Irene Marco and Núria Torras from IBEC winners of the second edition of “To the Mothers of Science” programme

The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST) has announced the winners of the second edition of the To the Mothers of Science programme, which offers supporting grants and coaching sessions to talented BIST female researchers to recognise their roles as scientists and mothers, and support them along their way to attaining positions of greater responsibility.

The 10 winners of this edition come from all seven BIST centres: Claire Morgan and Sarah Offenburger from CRG, Irene Marco Rius and Núria Torras Andrés from IBEC, Ewelina Wajs from ICFO, Gemma Aragay from ICIQ, Mary Cano Sarabia and Belén Ballesteros Pérez from ICN2, Malgorzata Siudek from IFAE, and Iliana López Soldado from IRB Barcelona.

The winners will participate in four guided coaching sessions aimed at increasing leadership skills and will receive a monthly salary top-up of €400 over the course of a full year. In this year’s edition, five finalists will also get to participate in the coaching programme, which aims to create a peer support group and address the specific needs of researchers who are also mothers.

Sometimes I am the one that holds myself back. The peer network and coaching sessions offered by this award will help me gain the confidence to take a step forward in my career.

Irene Marco


Sharing experiences with other women and mothers in science will be very positive and enriching. This award means a personal recognition to hard work and dedication, but also a boost to my career.                   

Núria Torras

The second edition of the To the Mothers of Science programme coincides with a delicate moment in time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All programme winners have expressed the difficulties associated with working from home with their children, some stressing that the burden of childcare has fallen on them.

This phenomenon has been described by various sources including Nature (Are women publishing less during the pandemic? Here’s what the data say) and the Agencia SiNC (Estoy fallando como investigadora y madre). Despite this, the winners of this year’s edition of the To the Mothers of Science programme agree that the pandemic has helped them to further hone their time management skills.

Most of the researchers selected this year say they will use their salary top-up towards saving time, both for research and to be with their families.

Original source and more details about this year’s winners can be found at BIST webpage, here.