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Affiliated Commission of

Scientific Associate of

ICO Awards

Get ahead with Optics

Get ahead with Optics, career development for women in science

Summer school held in Hammamet, Tunisia, 2-12 September, 2012.

The Summer School "Get ahead with Optics, career development for women in science" was organized by the Engineering school of communications of Tunis (Sup’Com), Tunisia and the Philipps-University Marburg, Germany.

First row ; from left to right : Maria Calvo (ICO Past-president), Maria Yzuel (ICO vice-president appointed), Rim Cherif (local organizer), Zohra Ben Lakhdar (ICO vice-president elected), Kirstin Baum, Ute Kaemper

The program aimed to orientate young female women scientists in the dynamic and rapidly evolving field of optics and photonics while providing them with professional development skills and a deeper understanding of what is needed to succeed as a woman scientist. The summer school was organized as an intensive, immersive program designed with formal scientific lectures, soft skills sessions including scientific writing, presentation training, public speaking, discussion sessions, poster session, panel discussion, hands-on-optics session and social events in order to create a stimulating atmosphere for interaction and learning. The optical society of Tunisia which is the ICO territorial committee representative established the scientific program. Indeed, the optical society of Tunisia provided the equipment for the hands-on optics session. Furthermore, to be successful as a scientist and get ahead is always based on knowledge, motivation and strong networks. Well-built networks provide the opportunity to get more information faster. With this project, we helped female students to become better aware of a possible career in sciences. To meet new friends and colleagues from another culture enabled the participants to share their own experience and learned from each other. In addition, our project has developed new and innovative networking opportunities for the women. Among the internationally renowned invited speakers, we had the great pleasure to welcome Maria Calvo (ICO Past-President), Maria Yzuel (ICO Vice-President appointed), and Zohra Ben Lakhdar (ICO Vice-President elected).

This program was mainly funded by the 2011 Elsevier foundation new scholar grant. Additional grants we provided for this program namely DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), OSA (Optical Society of America), and SPIE (International Society for Optics and Photonics).

(Optical Society of Tunisia, local organizer)