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Science Stories
Wonderful Women 2018
Celebrating 10 Years of Advancing Women in Science

On May 23, 2018, Weizmann Canada is set to host its annual Wonderful Women event in support of the Israel National Postdoctoral Award Program for Advancing Women in Science.

On May 23, 2018, Weizmann Canada is set to host its annual Wonderful Women event in support of the Israel National Postdoctoral Award Program for Advancing Women in Science. A staple in Toronto’s social calendar, Wonderful Women is an elegant evening dedicated to celebrating and empowering women and promoting life changing research. Over 300 leaders in business and philanthropy come together each May to celebrate the Weizmann Institute’s female scientists, and to raise funds for the Israel National Postdoctoral Award Program for Advancing Women in Science.

More than a decade ago, the Weizmann Institute saw the disparity between the number of women and men pursuing scientific careers at the highest level, and in 2007, launched the Israel National Postdoctoral Award Program for Advancing Women in Science. The novel fellowship program supports female scientists as they pursue postdoctoral research abroad, which is generally expected, if not always required, for tenure-track appointments by institutions of higher learning.

Wonderful Women 2014/15
Wonderful Women 2016/17

On average, ten of these fellowships are awarded every year; participants receive approximately US $40,000 over two years to supplement their host institutions’ typically low postdoctoral salaries. The Postdoctoral Award Program provides the necessary funding to alleviate the financial and logistical hardships involved in relocating a family abroad. By providing added financial incentive for excellent female scientists, the Postdoctoral Award Program is helping close the gap between male and female scientists in the highest ranks of academia.

The ultimate aim of the program is to benefit the scientific community and increase science’s positive impact on the world, by expanding the pool of women qualified to be hired by universities on the faculty level. Since its inception, 116 women have participated in the program. The Wonderful Women event in Canada, which is heading into its fifth year, has funded 14 of these incredible post-docs. As part of this special year, we are celebrating two remarkable women who are forging their own exceptional paths.

Wonderful Women’s keynote speaker is modern renaissance woman Jane Seymour: an Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning actor, best-selling author, worldrenown artist, humanitarian, entrepreneur and mother of six.
Wonderful Women’s special guest scientist Dr. Ruth Scherz-Shouval is a former grant recipient who became a principal investigator in the Department of Biomolecular Sciences in 2015. She did her postdoc at MIT thanks in part to the National Postdoctoral Award Program for Advancing Women in Science.
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