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‘Universities are withholding funds for women’


Universities are not spending hundreds of thousands of euros intended to promote female scientists to associate professors or professors, reports de Volkskrant this week.

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The Dutch newspaper investigated (in Dutch ed.) the Aspasia grants awarded by the Dutch Research Council, a research financier. The grants, worth between €50,000 and €200,000, are intended to financially support universities in appointing talented women to permanent positions.

The women referred to in the de Volkskrant article are the recipients or almost recipients of the Vidi and Vici grants of the Dutch Research Council’s talent programme. This programme is intended to right the imbalance between men and women in academia.

As HOP reported in October, male professors still outnumber female professors by far, although we are slowly seeing a change. However, no rise can be observed in the number of female associate professors.

De Volkskrant approached over 200 scientists and spoke to 126 women who would be entitled to an Aspasia grant. One in five never received the grant, although they would have wanted it.

Universities cite reasons such as tight budgets or their own system for promotions – in some cases promotions would be ahead of schedule.


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