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Women in STEM - Bridging the gap

The number of women studying and working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) has increased globally, but the large gap between genders in these careers is still significant. Malta is a case in point. Almost half of the world's great thinkers continue to experience hurdles in their careers in these fields, simply because they are women. What can be done to increase the numbers of women in STEM?

The Malta Chamber of Scientists is working with academics from the University of Malta, researchers and people within the industrial sector, to create a strategy to promote long term changes in the demographic of people working in STEM.

Women in STEM - Bridging the gap is a year-long project funded by the Voluntary Organisations Project Scheme (VOPs). Its reach is wide, spanning from early learners to seasoned professionals. With hands-on, virtual workshops and puppets shows by Sean Briffa and Jeremy Grech, encouraging pupils from local primary schools to think critically and to bust any misguided preconceptions they have of who a scientist should be. A unique science theatre production by Angele Galea from More or Less Theatre for young adults, incorporates aspects of ground breaking research in genetics as well as explaining the idea of the scientific method, all told through the story of a young female researcher. The Chamber is also reaching out to women who are currently working and researching STEM subjects, organising science communication masterclasses to help the women in STEM share their work and show the world the great work they are doing in these fields. 

These initiatives will help spread the word on research being done by female experts, as well as demonstrate the world of possibilities for people of all backgrounds, open to them in the STEM fields. The aim is to actively change the perception of who can work in STEM and for people to embrace the idea that STEM is for everyone.

For more information please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Vacancy - Evaluation Consultant

Employment will be on a definite 1 year basis - the duration of the project.

Evaluation Consultant Duties and Responsibilities

The typical duties and responsibilities that an evaluation consultant has to discharge involve the following:

  • Creating a new review processes for evaluating malta’s current situation vis-avis, women in stem by developing a series of questions, methodology and surveys.

  • Carrying out interviews, both individually and within the focus groups, and also recording the results for their computerized and written evaluation.

  • Training the program members for interviewing customers and recording their information.

  • Conducting the evaluations 

  • Interviewing employees of management teams, clients and other concerned quarters.

  • Devising presentation and business proposal.

  • Locating various business issues and also framing hypotheses.

  • Devising, chalking out and implementing solutions and suggestions.

Vacancy - Project Manager

Employment will be on a definite 1 year basis - the duration of the project.

 

Project Manager

A project manager will be the person who has the overall responsibility for the successful initiation, planning, design, execution, monitoring, controlling and closure of the Women in STEM project. The project manager must have a combination of skills including an ability to ask penetrating questions, detect unstated assumptions and resolve conflicts, as well as more general management skills.

The project manager must be the person who is responsible for making decisions, both large and small. The project manager will make sure they control risk and minimise uncertainty. Every decision the project manager makes must directly benefit the project. The project manager will organise their tasks and workforce. 

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Planning and Defining Scope

  • Activity Planning and Sequencing

  • Resource Planning

  • Developing Schedules

  • Time Estimating

  • Cost Estimating

  • Developing a Budget

  • Documentation

  • Risk Analysis

  • Managing Risks and Issues

  • Monitoring and Reporting Progress

  • Team Leadership

  • Controlling Quality

Vacancy - Administrative Assistant

Employment will be on a definite 1 year basis - the duration of the project.

Administrative Assistant duties and responsibilities include providing administrative support to ensure efficient operation of the office. Supports managers through a variety of tasks related to organization and communication. Responsible for confidential and time sensitive material. Familiar with a variety of the field's concepts, practices and procedures. Ability to effectively communicate via phone and email ensuring that all Administrative Assistant duties are completed accurately and delivered with high quality and in a timely manner. May direct and lead the work of others. Rely on experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals and a wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected. Typically reports to the Project Manager. 

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Maintain contact lists

  • Assist in the preparation of regularly scheduled reports

  • Develop and maintain a filing system

  • Organising events

  • Develop administrative staff by providing information, educational opportunities and experiential growth opportunities

  • Contribute to team effort by accomplishing related results as needed

  • Write letters and emails on behalf of office staff

  • Maintain computer filing systems

  • Handle sensitive information in a confidential manner

  • Take accurate minutes of meetings

  • Coordinate office procedures

  • Reply to email, telephone or face to face enquiries

  • Develop and update administrative systems to make them more efficient

  • Manage staff appointments

Follow guidelines and trusted advice during the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Malta Chamber of Scientists has been following the global and local developments of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chamber would like to express solidarity with and thank all biomedical scientists and pathologists who are conducting their duties in laboratories in Malta, all healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses and pharmacists who are on the frontline, as well as the Superintendence of Public Health, the Ministry for Health, and the management of our hospitals and health centres.

