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 three stipends of €1,500 each every two years to promising female WUR PhD students. By supporting the fund, your gift helps to strengthen the position of female scientists in the world. It enables promising PhD students 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. 

The Executive Board of WUR finances one of the three stipends.

Information for applicants

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.

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 foreign or Dutch female scientist will hold a Storm-van der Chijs Lecture. These lectures include topics concerning gender issues and issues faced by women in agriculture, food and environmental sciences.

Stipendia 2019

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’.

The high quality of the 16 candidates who were nominated by professors of all science groups was first praised by the head of the jury, Arnold Bregt, Dean of Education. He mentioned that the jury with also Erwin Bulte and Prof.dr. Eric Schranz, found it quite hard to compare and grade the nominations according to the four criteria the Fund had set. These were richness in initiative, interdisciplinarity, international embeddedness, and linking science and society. The nominations showed very interesting aspects from a wonderful group of women PhD candidates to be proud of. 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), pioneer in Agricultural Sciences and champion of (agrarian) education for girls.

    The fund was created in 1998 upon the initiative of a Wageningen work group “Women and Labour 1898-1998’ to commemorate the 100 Year National Exhibition of Female Labour 1898.

    About Mienette Storm-van der Chijs

    Mienette was the first female lecturer to speak at the agrarian congresses of her time. She was not only applauded for her contribution to agrarian science, but also for her exertions for the improvement of labour- and education conditions for women in agriculture.

    She was one of the first Dutch feminists to claim the advantages that arose from the ‘new era’ of women. She always spoke comparatively about the Dutch situation and made references to her foreign experiences acquired through her travels and many visits to foreign conferences and institutes. She also brought back samples of plants and seeds from around the world and explained how her experiences could be put to use for improvements in Dutch agriculture and the agrarian living environment.

    She was often commended for her work within the agrarian discipline and received awards and invitations to lectures. She took this opportunity to centrally position the role of women in agriculture and the agrarian living environment. During heated discussions about agrarian education, Mienette championed the improvement of agrarian living conditions for women by extending their education and improving their terms of labour.