Professor Suzanne Hulscher is the chair of the ambassadors’ network that decides which of the applicants are awarded the funding. She explains what these funds are used for and who the eligible candidates for receiving them are.
What is the difference between UT Aspasia fund and UT Incentive fund?
‘They both aim to encourage talented women in science on their road towards professional growth. UT Incentive Fund is financed by the university; UT Aspasia is funded by NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). The UT incentive Fund is open to both female support and science staff aiming for a higher position at UT. UT Aspasia Fund is intended for scientific staff only.’
Who exactly can apply for UT Aspasia Fund?
‘First of all, women who will use parental leave and who want to keep their research profile current. When a woman comes back from a parental leave, she often doesn´t have enough time and space to work on her own research. The money received from the fund is used to pay for a temporary replacement that will take over the woman´s educational responsibilities; therefore as soon as the woman comes back from her maternity leave, she can focus primarily on her research.
Second group of eligible candidates consists offemale scientists, who have applied for an individual research grant program and who passed the first round but did not receive a grant. They can use the Aspasia Fund, so they can work on their research proposal, improve it and apply for the grant again in the future.
Third use of the Aspasia Fund is to pay for travelling and accommodation costs for a female keynote speaker at a conference held at UT. Such a speaker should also be involved in additional activities that allow her to pose as a role model for young scientists.’
What should people know if they want to apply for UT Aspasia Fund?
‘They should know that receiving the fund is not that difficult – as long as the individual fits the main criteria, we are most likely to approve her. If a woman chooses to apply, she needs to clearly state what her goal is and provide a letter written by her supervisor, which explains why she qualifies for the funding. In case somebody wants to use the fund to pay for a keynote speaker, they should apply a long enough time before the conference takes place.
The deadline for applying for both funds is the 26th of October 2014. If anybody wants to apply for a fund, they should contact coordinator diversity Annemarie Ridder, who can provide additional information and explain what exactly needs to be done. More detailed information can also be found on the UT website.’