Strengthen the position of excellent female scientists through the Storm-van der Chijs Fund

The objective of the Storm-van der Chijs Fund is to encourage and support Wageningen University female scientists to pursue their work and career in science.

The impact of your gift

The fund awards max. three stipends of €1,500 each every two years to promising female WUR PhD candidates. By supporting the fund, your gift helps to strengthen the position of female scientists in the world. The stipends enable the awardees to further distinguish themselves internationally through participating in international conferences and/or visiting foreign institutes. In this way, the fund supports the international development of these women from the onset of their scientific career. 

Information for applicants

What can the stipend be used for?

The Storm-van der Chijs Award allows for:

  • A work visit to one or more foreign science institutes, and/or
  • Participation in an international scientific conference.

International networking and future joint co-operations play a central role herein.

Prior to the awarding ceremony of the stipends, a prominent event or Storm- van der Chijs lecture will address gender issues in agriculture, food and environmental sciences or practices.

Stipendia 2022

Barbara Terlouw (left) and Katherine Barragán-Fonseca with their award
Barbara Terlouw (left) and Katherine Barragán-Fonseca with their award

Two very talented female Wageningen University (WU) PhD candidates Katherine Barragán-Fonseca and Barbara Terlouw were awarded with a Storm-van der Chijs Stipend on 24 February 2022. After a short introduction by Storm-van der Chijs Fund chair Dr Margreet van der Burg, it was the honour to our Rector Magnificus Arthur Mol to hand over the certificate and flowers. The two-yearly awarding ceremony was combined with the awarding of Gender+-SMART Awards at the end of the workshop ‘Advancing Gender+ Talent’.

Katherine Barragán-Fonseca

Katherine Barragán-Fonseca from Colombia was praised for her strong interdisciplinary approach (microbiology, agronomy, plant and insect biology, ecology and sociology). The jury was impressed by the integrated nature of her natural science work in a complex social setting in Colombia, and by its social and ecological potential to both ‘zero hunger’ and a circular economy.She studies how side-streams from the production of insects as food and feed can be used as soil amendment to improve plant growth and resilience against insect pests and interactions with pollinators. In her vision this will empower smallholder farmers, especially in Colombia. By producing insects as novel protein source plus a valuable side stream as crop health promotor, she envisions that ex-combatants can gain a new role in society which promotes peace in a conflict-torn country like Colombia. Katherine has been nominated by Prof.dr. Marcel Dicke, Entomology.

Barbara Terlouw

Barbara Terlouw was congratulated with the marked quality of her work – including a publication in Nature Reviews Microbiology. The jury applauded the internationally networked nature of her work and her apparent vision for the field of bioinformatics. They highly appreciated the way she clearly combines different research fields (computer science, organic chemistry and microbiology) in new ways, she engages in bridging and advancing her research fields, and presents herself as a good science communicator who is able to visually and verbally explain complicated science in an understandable and compelling way. Barbara was nominated by Prof. Dick de Ridder, Bioinformatics.

Gender+-SMART Awarding

The awarding was combined with the Gender+-SMART Awarding at the end of the workshop ‘Advancing Gender+ Talent: Finding Answers and Recommendations Together’ that was held online.

Stipendia 2019

The winners of the Storm-van der Chijs Stipend 2019: from left to right: Lucie Sovová, Eva Johan (the award certificate was handed over to her daily supervisor, Dr Hanna Schebesta), and Julia Krug.

Three most talented female WUR PhD candidates Eva Johan, Lucie Sovová and Julia Krug, all international PhD candidates, were awarded the Storm- van der Chijs Award on 29 October 2019. After a short introduction on the Storm-van der Chijs Fund by chair Dr Margreet van der Burg, it was Prof dr ir Arnold Bregt as head of the jury who handed over the Storm-van der Chijs Awards. The two-yearly awarding ceremony was combined with the Gender-SMART thematic afternoon ‘From WUR gender analysis to WUR Gender SMART Plan’.

