Female science students wanted for CWI’s Constance van Eeden PhD Fellowship

CWI establishes the Constance van Eeden PhD Fellowship to boost the number of women in science. Constance van Eeden was the first woman to receive a PhD in statistics in the Netherlands in 1958. As such, she is a great role model for women that want to pursue a career in science.

Publication date
17 May 2022

To stimulate the recruitment of female PhD candidates, CWI launches the Constance van Eeden PhD Fellowship. The fellowship offers a PhD position to a talented young female student in mathematics or computer science or a related field of science at CWI. It is named after Constance van Eeden (1927-2021), who worked at CWI from 1954 to 1960 and was one of the first female PhD students in statistics in the Netherlands.

The number of female researchers in mathematics and computer science and related fields of science is lagging behind for many years already. CWI wants to address this problem and create more awareness with the launch of the Constance van Eeden Fellowship, aimed at talented female researchers that want to pursue a career in science. CWI had 20% female researchers and in 2021. CWI is aiming for a 30% of female staff however. Angelique Schilder, Head of HR and Gender Diversity Coordinator says: “In order to realise an increase in the number of women researchers at our institute, something has to change, and we hope the Fellowship will contribute to that.”

Video series about Constance van Eeden

As one of the first female PhD students ('avant la lettre') at CWI, Constance van Eeden was an inspiration to and an example for many women that aimed to pursue an academic career in mathematics and computer science. She became a world-renowned researcher in statistics. She won the Gold Medal from the Statistical Society of Canada in 1990 and many other prizes for her outstanding contributions and was, among others, honorary member of the Netherlands Society for Statistics and Operations Research (VVSOR). She was the first woman in the Netherlands to obtain a PhD in Statistics, and it would take many years for the next woman to follow in her footsteps.

On the occasion of this special PhD position, CWI has produced a video series about Constance van Eeden, the Fellowship and the necessity of female role models. In this series Constance van Eeden’s daughter Kari, reflects on her mothers career: “My mother would have really loved this Fellowship that will bear her name. She would have found it very honourable.”

Tribute to Constance van Eeden, a role model for women in science

About the Constance van Eeden PhD Fellowship

In order to create more awareness for the position of female researchers and to attract talented female researchers in fields not immediately within CWI's scope, CWI offers this special position for talented female researchers at the start of their academic career as of 2022. Students from a related field of study such as chemistry, biology, ICT physics, econometrics, other engineering studies are also cordially invited to apply for this position. Candidates will have the freedom to choose their own research topic within CWI’s focus areas Algorithms, Data & Intelligent Systems, Cryptology & Security, and Quantum Computing, and will be mentored by a female role model from CWI. A residency at a prestigious foreign institute/university for 6 months and generous budget for training and travel are a part of the Fellowship as well.

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