Inclusion and diversity are important to science, both in terms of its quality and impact. In the Netherlands, women make up only a small percentage of the workforce in many science and engineering disciplines.
The more senior the position, the smaller that percentage becomes: just sixteen percent of science professors and fifteen percent of engineering professors are women (source: The Dutch network of Women Professors’ (LNVH) 2019 Monitor). Two ways of correcting this imbalance would be:
- To increase the inflow of women. To this end, the Dutch Research Council (NWO) has established an annual budget to fund additional Veni grants for women in science and technology.
- To reduce the outflow of qualified women. That is the purpose of this grant-based funding scheme: Incentive Grants for women in STEM.
The aim of this grant-based funding scheme is to provide a solution for women who temporarily lack the funding needed to pursue their scientific and/or technical-scientific careers. Funding gaps like this, which can occur in many ways and for all kinds of reasons, are sometimes difficult to bridge. They cause many highly qualified women to turn their back on science and choose a different career. This scheme is intended to prevent this outflow.