This year one stipend of €1,500 and two honourable distinctions of €500 were awarded to encourage them to pursue an academic career. These can be used for further international profiling by a visit to an academic conference or institute abroad until one year after graduation.

Eva Johan from Indonesia won the stipend for her innovative research approach to support the process of Halal regulation and harmonisation in food trade within WTO compliance. The project takes up profound issues of its global dimension, notably at the intersection of public morality, religion and trade. Since Eva was in Indonesia, we called briefly and showed a video message about her research. The award certificate was handed over to her daily supervisor, Dr Hanna Schebesta, and responsible promotor Prof.dr. Josephine van Zeben, who just started as chairholder at the WUR Law Group (LAW-SSG).

Lucie Sovová from Çzech Republic won as first a Honourable Distinction. Co-promotor Esther Veen of Rural Sociology (RSO-SSG) was present to also represent promotor Han Wiskerke who is on sabbatical leave. Lucie in her research bridges urban gardening and alternative food networks. In her work on Central and Eastern Europe, she questions framing informal food economies as remnants of the socialist era. She shows how they are not necessarily “inferior” to, but merely coexisting and interacting with their market-based counterparts. Next to her academic work she is in many ways involved and contributing to NGOs in this field.

Julia Krug from Germany also received a Honourable Distinction in presence of her promotor and nominator Prof.dr. Aldrik Velders of the Laboratory of BioNanoTechnology (BNT-ATFS). Her research concerns the exploration and exploitation of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for which she combines physics, chemistry, biology and medicine in an interdisciplinary perspective and checks its usefulness for areas from food analysis to waste-water treatment, and from plant-root development to neuroscience. She also worked with artists to explore expressions of MRI. Julia is portrayed as multi-talented, engaged, and always stimulating broader discussions on culture, music and politics while fostering an open multicultural and respectful atmosphere.

The awarding was combined with a thematic afternoon ‘From WUR gender analysis to WUR Gender-SMART Plan’ of the EU Gender-SMART project. In presence of the WUR Gender SMART Steering Group, chaired by Arnold Bregt, we assessed the gap between the current and desirable gender WUR focus on various domains detected by the gender analysis, and identified solution areas to encountered issues in these domains. Next step is to build on the various input we collected and sketch a draft WUR Gender-SMART Plan in contours and activities to be presented for implementation for the upcoming three years.

Contact: Margreet van der Burg, chair Storm-van der Chijs Fund, and daily WUR Gender-SMART projectleader,

Link to Storm-van der Chijs Fund

Link to Gender-SMART project

Stipendia 2017

The winners of the Storm-van der Chijs Stipend 2017. From left to right with certificate: Lies Zandberg, Chantal Vogels and co-promotor Marielos Peña Claros representing Carolina Levis.
The winners of the Storm-van der Chijs Stipend 2017. From left to right with certificate: Lies Zandberg, Chantal Vogels and co-promotor Marielos Peña Claros representing Carolina Levis.

Three most talented female WUR PhD candidates got the 2017 Storm-van der Chijs Stipend. Rector magnificus Arthur Mol was present to hand over the awards to Lies Zandberg, Chantal Vogels and Carolina Levis. The two-yearly awards ceremony on 23 May 2017 followed after this year Storm-van der Chijs theme ‘Towards an inclusive and gender responsive WUR’.

Lies Zandberg won the first stipend for her research on mate choice in wild birds. The chair of the jury of the Academic Board Niels Anten stressed that the quality of the 17 candidates nominated by their professors was high. The other jury members were Tiny van Boekel and Erwin Bulte. The stipend of €1,500 is to be used for further international profiling by a visit to an academic conference or institute abroad. The award certificates were handed over by rector Arthur Mol.

Lies Zandberg her work reflected the stipend criteria of richness in initiative, interdisciplinarity, international embeddedness and linking science and society best. Lies independently designed and carried out a unique test for mate preference in wild birds for which she followed them throughout their lives. She developed new experimental techniques to comprehensively track the fitness consequences of individual differences in mate preference by merging complex theory, statistics and computer programing, ecology and genetics. Lies her promotor is Prof.dr. Marc Naguib of Behavioural Ecology.

