ACM-W Europe December 2019 Newsletter

In this issue:


Happy holidays and a happy new year!


It is that time of the year again! Time for a bit of rest, family, friends, fun, and of course, holiday wishes!

Wishing you peace and joy this holiday season and throughout 2020.

Looking forward to sharing lots of exciting news from ACM-W Europe in the new year. 



Advances in Computational Biology (AdvCompBio 2019), Barcelona

The first conference on the Advances in Computational Biology (AdvCompBio 2019) brought together researchers working on a diverse set of topics, ranging from systems biology to artificial intelligence. One of the main purposes of the conference is to promote and make the research done by women in the bioinformatics field visible. This is why all speakers were women, although the conference was open to everyone.

The conference is organised by the Bioinfo4Women programme at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS) with the collaboration of IMIM-UPF Research Programme on Biomedical Informatics (GRIB), the Spanish National Bioinformatics Institute (INB/ELIXIR-ES) and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). It is an affiliate conference of the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB).

ACM-W Europe co-organised a panel with the ISCB Regional Student Group Spain (RSG-Spain) to discuss the “Challenges of Artificial Intelligence in Biomedical Research”. Bedour Alshaigy (ACM-W Europe) and Carlota Rubio (RSG-Spain) served as the moderators.

The panellists were Ángela del Pozo Maté (Bioinformatics Section of the Institute of Medical and Molecular Genetics (INGEMM) of La Paz University Hospital in Madrid); Laia Subirats ( Eurecat – Technology Centre of Catalonia and the Open University of Catalonia); Núria Castell (Computer Science Department of Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya); Vicky Schneider (Tecklings and the Amazon Development Center in Cambridge, UK).  

The panel kick-started with the panelists giving exciting examples of applications of AI and data in their respective fields, followed by the challenges and limitations of incorporating AI in the biomedical sciences which included interdisciplinary research, reliability of the data and methods, privacy and security concerns, ethical concerns, and gender bias. The panelists recommended educating the future generation of students as a means to fight the concerns associated with AI.

To learn more about the conference, and the motivation behind it, read and listen from Mar Albà, the group leader at the GRIB (UPF-IMIM). Mar collaborated with the BSC to organize this first scientific meeting on Advances in Computational Biology in Barcelona, and probably in Europe, where all the organizers and speakers are women.

Follow the hashtag #AdvCompBio and @Bioinfo4Women to stay up-to-date with the conference. 


Ruth Lennon is the new ACM-W Europe Chair

Congratulations to Ruth Lennon, who has been elected new ACM-W Europe Chair. Ruth is an enterprise application developer, researcher, and lecturer in the Department of Computing in Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Ireland. Her research interests include DevOps, Web services, the cloud, Big Data and eLearning. In addition to her activities with ACM-W Europe and womENcourage, she is the Faculty Advisor for the ACM-W Chapter at LYIT.  Hear more from Ruth in her People of ACM European Chapters interview.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Natasa Milic-Frayling for her leadership, who will continue to work with ACM-W Europe as Past Chair. 


New Blog Series: Reflections on womENcourage 2019

Starting from November, we started featuring a series of guest blogs from womENcourage 2019 participants. They share with us their career journeys, highlighting the challenges, the aspects of what they love the most, and the ways womENcourage inspires them. 

This month’s guest blogger is Alimova Ilysear, a PhD student at Kazan Federal University, Russia, where she is also working as a junior researcher. With respect to the position of women in the computing profession, she is aware that problems exist and there is still a lot to do:

“I have never experienced any pressure at work related to the fact that I am a woman. However, I met women who experienced gender discrimination. One of my friends was not hired because the employers decided that she would soon get married, go on maternity leave, and will not be able to work. I also notice some girls among my students, who have huge potential but are afraid to express themselves and feel less confident in comparison with boys. I want to tell women who find themselves in similar situations that they should not listen to any external negative comments, and focus on their goals instead.”

Read more from Alimova on our blog.


ACM-W Europe Social Media Highlights

Not on social media? Not a problem. In November, we discussed topics in the domains of data science, AI, gender and ethics.

Our most popular posts on Facebook were: 

  1. The report from the ‘AI and Gender’ workshop held by the Leverhulme Center for the Future of Intelligence at the University of Cambridge on the 20th February 2019.
  2. Mission and research projects from Alan Turing Institute, UK
  3. The PhD vacancy from the Department of Computer Science / Excited Center for Excellent Education IT at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (unfortunately the deadline is now over).