Research is vital to prepare for such pandemics. Advances and investment in research, science and technology have brought about the quality of life and health care that we presently enjoy. Researchers around the world collaborated to develop the tools that rapidly identify the virus and allow its detection in patients as well as help understand its spread. Investment in novel healthcare solutions and management has allowed some countries to mitigate several problems caused by COVID-19. Many of these countries suffered from the SARS-CoV outbreak in 2003, which has aided with their preparedness for the current pandemic. Crucial to this effort is research and development (R&D), which requires long-term planning and funding. The Editor-in-Chief of Science magazine recently remarked that vaccines cannot be developed without appropriate funding, in response to Donald Trump’s request to speed up the development of a vaccine. To ensure the continued prosperity of the Maltese population and economy, the Chamber wishes to likewise reiterate the need for continual and increased investment in science and R&D in Malta.

The Chamber also encourages citizens to follow the guidelines and advice issued by health authorities. Check updates daily. The main aim now is to decrease rapid infection through social isolation to reduce the likelihood of large numbers of severe cases requiring hospitalisation, hence ensuring everyone receives adequate care. The Chamber urges people to remain alert and check that any information they follow or share is scientifically grounded. One good source is www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019. Scientists and medical and healthcare professionals are the primary source of sound advice on dealing and managing the current situation.

‘Escape Malta’ turns kids into researchers

Are you someone between the age of 14 and 18 who loves both games and science? In early September, the University of Malta will be hosting an immersive role-play game that combines the two! Dubbed ‘Escape Malta’, it builds on escape room style experiences that ask players to solve a series of puzzles in order to move through a storyline and physically escape the room.

In this event, players will take on the role of a university researcher aiming to find the reason behind – and then escape from – a fictional public health crisis. The puzzles will cover a range of STEM fields such as biology, maths and computer science and allow kids to discover their inner scientist.

Some of the highlights include the programming of a simple robot, and learning how Google finds the quickest routes across a network of roads. Do you want to find out how this ties into the story? Then sign up via http://bit.ly/escape-malta and pass this on if you know someone wanting to be part of the next generation of scientists!

Escape Malta is part of the EU wide STEAM (funded by the ERASMUS+ Programme of the European Union) and CREATIONS (funded by the Horizon2020 Framework of the European Commission) projects.

Call for Applications: Xjenza Editor-in-Chief

Xjenza Online is seeking candidates for the position of Editor-in-Chief, for a term of 5 years, beginning January 2017. The first issue under the direction of this editor is expected to be Volume 6, Issue 1 (June 2018). There is no financial compensation associated with this position. There is however an opportunity for a powerful and enriching experience at the helm of one of Malta’s most prestigious inter-disciplinary scientific and academic journals.

Apply by 31 July 2017 via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read more: Call for Applications: Xjenza Editor-in-Chief

Rare Disease Day 2017

The Malta BioBank/BBMR.mt and the Research Trust (RIDT) of the University of Malta once again organised the third national colloquium on research in rare disease. This year, the event took place on Thursday 23rd February 2017 at 8.00pm at the Auditorium of the ICT Faculty at the University of Malta.

The Colloquium was held with the support of the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Prof Godfrey LaFerla and the Director of the Centre of Molecular Medicine and BioBanking, Prof Richard Muscat. The Hon Chris Fearne, Minister for Health and Ms Michelle Muscat, Chairperson of the Marigold Foundation and President of the National alliance for Rare Diseases Support were also present. The event also enjoyed the support of the Malta College of Family Doctors.

The event provided an opportunity for researchers and experts in various fields to present their research on a number of rare disorders. Some of these initiatives are being funded by the Research Trust (RIDT) of the University. The colloquium seeks to generate more awareness on such rare disorders to the public at large.

This event was supported by Vivian Corporation representing Pfizer, Shire and BioMarin in Rare Disease Research.

Read more: Rare Disease Day 2017

Science Policy in Malta: The Knowledge Economy

"Malta must act now to bring science within everyone’s reach, raise the next generation of problem solvers, support Maltese research at every level, and invest in RD&I for a high-value sustainable economy."

The Malta Chamber of Scientists is concerned that science is not being given its due importance in Malta. This document outlines an inclusive vision for a cohesive science policy that will impact positively across the Maltese economy and will help ensure its continued prosperity. By identifying key issues and proposing solutions, this document provides a blueprint for the future of science in Malta.

Download the press release here.

Read more: Science Policy in Malta: The Knowledge Economy