In a few days my daughter Lily will turn 2 years old. She was born shortly after my first NWO VENI research grant interview, as I went into labor the night after the interview.
I went to the interview during my maternity and sick leave (as I had pregnancy complications) at 9 months pregnant.
I did my best during the interview, but due to the painful labor contractions it was difficult.
Although my grades on the written proposal were excellent, I did not get the grant.
There were a few interview questions, which I did not answer very well and I could not prepare well enough.
I felt that I had to go to the interview, as my post-doc contract ran out.
Once my daughter was born, I wrote a new proposal (during the pandemic with 2 kids at home and unemployed).
I got invited again, which was excellent.
It all worked out and I got the prestigious VENI grant, which is awarded to the top 10-20 percent of researchers in the Netherlands.
I would like to see better support for women and mothers in academia, especially during pregnancy and maternity leave.
-by Anna Schueth