Sept 30, 2020:

We are honored and proud to announce that the NFB by the Province of Lower Austria awarded The STEM fatale Initiative with the wissen schaf[f]t zukunft award in the category “call for concept 2020”, which celebrates an innovative and actionable education project originating from Lower Austria.

Being recognized by the award committee of the province of Lower Austria is of high relevance for our initiative, since the award greatly supports our educational aims, both on the individual level for women scientists and on the collective level for society. 


A brief background about how it all started:

In 2019, the STEM fatale lecture series was created at the Institute of Science and Technology (IST) Austria. IST Austria does not only represent a beacon for excellent research, but also encourages scientists to recognize their important contribution to society. Shaping society can be achieved by a variety of means – scientific discoveries as well as improvement of societal structures and education.

The internal STEM fatale lecture series was started by IST Austria’s Good Practice Officer Hilde Janssens and scientists Nicole Amberg and Melissa Stouffer, both postdocs in the research group of Simon Hippenmeyer. Here, successful women across STEM disciplines present their career paths and how they overcame (not only) gender-related challenges in their professional lives.
Due to the immensely positive feedback and IST Austria’s support to expand the STEM fatale approach to a broader audience, Nicole and Melissa felt the need to characterize the challenges for women in STEM careers in more detail. Together with Lisa Cichocki and Angela Bitto-Nemling, they developed the initial concept of The STEM fatale Initiative that would provide data-driven, evidence-based information about positive and negative impacts on women’s careers, and which offers additional networking and mentoring activities.


For more detailed information, please refer to



[The initial STEM fatale Initiative team at the wissen schaf[f]t zukunft award ceremony.

photo credit: Klaus Ranger, from left to right: Angela Bitto-Nemling, Nicole Amberg, Lisa Cichocki, Melissa Stouffer]