Session 2: Diversity and Science

Our second event, Diversity and Science: from being a student to advancing in the field, focused on barriers (potential) scientists from marginalized backgrounds may face in advancing as researchers, and how to implement possible solutions.

Alfrida Martis and Janissa Jacobs lead a workshop on professional development for scientists with minority identities, and how to effectively be an ally.

Following the workshop, Dr. Miranda van Eck gave a talk about advancement of women and scientists from other marginalized backgrounds, and the work she does with her organize, RISE.


Alfrida Martis (Alfie) is an Afro-Bonairian writer, public speaker and community organizer. In the Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) team at the University of Amsterdam, she is a researcher and educator, and a project leader for the Homework Hub. She also teaches and coordinates workshops with her colleague Janissa Jacobs, while advising on inclusive pedagogies and diversity literacy. She holds a BA degree in Media & Culture Studies, and an MA degree in New Media & Digital Culture, both from the University of Amsterdam.

Outside of academia, she works as an independent advisor in the cultural and arts scene, specializing in anti-racism, intersectionality and decolonization work. With her partner Daudi Cijntje, she co-founded and co-organizes Caribbean Ancestry Club: a platform that unites and amplifies the voices of afro-indigenous ABCSSS islanders.

Janissa Jacobs joined UvA’s Chief Diversity Officer’s team in August 2019 as management assistant to Anne de Graaf. Her tasks include strategic advice, administrative activities, facilitating workshops, and providing the Diversity Team with logistic and planning support. In her role, she co-facilitates tailored diversity workshops with Alfrida Martis for UvA students and staff.

Prior to this, she specialized in business development and strategy at a global leadership advisory firm. Janissa has a MSc in International Public Management and Policy and she speaks Dutch, English, Spanish and Papiamentu; sometimes at the same time. As an avid lover of poetry, literature, and writing; Janissa is interested in exploring the role of creative outlets as a tool for healing past pain and trauma. Janissa goes by she and her pronouns.

Dr. Miranda van Eck is a researcher and professor of Bio-Pharmacological Science at Leiden University, focusing on the identification of the role of novel genes in atherosclerotic lesion development, regression of atherosclerosis, and processes underlying the development of atherothrombosis.

In 2015, Dr. van Eck founded the women’s network Researchers In Science for Equality (RISE) at Leiden University. RISE’s mission is to build an inspiring work environment for female scientists, to stimulate their personal and professional development and advance their careers to top positions in beta sciences. RISE also strives to raise awareness of the importance of gender equality in the science by advising the Faculty Board and Selection and Appointment Committees.