This year, the University of Groningen in the Netherlands madeits first appearance on the list of Best Places to Work inAcademia, taking fourth place among international institutions. Thedistinction was a long time in coming. Founded in 1614, theUniversity of Groningen is the second oldest university in theNetherlands.
Without the star power of universities like Oxford andCambridge, Groningen attracts and retains top researchers by makingan effort to promote from within. The university has implemented arigorous Master’s and PhD track program to train their students forfaculty positions at the university, says Franjo Weissing, directorof the Graduate School of Science. “We scout and nurture our ownscientific talents.” Between 10 and 20 percent of faculty membersstudied at the university before being hired.
Groningen also makes an effort to attract female researchersthrough the Rosalind Franklin Fellowship Program, a tenure-trackprogram geared to the advancement of women in science. Thefellowship thrives because of a mentoring program that matches asenior researcher with a junior one. The awardee receives adviceand guidance on how to establish and run a research group and howto publish in the top journals, says Melinda Mills, a professor ofsocial and behavioral sciences who went through the program and nowruns her own sociology and behavioral science lab.