Empowering female scientists at the intersection of research and innovation

The feminno programme, a pioneering initiative designed to foster female innovation and career development in science, has launched a new call for applications. The FMI will continue to subsidize the participation of successful applicants, highlighting the institute’s commitment to nurturing talent and advancing scientific innovation.

Round 8 of the feminno programme is now open for applications until July 31, 2024. Coordinated by the University of Zurich, the ETH Zurich and the University of Basel, the programme offers a unique platform for female scientists keen on exploring career opportunities at the intersection of research, innovation and industry. Through mentoring, innovation seminars, company visits, and a dedicated career retreat, participants are equipped with the skills and insights needed to evaluate the innovation potential of their ideas from both scientific and business perspectives.

Last year, two FMI PhD students - Clara Inghelram and Konstantina Nikolakopoulou - have benefited from the feminno programme, demonstrating the impact it can have on young scientists’ careers.

Nikolakopoulou joined feminno to gain insight into entrepreneurship, a topic that was not covered in her previous studies. Completing the programme provided her with an understanding of startup creation and the opportunity to learn new skills such as pitching and negotiating, Nikolakopoulou says. Beyond business knowledge, she adds, the most significant takeaway were the connections made, which opened up a world of career alternatives beyond academia. "I would absolutely recommend feminno," she says. "It’s a safe space to work on your ideas, get exposed to new concepts, meet interesting people and grow professionally."

Inghelram found that her experience with feminno exceeded expectations, with hands-on workshops boosting her confidence in real-life settings. She highly recommends the programme for its valuable networking opportunities and the development of business competencies that can guide future careers. "The feminno program was a very positive experience as I was surrounded by a supportive group of motivated and inspiring women," she says.

Recognizing the benefits of the feminno programme, the FMI has committed to continuing its support for successful PhD and Postdoc applicants from the institute. As the new call for the programme opens, the FMI encourages female scientists and alumnae to seize this opportunity to advance their careers, innovate and contribute to a dynamic and inclusive scientific community.

’ Apply to the feminno programme