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Over to the top women researchers

07 September 2016

Tuesday 6 September 22 top women researchers presented during a festive gathering their plans for the future at the University of Groningen.

All 22 have been appointed to the University as Rosalind Franklin Fellows. They will be given the opportunity of following a tenure track (a career path), which will eventually lead to a professorship. Most of the candidates are from abroad. Read all about the candidates in the special Rosalind Franklin Fellow brochure.

Investment in top-class talent

The University of Groningen is investing heavily in this top - class talent, partly thanks to funding from the European Union. ‘It gives the University an injection of highly talented people. At the same time, we are securing a larger pool of women researchers and professors for the future to serve as role models for our younger researchers’, says Sibrand Poppema, President of the Board of the University of Groningen.


The British chemist Rosalind Franklin is an inspiration for any brilliant female academic in pursuit of a career in research. Franklin herself never made it that far as she died at the age of 37. Her career was marked by controversy: the results of her pioneering research into the structure of DNA were used by two other researchers, with no mention of her name.

Career boost

This makes it particularly gratifying to see that the Rosalind Franklin Fellowship has already given 75 women an enormous career boost. The University of Groningen not only benefits from a rise in the number of top female researchers working under its roof, but also in the number of international researchers. The participants come from 22 different countries.

Extra measures are still needed. Despite the fact that the majority of students are female and perform better than their male counterparts, they are still not progressing as swiftly as they should.

Stop the exodus of women

In 2014, 53.4% of graduates were women, while only approximately 1 in 6 professors are women. This has to change. Not only through the RFF, but also by calling a halt to the mass exodus of women from academia’, says Ingrid Molema, Chair of the RFF Committee and Chair of the Dutch Network of Women Professors.

13% of female professors from RFF programme

At present 13% of the female professors at the University of Groningen have been appointed through the RFF programme, which was launched in 2003. Candidates are expected to work hard and the standard is very high.

Last modified:30 March 2020 10.55 a.m.
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