Forthcoming Events

05.09.2022 - 09.09.2022, Iseolago hotel, Iseo, Italy.


MUST2022 Conference- a great success!
New scientific highlights- by MUST PIs Wörner, Chergui, and Richardson
FELs of Europe prize for Jeremy Rouxel- “Development or innovative use of advanced instrumentation in the field of FELs”
Ruth Signorell wins Doron prizefor pioneering contributions to the field of fundamental aerosol science
New FAST-Fellow Uwe Thumm at ETH- lectures on Topics in Femto- and Attosecond Science
International Day of Women and Girls in Science- SSPh asked female scientists about their experiences
New scientific highlight- by MUST PIs Milne, Standfuss and Schertler
EU XFEL Young Scientist Award for Camila Bacellar,beamline scientist and group leader of the Alvra endstation at SwissFEL
Prizes for Giulia Mancini and Rebeca Gomez CastilloICO/IUPAP Young Scientist Prize in Optics & Ernst Haber 2021
Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to RESOLV Member Benjamin List- for the development of asymmetric organocatalysis
NCCR MUST at Scientifica 2021- Lightning, organic solar cells, and virtual molecules
#NCCRWomen- NCCR MUST celebrates 50 years women’s right to vote in Switzerland

OPN Column December 2016

OPN Column December 2016

Retaining Postdoc Mothers in an Academic Career, Ursula Keller and Anna Garry

Ursula Keller, Physics professor at ETH Zürich and Dr. Anna Garry, NCCR MUST Outreach Officer, ETH Zürich outline a proposal for fellowships designed to retain women scientist in an academic career.

The postdoc period of a scientific career—with its short-term contracts, frequent relocation requirements and limited openings for more stable, tenure-track positions—makes aspiring to a permanent academic career challenging even under the best of circumstances. Indeed, according to a 2015 study by the European Science Foundation, only 30 percent of postdocs opt to remain in academia rather than moving to industry or other career areas. For female scientists the picture is even worse; at our institution of ETH Zürich in Switzerland, for example, only 28 percent of 2014-15 postdocs across disciplines were females, and only 12 percent in physics in particular. Given that such a low percentage of female physicists stay in an academic career, what can be done to boost their incentives to do so? We believe that one answer is to support the postdoc period when many scientists decide to start a family.

Here, we introduce the idea of competitive fellowships for postdoc mothers that enable them to pay for a Ph.D. student or early postdoc researcher, whom they will then supervise while in the early stages of motherhood. Such grants, we believe, could help these scientists maintain ties to their labs, their research, and their academic career path during a period of significant personal transition.

Update 2019: Department of Physics, ETH Zürich has, since 2018, introduced a program: Fellowships for Postdoc Mothers, whose aim is to fund a PhD student for four years (with the context of the professors group) to support women pursuing an academic career and simultaneously starting a family. Full details on the fellowships and application procedure can be found on the D-PHYS website here

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The National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCR) are a research instrument of the Swiss National Science Foundation