Women in Science: Mission at King’s College London ends project

Faculty, staff and students from PUCRS and UFRGS participated in activities at the British institution

31/10/2022 - 10h33

Photo: Personal archive

The month of October marks the end of the Women in Science project, conducted in partnership by King’s College London, PUCRS and UFRGS, with funding from the British Council. The project featured movie sessions debated by researchers, mentorships with students and a website to spread the inspiring researchers’ trajectories from the three universities. The last stage of the initiative included a one-week visit to the British institution. 

The group was welcomed by professors Andrea Streit and Abigail Tucker, coordinators of the project on the British side. The Brazilian delegation was formed by professors Aline Pan (UFRGS), Fernanda Morrone (PUCRS), Renata Medina (PUCRS), by technical staff Juliane Minotto (UFRGS) and Mariana Haupenthal (PUCRS), and by students Isabela Bitencourt and Natalia Dal Pizzol, from PUCRS, and Marlise Moreira and Eduarda Nova Cruz, from UFRGS. The students joined the mentoring program throughout the year and were selected through motivation letters. 

Exchange of experiences 

The visit to King’s College London was marked by sharing good practices and networking. Visitors were able to meet researchers in their areas of interest in individual conversations, in addition to meetings with mentors from King’s and visits to different spaces of the British university. The mission aimed to present some gender equality initiatives at KCL that can be implemented in the Brazilian context, in addition to exchanging experiences and challenges for the promotion of female presence in STEM areas. 

Group visited the laboratories of the Faculty of Dentistry, Oral and Craniofacial Sciences

During the program, the group had the opportunity to talk to Professor Jennifer Gallagher, coordinator of international relations at the Faculty of Dentistry, Oral and Craniofacial Sciences, Maisa Seppala, responsible for academic mobility at the faculty, Sophie Rust from the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and professor Arthur Galamba, coordinator of the STEM Education Hub. 

Advances in the debate  

For Professor Fernanda Morrone, coordinator of the project at PUCRS, the project provided an opportunity to debate important topics, such as diversity, gender equality and women in science, technology, higher education and research in Brazil. “The online meetings with researchers from the United Kingdom and Brazil throughout the semester and especially the partnership with King’s College helped to build new competences, especially within the Brazilian institutions UFRGS and PUCRS”, she adds. 

For Aline Pan, who headed the project at UFRGS, the visit to King’s College London was a unique experience for all of them. “It made it possible for all of us to experience our areas of work and study in another country, and how the British government is working with gender policies at the University.

Meeting with researcher Arthur Galamba

I was surprised to learn that the Electrical Engineering course at KCL has 50% of its students female, which is very different from the reality of 8% at UFRGS. This result reflects the action and intervention of King’s institutional gender policy. The British university is strongly active in the main problems and challenges of women in the STEAM area, such as motherhood, representation, leadership opportunities, harassment, etc”, commented the professor and researcher of the Energy Management Engineering course at UFRGS. 

Good practices in evidence 

Professor Andrea Streit celebrated the engagement and interaction between participants. “I was very impressed to see so much enthusiasm and engagement from our Brazilian partners and participants and from the many King’s volunteers to share experiences and to find new ways of promoting women in STEM. For me, the highlight was the Brazilian team’s visit of King’s – meeting the students, seeing how they made new connections and how such an exchange can open up new possibilities was wonderful. They will share their experiences with their fellow students in Brazil – if we managed to make a difference, even for only a few, it was worth the entire project “, she adds. 


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