Suffrage Science Heirloom to BRIC group leader – University of Copenhagen

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09 October 2014

Suffrage Science Heirloom to BRIC group leader

PRIZE

Anja Groth, Associate Professor and Group Leader at Biotech Research & Innovation Centre (BRIC), University of Copenhagen, has been awarded the Suffrage Science jewellery heirloom award which honours leading women in science, their achievements and their abilities to inspire. The award honours Anja´s own achievement as a scientist and female group leader and her desire to pave the way for young women in science.

Inspired by the suffragettes, the British Suffrage Science project, launched by the Medical Research Council (MRC), commemorates 100 years of women in science. Each year, a number of exceptional women scientists are awarded bespoke heirloom jewellery, the Suffrage Science Heirloom, a tradition reminiscent of when handcrafted jewellery was presented to distinguished women of the suffrage movement. Each of the participants will after two years hand over their jewellery to a woman scientist who they feel deserves recognition and to encourage them to also climb to the top. This year, Professor Edith Heard, Institut Curie, Paris and a 2012 recipient, nominated Anja Groth for her contribution to life science.

Group Leader and Associate Professor at BRIC, Anja Groth

A great role model for female scientists

- In addition to being a top class biochemist, Anja is an excellent communicator, team manager and a mother. She should be a great role model for female scientists and I am very proud to pass on my Suffrage Science Heirloom to her, explains Edith.

- I am very honoured to receive this 'heirloom' and to be included along with the many fascinating women who have previously received the award. It also comes with the responsibility to get involved and live up to the ideal of the Suffrage women who fought a fierce battle for the recognition and the right to vote, says Anja.

Paves the way for others

And precisely this involvement is closely related to her daily work as a researcher and group leader in a research environment where there is still a lack of women in senior positions.

-  Life as a researcher combined with small children can be a challenge. It is therefore very important that we implement initiatives that make it possible for women to combine family and career. A job as a researcher is indeed attractive. You set the agenda yourself, and you have great flexibility in your everyday life – a flexibility which is not present in many other jobs. I see many talented and career-driven women in my laboratory, and I am sure they want to pursue an independent research career. If we do more to meet women's needs for flexible infrastructure such as day-care facilities, then we will make their career choice more attractive and the road to success easier, concludes Anja.

The handover of the Suffrage Science Heirloom jewellery will take place at a ceremony at the Science Museum’s Dana Centre in London 9 October 2014.