On Twitter, the top tweet was the news about the November newsletter,  which features Prof. Susanne Boll, who was named ACM Distinguished member. Our top media tweet was the news on 2019 Royal Society Science Book Prize given to Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men, by Caroline Criado Perez. 

In December, we will continue discussing topics in the domains of data science, AI, gender and ethics. Do not miss it. Like our ACM-WE Facebook page, follow us on Twitter (@acmweurope) or Instagram (@acmweurope) to get the updates. 


Calendar of Events and Upcoming Deadlines in Europe

  • January 10, 2020: Call for Papers deadline, ACM MMSys, Istanbul, Turkey

The ACM Multimedia Systems Conference (MMSys) provides a forum for researchers to present and share their latest research findings in multimedia systems. The conference especially encourages submissions in the following Focus Areas: Machine learning and statistical modelling for video streaming; Volumetric media: from capture to consumption; Fake media and tools for preventing illegal broadcasts.

Online submission here


  • February 20: Deadline for Young Researchers to Apply for 8th Heidelberg Laureate Forum, September 20-25, 2020 

ACM encourages young computer scientists and mathematicians from all over the world to apply for one of the 200 coveted spots to participate in the Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF), an annual event. The HLF offers all accepted young researchers the great opportunity to personally meet the winners of the most prestigious prizes in their fields. For one week, recipients of the ACM A.M. Turing Award and the ACM Prize in Computing (Computer Science), the Abel Prize (Mathematics), the Fields Medal (Mathematics), and the Nevanlinna Prize (Mathematical Aspects of Information Science) will engage in a cross-generational scientific dialogue with young researchers in Heidelberg, Germany. Applications opened on November 14.


PhD, Post-Doc and Faculty Job Announcements

  • Irène Curie Fellowship, Tenure-Track Positions in TU Eindhoven, the Netherlands

As of July 2019, TU/e has launched the Irène Curie Fellowship. This program is aimed at talented women who pursue an academic career in our European top research university. TU/e will open vacancies for assistant, associate and full professors exclusively for female talent during the first six months of recruitment. Under the European jurisdiction, it is lawful to specifically recruit underrepresented groups.

Read more here


  • Open Professor positions at IMDEA Networks, Madrid, Spain

IMDEA Networks is a networking research institute whose multinational team is engaged in cutting edge fundamental science. The institute is looking for outstanding researchers at all levels of the professional career. Apply now here.

Research areas include all areas of networking, specifically network protocols and systems, wireless networking, network measurements and analytics, and related areas. 

Equal Employment Opportunity

IMDEA Networks Institute aims to increase the proportion of women and therefore, qualified female applicants are explicitly encouraged to apply. Until a balanced ratio of men and women has been achieved at the institute, preference will be given to women if applicants have similar qualifications. IMDEA Networks Institute actively promotes diversity and equal opportunities. Applicants are not to be discriminated against in personnel selection procedures on the grounds of gender, ethnicity, religion or ideology, age, sexual orientation (anti-discrimination).

People with disabilities who have the relevant qualifications are expressly invited to apply.

Evaluation Date

The institute will perform a single batch evaluation of all applications received up to 31 Dec 2019 – 14:00 (Madrid Time)

Apply now through our online form.


  • Other

For other openings in Informatics in Europe, see the Informatics Job Platform


ACM Awards and Advanced Grades of Membership Deadlines

Each year ACM recognizes outstanding achievements of its members through awards that cover a spectrum of professional and technological areas and different stages of professional development. 

To learn more, we recommend the article by the ACM President Cherri M. Pancake, who dispels some common myths about ACM Awards and Honors in the Communications of the ACM, August 2019. One of the myths is that the ACM Awards never honor people working outside North America. Prof. Pancake writes that even though nothing would make ACM committees happier than to recognize the achievements of people from around the globe, there are very few nominations. Therefore, please consider nominating for the Awards below. 

ACM offers a wide range of awards (Source: Dispelling Common Myths About ACM Awards and Honors)

Early Career
Mid Career
Late Career
Area-Specific, typically Mid to Late Career

For SIG-specific Awards, please visit here.

For ACM Advanced Grades of Membership, please visit here.


Thank you for joining us in recognizing the accomplishments of ACM Women in Europe and ensuring they are nominated for ACM Awards they deserve.


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