Carolina Levis from Brazil, who was present on skype, won one of the second ranked stipends. Her promotor is Prof.dr. Frans Bongers of Forest Ecology and Forest Management. Carolina looks at the relation between past-human activities and the composition of the Amazonian forests. By inventories of forest sites, mapping archaeological sites and conducting interviews, she combines methods of the social and natural sciences. By revisiting the image of the Amazon rain forest as virgin nature never touched, she contributes to developing ways how today’s and future forests can best reflect this presence. The journal Science and prestigious international media already featured her work!

Chantal Vogels received the other shared stipend. Her promotor is Prof.dr. Marcel Dicke of Entomology. Chantal her research looks at how environmental, behavioural and genetic aspects of European Culex mosquitoes influence the transmission of the West Nile virus. She seeks to understand why some infectious diseases do occur in some places and not in others and accordingly improve control measures. Chantal found funds for her work herself and developed a citizen science approach whereby people could send her mosquito samples by mail.

The awarding ceremony followed after an inspiring discussion on the advancement of women in science while working towards an inclusive and gender responsive WUR. There was a clear agreement that we especially on HRM are progressing in our m/f balance but monitoring and further action remains very needed, also on the cultural aspects. Concerning the capacity building and integration of gender & diversity competence and analysis in education and research, it became clear that there is huge capacity demand in agriculture related organisations (e.g. CGIAR) as well as that capacity building will equip students to contribute to gender responsive work places and work in their future professional lives. It is a matter of taking the chances to boost WUR’s reputation and international profile by concerted effort.

Stipendia 2015

The winners of the Storm-van der Chijs Stipend 2015. From left to right: Hannah van Zanten, Ingrid van de Leemput, Anke Niehof and two colleagues of Maryna Strokal (because of her stay in China)
The winners of the Storm-van der Chijs Stipend 2015. From left to right: Hannah van Zanten, Ingrid van de Leemput, Anke Niehof and two colleagues of Maryna Strokal (because of her stay in China)

The three awarded women are PhD candidates Ingrid van de Leemput and Hannah van Zanten from the Netherlands, and Maryna Strokal from Ukraine. These winners are selected from sixteen women nominees from six countries. The awarding ceremony took place on Friday 16th of October on Wageningen Campus.

Researching tipping points, Ingrid van de Leemput, PhD student of Prof. Imke de Boer (Animal Production Systems), studies nitrogen microbial pathways in aquatic ecology. Her research can be used to predict phenomena such as the viability of coral reefs and psychiatric disorders. Her work stands out in its interdisciplinarity and the link between science and society.

Maryna Strokal, PhD student of Prof. Carolien Kroeze (Environmental Systems Analysis), received the stipend for making agriculture more sustainable in regard to nutrient losses. She redesigned a model to counter water pollution in China by examining human activities on land and in river basins (the Global Nutrient Export from WaterSheds model).

The research of Hannah van Zanten, PhD student of Prof. Marten Scheffer (Aquatic Ecology), crosses the boundaries of animal, plant and environmental sciences. She addresses the feed-food competition by looking into opportunities to use waste-fed insects as livestock feed.

Stipendia 2013

Left to right: Nora Sutton, Natalie Theeuwes, Anne van Loon en Susan Boonman-Berson ( photo Guy Akkermans)
Left to right: Nora Sutton, Natalie Theeuwes, Anne van Loon en Susan Boonman-Berson ( photo Guy Akkermans)

On 18 April 2013, three stipends and one honourable distinction were awarded to four talented female PhD candidates of WUR, on the occasion of the biannual awarding of the Storm-van der Chijs Stipends. Nora Sutton, Natalie Theeuwes and Anne van Loon received a stipend and certificate; Susan Boonman-Berson got an honourable distinction.

