Women in Science


Expert Database of Outstanding Female Academics

AcademiaNet is a portal, which currently contains profiles of more than 2,000 excellent female researchers in all fields of academia from Europe. The website is operated on the Robert Bosch Stiftung’s initiative in cooperation with the publishing house “Spektrum der Wissenschaft” and nature. Renowned partner organizations from the sciences and humanities, nominate outstanding female researchers for the database.

The goal of the project is to use this site to bring excellent female academics to the attention of those who sit on academic boards, hold executive positions, report on research, are responsible for conference planning, or who require an expert’s opinion when making decisions. Articles on “Women in Research” and success stories about the female researchers in the database are also published on the site.


Beginning of November 2015, the AcademiaNet portal celebrated its 5th anniversary in Berlin with an exciting program, a festive dinner and high-ranking guests from all over Europe.

Picture Gallery

Max Lautenschläger
Presenter Dunja Hayali and Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel
Max Lautenschläger
Angela Merkel during her speech
Max Lautenschläger
Angela Merkel and Ingrid Hamm, Executive Director Robert Bosch Stiftung
Max Lautenschläger
From left: Markus Bossle, Managing Director Spektrum der Wissenschaft Verlagsgesellschaft, Dr. Ingrid Hamm, Dr. Angela Merkel and Dr. Rainer Esser, Managing Director Zeitverlag Gerd Bucerius
Max Lautenschläger
Launch of the new portal
Kirsten Harms, director and former manager of the German Opera Berlin, speaking at the AcademiaNet dialog forum 2013
The podium discusses "No More Excuses! Why Europe’s Science Needs Women", anniversary event, November 8, 2015
Women continue to be seriously underrepresented in leadership positions in academia and the sciences. Only 20 % of the professorships with the highest endowments are held by women throughout the EU; in some countries, for instance in Germany, the proportion is even smaller (15 %). The numbers are similar for important committees and commissions that decide on research awards, professor appointments and research funding. American studies on the topic found that this is the result of the low visibility and presence of women in important, primarily male-dominated networks, among other reasons.

Even up into the highest positions at academic institutions, people agree that the small number of female executives is an untapped area of significant potential. Research institutes want more women on their boards and in leadership positions. But suitable tools are lacking, which would accelerate this process.

With AcademiaNet, the Robert Bosch Stiftung and “Spektrum der Wissenschaft” want to make such a tool available. With more than 2,000 profiles of excellent female academics in all fields from all over Europe, we are making this tool visible and easily accessible. Additional target groups include journalists and conference organizers who are looking for designated female experts.
Partners from the Sciences, Humanities and Industry
The following organizations support our initiative by nominating outstanding female researchers for AcademiaNet on the basis of common agreed selection criteria:
  • Academy of Finland
  • Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques
  • Academy of Lisbon
  • acatech - National Academy of Sciences and Engineering
  • Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation
  • Association of German Engineers (VDI)
  • Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW)
  • Austrian Science Fund (FWF)
  • Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
  • Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA)
  • Danish Council for Independent Research
  • Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF)
  • Estonian Research Council
  • European Molecular Biology Organistion (EMBO)
  • European Research Council (ERC)
  • Foundation for Polish Science (FNP)
  • Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft - Organisation for Applied Research
  • German Chemical Industry Association (VCI)
  • German Council of Science and Humanities (WR)
  • German Rectors' Conference (HRK)
  • German Research Foundation (DFG)
  • Helmholtz Association
  • Latvian Academy of Science
  • Leibniz Association
  • Leopoldina - German National Academy of Sciences
  • Max Planck Society (MPG)
  • National Science Centre Poland
  • Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)
  • Research Council Norway
  • Research Foundation of Flanders (FWO)
  • Swedish Research Council
  • Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF)
  • The Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • The Royal Irish Academy (RIA)
  • The Royal Spanish Academy of Sciences
  • Volkswagen Foundation
  • Weizmann Institute of Science
  • Wellcome Trust

Other selected European science and research organizations will follow.