Femke began her career in science by studying physics. Following her PhD research, she worked for several years at a start-up. Six years ago, she made the switch to NWO-D, where she took on science policy and funding within the discipline Chemistry & Physics, part of the Domain Science. However, her responsibilities quickly became domain-overarching. “I learned a lot from the collaboration with colleagues from the social sciences and their perspective on innovation”, says Femke. “For example, clearly involving all relevant disciplines at the front end when drawing up the research plan, and tangibly formulating possible outcomes in terms of changes: if the results of this research are used, then what will the involved parties do differently compared to in the past?”
After several years at NWO, Femke felt the need to do something that was more directly involved with conducting research. She therefore started as managing director at HFML-FELIX (High Field Magnet Laboratory and Free-Electron Lasers for Infrared eXperiment), an international research facility in Nijmegen that conducts research into (novel) materials and their properties.
Femke is really enthusiastic about her new position at NSCR: “I look forward to working with colleagues from a very different research field than the one I trained in. What so much attracts me to this position is the chance to contribute to an institute where fundamental and applied research is carried out that is very relevant to society and policy.”
NSCR director Beate Völker: “We are really pleased that Femke is joining our team. She is the ideal match and her considerable experience and ambitions fit precisely with what NSCR needs. At a personal level, I also look forward to working with her.”
Femke lives together with her husband and two children (7 and 8 years old) in Maarn on the Utrechtse Heuvelrug. “From our home, I have almost direct access to the surrounding woods, where you can regularly find me. I like to keep fit, and in recent years, I have mainly focussed on (cross) triathlon, which is ideal for people who are interested in many different things.”