12. Calling for the nomination of South African women scientists

South Africa’s Department of Science and Technology (DST) is calling for the nomination of female scientists who have demonstrated the importance of science and technology in people’s daily life. The 2010 Women in Science Awards will be announced at a gala function in Johannesburg on 13 August 2010, as part of the Department's celebration of National Women's Month. The Women in Science Awards are part of the Department's efforts to increase the number of women scientists and researchers in the country, to increase women's access to research professions in the country, and to profile successful scientists and researchers as role models for younger women and girls. Entries close on 30 June 2010.
Visit this site

13. UK Resource centre for women

The UKRC is offering technical training grants to help women progress in science, engineering, technology and the built environment (SET).

The focus of the grant scheme is to support progression at professional and technical levels and increase retention at key stages in SET careers.

The grants may help with:
  • Moving from a support role to a technical role
  • Returning to a professional/technical role after a break
  • Moving up within a technical and professional career path.


 14. BFWG Charitable Foundation

 BFWG Charitable Foundation

Offers grants for women graduate students in Britain.      


FfWG offers Foundation Grants to help women graduates with their living expenses (not fees) while registered for study or research at an approved institution of higher education in Great Britain . The criteria are the proven needs of the applicant and their academic calibre.  For the academic year 2010 2011 grants will only be given for the final fee paying year of PhD or D.Phil or for the writing up period. They are not likely to exceed £4,000.  All our grants are offered on a needs basis and therefore not all grants will be for £4,000.   Closing date for the return of applications: Wednesday 3 March 2010 .  Those who have received a Foundation Main Grant in the past are not eligible to apply.


FfWG offers Emergency Grants to graduate women who face an unforeseen financial crisis whilst engaged in study or research at institutions of higher education in Great Britain . Grants are not likely to exceed £1,500. All our grants are offered on a needs basis and therefore not all grants will be for £1,500.   They are offered three times a year in March , June and November 2010.


This Bursary is offered annually to women graduates whose research in History or English Literature requires a short residence in London in the summer. It provides accommodation in a hall of residence for up to 4 weeks between mid June and mid September. Closing date for applications: 31 October each year.

FfWG does NOT provide grants for:

:-undergraduate degrees, university or college fees, a second first degree, fieldwork outside Great Britain, conferences, exhibitions, seminars, travel costs outside Great Britain, students who have not completed at least two months of their course at the time of application.

15. Nuffield Foundation

16. For Women in Science

Over 10 years ago, L’Oréal and UNESCO founded the For Women In Science Programme to promote and highlight the critical importance of ensuring greater participation of women in science.

Each year, the programme recognises the achievements of exceptional female scientists across the globe and awards them with fellowships to help further their research.

Since the programme was founded in 1998, over 700 women in 70 countries have been recognised for their research and received funding to further their careers.

There are three distinct tiers:

The Founding Awards [more information]

The founding L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women In Science Awards honour five leading researchers, one from each continent, with a prestigious laureate of up to US$100,000 in recognition of their groundbreaking achievements and contributions to scientific progress. The international structure of the programme ensures that the laureates are distributed among women who are working under a variety of conditions.

The L’Oréal-UNESCO International Fellowships [more information]

The L’Oréal-UNESCO Fellowships for Young Women in Life Sciences are run internationally and have awarded 120 promising female doctorate or post-doctorate scientists up to US$40,000 each, since their inauguration in 2000. Fifteen fellowships are awarded annually to help promising women scientists undertake research projects outside of their home countries in some of the world’s most prestigious laboratories.
For further information visit

National Fellowships [more information]

National fellowships, such as the UK and Ireland programme detailed below, run in 35 countries around the world. Each National fellowship programme helps women pursue their scientific careers and have, to date, enabled 340 women to continue their research. At the end of 2008, over 50 countries have established their own programmes.

17. Minerva - W 2 Special Programme for the Advancement of Outstanding Female Scientists at the Max Planck Society

W2 posts are springboards to senior scientific positions at universities and non-university research institutions. Therefore the Max Planck Society wants to promote the advancement of outstandingly qualified female scientist by providing more female researchers with a 5-year W2 position. All Max Planck Institutes are encouraged to suggest women scientists from their institute to the Minerva Special Programme.


Deadlines: March 1st & September 1st

More detailed information