The stipend criteria of richness in initiative, interdisciplinarity, international embeddiness and linking science and society were considered best reflected in the work of Nora Sutton, Environmental Technology. She got the first stipend for her research on remediation of polluted soils in which she combines approaches from several disciplines and discusses possible applications within international contexts and with many stakeholder groups.

The second stipend was given to Anne van Loon, Hydrology and Quantatative Water Management Group, especially for her work in developing methods that better understand and manage drought and water scarcity.

The third stipend was given to Natalie Theeuwes, Meteorology and Air Quality, for her research work from a multi stakeholder and interdisciplinary approach in developing interventions in urban areas to diminish effects on heat and related health issues by climate change.

Furthermore this year a honourable distinction was awarded to Susan Boonman-Berson, Forest and Nature Conservation Policy, with this time a small stipend since she just followed the others according to the jury report. Her work is developing interdisciplinary approaches to bridge different perceptions on wildlife management especially in human-wildlife conflict situations. The four women together represent the wide ranging domains of WUR.

Stipendia in the past

In the years before 2013 also the following promising PhD candidates received a Storm-van der Chijs stipenidum:

  • 2011 Cathelijne Stoof, Marije Oostindjer and Alessandra Galiè;
  • 2008 Maria Tysiachniouk and Flora Chadare;
  • 2006 Sarian Kosten, Roxina Soler Gamborena and Ramona van Marwijk;
  • 2004: Elke Scholten, Olga Vigiak and Kerensa Broersen;
  • 2002 Afaf Abdel Rahim, Ana de Almeida Costa and Jetske de Boer;
  • 2000 Mariëlle van Hulten, Makedonka Dautova and Karen Eilers;
  • 1998 Gemma van der Haar, Lida Soede and Suzanne Gerwen

Annelies Heijmans, Juana Delgado, Claudia Pabon Pareira, Els Faassen, Purabi Bose en Susan Boonman-Berson received an honourable distinction. Together with the stipendia awardees they show a wide range of nationalities, specialisms, and competencies within the Wageningen research domains.


  • Dr. Margreet van der Burg (chair), Senior University Lecturer / Researcher Gender Studies/History, Social Sciences, WUR
  • Secretary: vacancy
  • Dr Gertie Arts, senior aquatic ecologist and ecotoxicologist, Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra), WUR
  • Dr. ir Gemma van der Haar, University Lecturer/ Researcher Disaster, Conflict and Society, SADE, Social Sciences, WUR
  • Ir. Catharien Terwisscha van Scheltinga, researcher Climate change and adaptive land and water management, Wageningen Envrionmental Research (Alterra), WUR
  • Alet Leemans, Gender Action Plan implementation manager, Corporate HRM, WUR

    More about the Storm-van der Chijs Fund

    The Storm-van der Chijs Fund was named after Mienette Storm-van der Chijs (1814-1895), woman pioneer in the Agricultural Sciences and champion of educational and labour opportunities for women in agriculture.

    The fund was created in 1998 by the Wageningen work group “Women and Labour 1898-1998’ to commemorate the 100 Year National Exhibition of Women's Labour 1898.

    About Mienette Storm-van der Chijs (1814-1895)

    A.M.M. (Mienette) Storm-van der Chijs is  known as one of the first Dutch feminists and the first woman speaking at a Dutch agricultural conference. She actively claimed the rights and benefits of the ‘new era’ for women, also regarding agriculture. She took great effort in sharing the plant and seed samples she collected during her many travels worldwide and tirelessly explained how her findings could be applied to improve Dutch agriculture and rural life conditions.

    Her expertise and knowledge were widely respected and acknowledged; she received many awards and invitations to give lectures. At agricultural conferences and meetings, she never failed to take the opportunity to discuss and question the roles and tasks of women in agriculture and in rural areas. In the heated discussions around the introduction of agricultural education in the 1860s and 1870s, she actively lobbied for increasing agricultural education and labour opportunities for women.