Recruiting and developing female researchers – “Fraunhofer TALENTA” funding for two IKTS scientists

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Recruiting, developing and retaining more women in applied research is an important goal of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. The Fraunhofer TALENTA funding program is working to achieve these goals. Two female IKTS researchers were successful with their applications and will now receive tailored support for their career goals.

© Fraunhofer IKTS
Dr. Daniela Haase conducts research on foam ceramics and would like to further develop herself as a group manager in the "TALENTA speed up" program.
© Fraunhofer IKTS
PhD student Tashneem Ara Islam receives support at the beginning of her scientific career with "TALENTA start" funding.

Since 2013, the TALENTA funding and development program has offered female scientists at Fraunhofer the opportunity to strategically advance their careers by part-funding their staff positions, providing targeted training and career-oriented networking. It focuses on three important career phases: at the beginning of a career (“TALENTA start”), directly before or after taking on management responsibilities for the first time (“TALENTA speed up”), and when making the transition to top management (“TALENTA excellence”). At the beginning of 2021, two female scientists from Fraunhofer IKTS were accepted into the TALENTA program: Tashneem Ara Islam is now part of the TALENTA start program and Dr. Daniela Haase was accepted into TALENTA speed up.

After completing her studies in materials science and bionics in Bangladesh and Kleve, Tashneem Ara Islam has only recently joined Fraunhofer IKTS in Hermsdorf. In the group “Functional Materials for Hybrid Microsystems”, she is researching the characterization of semiconductor materials for photocatalytic water-splitting as part of her doctoral thesis. Her research results will benefit the Fraunhofer joint project Neo-PEC, in which a new technology for the production of green hydrogen is being developed. “My primary focus is to complete my doctoral studies successfully with a solid scientific foundation. TALENTA gives me the opportunity to pursue this goal in my early research career and in the future it will guide me to my next career steps at Fraunhofer,” Islam explains, who is planning to grow her professional network, as well as obtain new skill sets like project management as part of the program.

Materials scientist Daniela Haase has been working as a research associate at Fraunhofer IKTS in Dresden for 15 years. She initially started as a PhD student in the research group “Carbide Ceramics and Filter Ceramics”, obtained her doctorate and has since assumed responsibility as a project manager. The focus of her research is the development of ceramic foams and cellular ceramics for innovative concepts in environmental and energy technology. “I am motivated to take the next step in my career and see the TALENTA program as a great opportunity to further develop my expertise and experience in project work and as a leader. In the next two years, I would like to expand the “Ceramic Foams / Cellular Ceramics” team into a group and lead it as a group manager," says Daniela Haase, describing her expectations of the program.

The Fraunhofer TALENTA program was scientifically evaluated in 2017. The results show: TALENTA contributes greatly to bringing female talent into leadership positions in a targeted manner, combining a variety of aspects, such as structural career support and planning, targeted design motivation and increase in visibility, which are necessary and effective to increase the proportion of women in leadership positions in the long term.