Quantum childcare pilot programme

A joint initiative by Quantum Delta NL and WIQD

Why this programme?

For quantum technology to reach its next milestones, we need to invest in a growing, more diverse pool of expertise from across the world. Too often, we see that women in particular face barriers that we believe can be tackled with creative solutions.
Quantum Delta NL and Women In Quantum Development are proud to announce a quantum childcare pilot programme that aims to reduce some of the most pressing issues that prevent women from engaging in Europe’s fast-growing quantum community.

Tackling the early years

While there are many issues that are worth tackling, we will start this programme with a focus on helping women with young children. This is not to say that childcare is a women-only issue – but it certainly impacts women more than men. For example, we want to explore how to support childcare arrangements for (international) conference attendance. This is key to quantum R&D and education efforts, as well as to the successful careers of women in the field. Career setbacks resulting from reduced ability to travel don’t only impact the years when they happen, but continue to have repercussions throughout the decades of a woman’s career.

How does it work?

  • Quantum Delta NL and WIQD invite submissions for up to 20 personal grants throughout 2022
  • For this pilot, grants support women working in the Netherlands in finding childcare solutions, to enable them to attend quantum-related events
  • From 1 January, applicants are invited to submit a short proposal outlining how they could best use funding to enable their travel to a specific event
  • Submissions received before the end of each month will be reviewed by a small selection committee at the start of the following month

Our approach

We recognise that there is no simple solution to this problem. At certain conferences, it may be possible to arrange local childcare, whereas at others this might not be feasible. Some women may have a family member who can accompany her and her baby to a conference and mind the child during the day. For a single mother living away from her extended family, the ideal solution might be to fly one of her parents to her home to look after her child while she spends a week away. Perhaps there are other solutions that we have not thought of. Our approach will be to ask the women in the quantum computing community how they personally could use financial support to cover the cost of childcare while traveling.
Let us know what you need by applying from 1 January 2022 onwards!

How to Apply

Applications should be in pdf form, emailed to communications@quantumdelta.nl, and must include the following:
  1. Your name, email, affiliation, and the nature of your position
  2. A link to your homepage, or a brief CV
  3. The proposed dates of travel
  4. An expense overview, including the total amount you are applying for
  5. A brief free-form explanation of how you will use the funding, and why this will benefit you. For example, would you be unable to travel without this funding? (This does not mean “Could you fund it yourself?” it means “Could you travel without incurring this expense?”). Would you be able to travel without this funding, but at great inconvenience? Please explain.

Here is a sample proposal, but your proposal needn’t follow this exact format.

Beginning in 2022, we will process applications received before the end of a calendar month in the first half of the following month. During the evaluation, we may contact you with questions, in which case it would be in your best interest to answer as quickly as possible.

To help illustrate the types of proposals we’re looking for, we give the following three example scenarios.

A PhD student who recently had a baby wants to bring her baby to a conference where she will be presenting a poster, so that she can continue to breastfeed the baby. She asks for money to fly her partner to the conference so that he can take care of the child during the day while she is working.

Two postdocs have a baby together, and plan to attend the same conference. They plan to bring their baby with them, and apply for funding to cover the cost of childcare arranged through their conference hotel.

An assistant professor who is a single mother to a young child has been invited to speak at a workshop abroad. She lives in the Netherlands, but her extended family does not. She asks for money to cover the cost of flying her mother to the Netherlands to take care of her child while she is away.

We stress that these are just examples. We would also love to hear your ideas of how we can help. We may not be able to fund every proposal, but each one helps us learn more about what our community members need to thrive.