Questions for your portrait

The best way to present yourself and your work is to write a 750-1500 word post (or more if you like) about what it’s like to be a woman in science – either in consistent text or interview form (example questions below). We are aiming for content that is understandable and interesting for scientists as well as non-scientist – we want to engage young girls and the media with science. So, we encourage lots of pictures as well. It would be best to write in a way that you would like to read a popular science article: engaging, with (personal) anecdotes, and an honest look at good and bad (and maybe even funny) parts of being a female scientist. Of course, if you prefer to have a more scientific portrait, we would welcome that as well.

We think the following questions would be especially interesting – choose which ones you would like to answer, or if we have missed anything that you deem important, add an extra question!


  • Did you have a role model that influenced your decision to work in science?
  • What is your scientific background?
  • Why did you choose to become a scientist?
  • How did you choose your field of study?
  • Which topic are you working on at the moment? Why did you choose this topic and how do you think you’ll make a difference?
  • What are your biggest achievements, and what your biggest failures?
  • What is a typical day like for you?
  • What are the hardest parts related to this work?
  • Did you ever doubt your abilities as a scientist? Why? How did you handle these situations/feelings?
  • What (or who) motivated you in difficult times?
  • In ten years, what do you hope to have accomplished in terms of your work?
  • Is there any scientific topic (outside of your field of research) that you think should have more scientific attention? Which one?
  • During your career, have you been specifically mentored or supported by someone?
  • If you were completely free to choose a scientific topic to work on, which would it be?
  • What is the funniest or most memorable thing that has happened to you while working in science?

Personal life

  • Do you come from an academic family?
  • How does your family regard your career choice?
  • Besides your scientific interests, what are your personal interests?
  • Is it hard to manage both career and private life? How do you manage both?
  • If you had the option to give advice to a younger version of yourself, what would that be?

Women in science

  • What were the biggest obstacles you had to overcome? Did you ever have the impression that it would be easier/harder if you were male?
  • What kind of prejudices, if any, did you have to face? How did that make you feel? Were you able to overcome these?
  • In your opinion, which changes, if any, are needed in the scientific system to be more attractive to women in science and possible future scientists?
  • Do you have anything else that you’d like to tell us about?

In addition to the answers to the questions it would be great to get:

  • A picture of yourself (as cover picture: dimensions should be around 920 pixels width x 620 height, and please make sure that the resolution is high enough )
  • A short bio about yourself (a few sentences about your professional background, where you got your education, where you currently work, and what makes you passionate about your field of research)
  • Contact information (if you want people to be able to email you, etc.)
  • Pictures of you working in the field/lab/wherever you collect data
  • Your preferred title for the portrait (Meet – your name -, passionate/interested in xy)

If you have got further questions, comments, thoughts asf. – please contact us: You are also very welcome to suggest other women in science you know that you would like to read more about, and we´d invite them to contribute.

Thank you so much for contributing to The female Scientist! Together, we can make a change!