2023 Award winners

During the celebration of International Women's Day on 8 March Dr. Imme Lammertink, Dr. Katharine Mulrey, Dr. Saskia Glas and Dr. Maria Victoria Luna Velez received an award from the Radboud Women Professors Network. The prize, consisting of an amount of 1,000 euros and a certificate, is a tribute and intended as an appreciation and recognition for the scientific and societal work of excellent women academics who obtained their PhD up to five years ago and is awarded once every two years. Rector Magnificus Prof. dr. Han van Krieken awarded the winners on behalf of the jury during the conference 'Women in the spotlight'.

F.l.t.r.: Prof. dr. Maaike van Berkel (jury), Dr. Katharine Mulrey (winner Beta), Dr. Imme Lammertink (winner Alfa), Dr. Maria Victoria Luna Velez (winner Medical), Prof. dr. Han van Krieken (Rector Magnificus and jury), Prof. dr. Herma Cuppen (jury). Not on the picture: Dr. Saskia Glas (winner Gamma). Photographer: Meike van Wuijtswinkel

The jury, consisting of Prof. dr. Han van Krieken, Prof. dr. Maaike van Berkel, Prof. dr. Herma Cuppen and Prof. mr. Femke Laagland, received 24 nominations of very high quality. The nominations were assessed on the basis of different criteria:

  • scientific achievements and research
  • development and implementation of educational activities
  • societal impact
  • relevant prizes and scholarships
  • international experience and activities
  • contribution to diversity and inclusion

This year, it was also striking that a large number of nominees show great societal involvement in the extra activities they conduct in addition to their research and teaching. They not only translate their research results to a larger audience in a creative and inspiring way, but are also involved in all kinds of collaborations within and outside the academic community.

The winners of 2023 by academic field are:

Category Alpha: Dr. Imme Lammertink

Dr. Imme Lammertink is postdoc researcher at the Center for Language Studies, Faculty of Arts, Radboud University

Imme conducts research into the role of statistical learning in children with language development disorders. She has a very impressive scientific CV that really stands out, including relevant scientific publications, awards and a VENI grant from NWO. In addition, she has a lot of work experience abroad; during her studies she already gave presentations at international conferences and wrote scientific publications, which led to a research position in Cambridge. During her PhD trajectory she spent a few months in Melbourne, Australia and she collaborates with American colleagues via one of her research projects at Kentalis. Striking and highly appreciated by the jury is her social involvement with children with language problems: she develops numerous activities to draw attention to children with a language development disorder (and their classmates), such as a comic book and in collaboration with NEMO and the weekend school.

The other nominees in this category were: Dr. Inge Stortenbeker and Dr. Nienke Fortuin.

Categorie Beta: Dr. Katharine Mulrey

Dr. Katharine Mulrey is assistant professor at the Institute for Mathematics, Astrophysics and Particle Physics (IMAPP) of the Department of Astrophysica, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science, Radboud University.

Katharine is a renowned expert in the detection of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays and neutrinos by the radio signals they generate. These particles give us insight into the physics that takes place in the most extreme environments in the universe. In her work she focuses on the design and deployment of instruments to make such detections possible. She carries out relevant and very important fundamental research, which benefits the entire scientific field, such as her work on calibration of radio signals from cosmic rays. This instrumentation and calibration aspect does not always get the recognition it deserves. She is involved in many different committees, such as member and Radboud representative for the Netherlands Astronomy Equity and Inclusion Committee (NAEIC), which is committed to inclusion and equality within the national astronomy community. In addition, she is an important role model for women in science, especially as an instrument designer and builder, a world that is even less gender diverse than astronomy. Finally, she is actively involved in science communication about her field.

The other nominees in this category were: Dr. Jorine Eeftens, Dr. Mairieli Wessel, Dr. Valeria Carmen Peviani, Dr. Mandy Velthuis,  Dr. Margo Dona and Dr. Janna Barel.

Categorie Gamma: Dr. Saskia Glas

Dr. Saskia Glas is assistant professor at Radboud Social Cultural Research, Faculty of Social Sciences, Radboud University.

Saskia conducts research on the gender attitudes of Muslims, in which she tries to nuance polarizing narratives by looking at the diversity of views among Muslims and how they themselves interpret and live their religion. She is often the first author in scientific publications and also has some recent publications as a single author, showing that she develops her own voice. She was also awarded several grants for this, including an NWO talent grant, a Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant and more recently she also submitted an application for a VENI grant. She is committed to faculty in committees and during try-out study days and contributes to inclusion in teaching by talking to various stakeholders and giving presentations. Finally, her societal involvement is very striking; she has developed modules for primary education to deal with Islam and feminism in the classroom (and won the Radboud Science Award in 2021 with a team of Dr. Niels Spierings) and she writes blogs.

The other nominees in this category were: Dr. Madelon Hendricx-Riem, Dr. Bareerah Hafeez Hoorani, Dr. Daniela Becker, Dr. Linda Drijvers, Dr. Renske van der Cruijsen, Dr. Eliana Vassena,  Dr. Julia Bartosch and Dr. Yvonne van den Berg.

Category Medical: Dr. Maria Victoria Luna Velez

Dr. Maria Victoria Luna Velez is a postdoc researcher at the Department of Urology and the Laboratory of Experimental Urology of the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Radboudumc.

Maria Victoria performs fundamental research to unravel the molecular underpinnings of genitourinary cancers with the goal to identify novel biomarkers or therapeutic targets. Her main finding is the identification of two hidden signals within a variant of an androgen receptor (AR) genome that drives prostate cancer progression. These signals were used as targets of two RNA-based therapeutics that she developed against lethal therapy-resistant prostate cancer. This invention led to her first patent. Her excellent academic research achievements have been recognized with various (travel) awards and grants, such as a personal NWO grant for her PhD trajectory and very recently the prestigious KWF Young Investigator Grant. Maria Victoria grew up with a physical disability in Peru and is committed to wheelchair accessibility and the inclusion of people with disabilities. In addition, she is a science outreach activist; either through teaching activities or via her website Wheelyscience.com, Maria Victoria joins others in the mission of reducing the gap between science and society.

The other nominees in this category were: Dr. Charlotte Bekker, Dr. Lindsey te Brake, Dr. Lieke Jäkel en Dr. Inger Abma.