Prof. Marian Joëls has been awarded the ALBA-FKNE Diversity Prize 2021 for her contribution to advancing gender equality in brain research. The prize highlights a scientist or group that has made outstanding contributions to promoting diversity in brain sciences and is a partnership between the ALBA Network and the FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence (FKNE), with the support of the FENS CHET (Committee of Higher Education and Training of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies). Joëls is Professor of Neurobiology of Environmental Factors at the University of Groningen and Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences.
Prof. Joëls received the award and a €2,000 prize for her constant efforts in fostering gender equality in neuroscience. Among other initiatives, she founded and led networks and courses for female scientists to promote mentoring and community-building, and she helped create the MacGillavry Fellowship at the University of Amsterdam to recruit talented female scientists. She has had a leading role in training and mentoring young scientists of diverse backgrounds and creating opportunities for involving young scientists in science policy and community actions. From 2012-2014, Prof. Joëls served as the first female president of FENS. Prof. Joëls insisted on the need for diversity in scientific organizations: "For the optimal functioning of organizations like universities, diversity is not just nice to have but a need to have. Making space for diverse viewpoints enables the organization to adapt to a continuously changing academic world.”
Dr Laura Andreae (King’s College London), FENS-Kavli Scholar and chair-elect of the ALBA network: “The idea behind this prize is not just to recognise the incredible contributions to improving diversity, but also to help inspire the entire community and remind us of how change is possible by all our actions.” “We strive toward diversity in neuroscience to allow the world to benefit from everyone's talents and ideas, regardless of their background or identity, and to allow everyone the opportunity to participate in the exciting process of understanding how the brain works”, adds dr Andrew Lin (University of Sheffield), FENS-Kavli Scholar and chair of the ALBA-FKNE Diversity Prize Committee. “Prof. Joëls has worked tirelessly over many years to promote women in neuroscience, for example, reducing the imbalance between male and female speakers at the FENS Forum and advocating for more balanced gender ratios in leadership appointments.”
The ALBA Network aims to promote equity and diversity in the brain sciences. The FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence (FKNE) is a self-organised and multidisciplinary Network comprising 30 outstanding early- to mid-career independent European neuroscientists.
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