Marina van Damme Fund

The aim of the Marina van Damme Fund is to support talented female WUR alumni in a next step or turn in their careers. The grant consists of an amount of 9,000 euros and is intended for the extension or broadening of knowledge or for an international orientation in the form of a study, internship or project. The Marina van Damme Fund is the 29th named fund that is registered at UFW.

Are you a talented WUR-Alumna who wants to extend or broaden her career? Check the details and criteria and nominate now!

Who is eligible for the grant?
Talented female alumni graduated and/or promoted from Wageningen University & Research. The women generally spend the grant on additional university education in addition to their work in e.g. marketing, finance or management. Or they opt for a practical additional study at higher professional education level or a guest employment at a renowned foreign university. 

The nomination period for the Marina van Damme fund 2019 has closed.

Jury 2018

dr. ir. Gitte Schober, coordinator Center of Entrepreneurship, StartLife, WUR-alumna 1990
prof. dr. Richard Visser, WUR professor and head of Plant Breeding and q.q. Dean of Research WUR
Joyce Kuiken, owner Eggworks, co-founder Searchitect and architect at Coöperatie Vederlicht, president of Marina van Damme Network
prof. dr. Tinka Murk, professor Marine Animal Ecology WUR, WUR-alumna 1989
ir. Annette Ottolini, general directorr Evidens Waterbedrijf N.V., WUR-alumna 1977


Winner 2018

Dr. ir. Julia E. Samson is the very first winner of the Marina van Damme grant of the Marina van Damme Fund in Wageningen. With the help of this 9,000 euro grant Julia Samson can continue her scientific career as a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Collective Behaviour at the Max Planck Institute in Konstanz. In this postdoctoral project she wants to further develop new challenging skills, both in modelling of collective behaviour as well as in neurobiology. However, Julia has to acquire the expertise in neurophysiological techniques, outside of this department and in the USA. The Marina van Damme grant will be used to follow those short studies in neurobiology.

The grant will enable Julia to even further elaborate this interface, adding expertise in neurophysiological techniques and modelling of collective behaviour of pulsing corals, in this way bridging these specialisms as only very few people do.
Jury 2018

Prof. Tinka Murk, professor Ecology of Marine Animals, handed out the grant at the Opening of the Academic Year 2018 - 2019. She spoke about the high scientific and interdisciplinairy level of Julia's work, not only during her studies at Wageningen University & Research, but also with regard to her PhD at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the USA, where she, again, combined sea research with technical sciences.

The jury was impressed by the quality of the nominations, but voted unanimously for Julia Samson’s application. Her work as well as successfully combining marine biological with specialised technical sciences were highly scored. As well as her use of the grant, adding the extra skills to her already impressive skill set will make Julia a strong candidate for faculty positions in several types of research groups, including fundamental, medical and more applied or corporate environments.

Motivation of Marina van Damme for a named fund

Marina van Damme studied in Delft, obtained her PhD in Twente and made a career at the Koninklijke Zoutfabriek, now Akzo. At the end of her career, she was a member of the Scientific Council for Government Policy and held various other advisory positions.

'When I started studying in 1947, only 1 in 100 students in Delft was female. The fact that I made a career has not been a matter of course, but I really enjoyed it. I want other women to have this possibility too' says Mrs. Van Damme, who is now 86 years old.

'My husband passed away and we did not have children so I wondered what I should do with my heritage. The rising of Dutch women to higher positions in the professional fiels is behind the positions of their male colleagues and women abroad. This is how I came up with the idea to support female engineers with some years of work experience but want to develop further.'

Origin of the Marina van Damme Fund

Marina van Damme studied in Delft, obtained her PhD in Twente and made a career at the Koninklijke Zoutfabriek, now Akzo. She wanted to support female engineers with some years of work experience but want to develop further. In 2003 she therefore handed out the annual Marina van Damme Grant at the universities of Twente and Delft. In 2010 the Eindhoven University of Technology was added to the list. With the creation of the 4TU Federation last year, she has now added Wageningen University & Research to the series.


The official signing of the Marina van Damme Fund is shown on the photo below. You can see from left to right: Delia de Vreeze, University Fund Wageningen director, Marina van Damme, donor, and Louise O. Fresco, chairman of the executive board of Wageningen University & Research.