Women in Science
The WIMM is deeply committed to support, encourage and celebrate women scientists. This includes providing a culture of fairness and equal opportunities for career progression for all staff, male or female, at all stages of their career.
This webpage is intended to provide information relevant to women scientists about:
- The WIMM Women in Science Committee
- Career Profiles: scientists at the WIMM tell us about their career paths
- Women in Science Lecture Series
- Personal Development Workshop for Women
- Oxford Societies Supporting Women
- Career Re-entry Fellowships
Women in Science Committee
The WIMM Women in Science Committee includes senior scientists, post-doctoral fellow and student representatives as well as administrative staff. They meet quarterly to identify and discuss questions related to equal diversity and career progression, regularly engage with the women working in the Institute to hear their views, organize appropriate seminars and workshops and ensure that relevant information is accessible to everyone.
Profiles of WIMM scientists at different stages in their career are displayed to celebrate their achievements and illustrate the diversity of career paths.
Equality and Diversity Seminar Series
On 14 October 2014, Professor Amanda Fisher, Head of the Institute of Clinical Sciences, Imperial College, London, launched our new “Women in Science” seminar series. She delivered an original lecture mixing topics related to women in science and her own research.
We held our second Equality and Diversity seminar in May 2015. Three WIMM group leaders with different backgrounds were invited to present their perspectives on work/life balance and diversity following a summary of their career paths. Profs Irene Roberts, Marella de Bruijn and Tudor Fulga gave inspiring and thought provoking talks that were very well received by the audience. Everyone left the seminar with something to reflect on, having heard different approaches and very honest views on how to make one's way through the academic ladder. The next seminar will be held in the Autumn.
If you would like to hear inspiring talks from leading scientists, don’t miss “The Life Scientific” programme on BBC Radio 4. Past episodes are available on podcasts or BBC iPlayer radio.
Personal Development Workshops for Women
Career Services and the Oxford Learning Institute (University of Oxford) offer several courses tailored for professional women to help them develop assertiveness and equip them with the skills required for career progression and leadership.
Here is a selection, with comments from WIMM staff who have attended these courses.
Ad Feminam mentoring is intended to encourage women to explore their leadership potential. This programme is addressed to women who have been in academic or administrative posts for at least 5 years or are holding a fellowship of at least 5-year duration.
Springboard is a development programme designed by women for women of all backgrounds, ages and stages of their lives to enable them achieve their full potential.
“Springboard is an excellent development programme tailored for women. Working with a talented trainer and a group of very successful women from all backgrounds throughout the course allowed me to network, enhance my confidence and assertiveness; this also helped me define life and career goals and, importantly, gave me energy to pursue them.” WIMM post-doctoral fellow
“The Springboard course focuses on various subjects including goal-setting, developing confidence, communication skills and practical tips for cultivating a more assertive demeanour. My reasons for joining were centred around a realization that I needed to combat my sense/fear of being an imposter in the lab/Oxford/academia scene, and scrap the self-sabotaging habits I was developing in response to this. Although I was initially slightly skeptical about the concept of an "all-women's personal development programme", the course has been of tremendous help, and, on a practical note, has encouraged me to embark on challenges and undertake tasks I would previously have deemed myself incapable of (for example, asking a question in a departmental seminar; applying for prizes/scholarships and taking subsequent rejection as far less personal; expressing my opinions on pertinent issues to my professional seniors).” WIMM DPhil student
Women Leadership development programme
This programme is organized by the Oxford University Student Union and aims to help female students develop their leadership skills and assertiveness.
Oxford Societies Supporting Women
OxFEST (Females in Engineering, Science and Technology) aims to promote and encourage women in their scientific careers.
Their goal is to convince women that, although it may be challenging, it is possible for motivated women to succeed in science. They provide a support network and networking opportunities for female scientists, increase the visibility of female scientists within the University of Oxford and organise a number of events throughout the year.
OxWoCS (Oxford Women in Computer Science Society) runs a number of academic, social, and career events throughout the year.
Oxford Women Network (OWN) is designed to connect female faculty, staff and students, serve as a clearing-house for services and information (conferences, training courses, etc.) and serve as a forum for networking and discussion of issues affecting women in the University.
WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) helps organisations to inspire women and girls to pursue STEM subjects as pathways to exciting and fulfilling careers. Their mission is to push the presence of female employees from 13% to 30% by 2020, boosting the talent pool to drive economic growth.
Career Re-entry Fellowships
The Daphne Jackson Trust fellowships help scientists return to their careers after a break of 2 or more years.
"As a postdoctoral scientist with a number of years experience, I have found it extremely difficult to return to research at the appropriate level, after having a career break to bring up a family. In an effort to restart my career, I became aware of the fellowships offered by the Daphne Jackson Trust which provide mentoring and training to allow women and men to return to research after a career break of 2 or more years. I felt this was an opportunity for me to return to science and, with the backing of theTrust, was able to approach Professor Doug Higgs and Professor Richard Gibbons within the MRC Molecular Haematology Unit. I started my 2 Year part-time Daphne Jackson Fellowship in May 2012 and am particularly interested in how ATRX is involved in replicating and maintaining the stability of repetitive regions of the genome. Joining this reputable lab has given me an opportunity to develop my skills, gain confidence and work as part of a team within this topical area of biomedical research. In April 2014, I was awarded a further year of funding from the Daphne Jackson Trust in order to complete my research project with an aim of publishing in a high impact journal." WIMM post-doctoral fellow
The L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science programme recognises the achievements and contributions of exceptional females across the globe, by awarding promising scientists with Fellowships to help further their research.
The Wellcome Trust scheme is for postdoctoral scientists who have recently decided to recommence a scientific research career after a continuous break of at least two years.
The British Heart Foundation Career Re-entry Research Fellowship entry requirements are a 2-year or more career break.
The field is cardiovascular science
The Returning Carers’ Fund (University of Oxford) is a small grants scheme intended to support the return to research of women and men who have taken a break of at least six months for caring responsibilities.
Information on grants and fellowships, the WIMM Science Career Seminar series and more can be found on the WIMM post-doc association webpage.