skip to primary navigationskip to content

Learning About Leadership in Antarctica

last modified Aug 30, 2017 04:03 PM
Hannah Laeverenz Schlogelhofer (c2014) writes about her experience being part of a leadership programme for creating change towards a more sustainable future

You are in Antarctica. For three weeks you are living on a ship with 80 like-minded women in science. It’s cold and windy, icebergs are looming. Is this the perfect place to learn about leadership? This is exactly what Homeward Bound, an award-winning leadership initiative for women in STEMM, seem to think. It starts with a year-long programme developing leadership, strategy, visibility and communication skills and culminates in a 3-week expedition to Antarctica. Over 10 years, Homeward Bound aims to take 1000 women in STEMM from across the globe on this incredible journey, in order to tackle the low representation of women in science and leadership.

Homeward Bound 2016 participants in Antarctica – copyright Homeward Bound

I applied to Homeward Bound because I want be part of a global network that collaborates for a more sustainable future. I want to use my education and experience as a scientist to drive positive change. I am thrilled to have been chosen for the 2018 team. Homeward Bound represents the ultimate opportunity for me to improve my capabilities and clarify my ambitions. 

Photo credit: Ernst Schlogelhofer
Photo credit: Ernst Schlogelhofer

The Homeward Bound network consists of women of all ages with many different backgrounds and experiences. Becoming part of an energised, supportive and talented community feels empowering. So far, the programme has already provided me with opportunities to explore ideas about leadership, visibility and science communication. It is also providing a constructive framework for introspective work in order to better understand patterns of thinking and behaviour. And this is just the beginning.

Photo credit: Deborah Pardo (Homeward Bound 2016 participant)

Regions of Antarctica are currently showing some of the fastest responses to climate change seen anywhere on the planet. By journeying to this iconic, wild and unique environment we will come face to face with its majesty, fragility and beauty. Homeward Bound expects the experience to spark important conversations, inspire action and lead to extraordinary collaborations between the women.

Photo credit: Deborah Pardo (Homeward Bound 2016 participant)
If you are a woman in STEMM, interested in getting involved - applications for the next programme and Antarctica voyage have just opened. To apply for this unique opportunity, you need to submit a CV along with answers to a series of questions and a 2-minute video pitch. The encouraging, supportive spirit of Homeward Bound is already captured in the application process, where they take real care to express their desire for you to apply even if you feel you do not fulfil all the criteria. ‘Please know that women have designed these questions for our female applicants. Don't exclude yourself because you can't answer them all comfortably.’


As part of this initiative, I need to raise more than $16,000 for the travel, accommodation, equipment and training not already covered by the support and in-kind donations Homeward Bound have obtained. I am hugely grateful for the grants I have received from the NanoDTC and Winton Programme, which have been valuable additions to my crowd-funding campaign and outreach initiatives. Additionally, together with two other participants I am applying for company sponsorship and organising ‘An Evening of Empowering Women’. This conference and networking event will take place on Friday October 13th. Check out our website for more information.


Homeward Bound website:

Event website:

My crowd-funding website: 

RSS Feed Latest news

NanoDTC Students included in Forbes 30 under 30

Jan 30, 2018

Jean de la Verpilliere and Alex Groombridge have been listed in the Forbes 30 under 30 in Europe.

Call for Midi+PhD Project Proposals

Dec 01, 2017

We are now accepting Midi+PhD Project Proposals from Cambridge Academics for our 2017 cohort/ Deadline: 26th Feb 2018

ERC PoC award for further technology development by Translational Prize Winners

Nov 23, 2017

Team receives £150k ERC Proof-of- Concept award for further development of their functional magnetic materials for biomedical applications

NanoDTC-Impulse-Maxwell Innovation Seminar Series - Prof. Ijeoma Uchegbu, Nanomerics

Oct 10, 2017

The first event in the joint NanoDTC-Impulse-Maxwell Innovation Seminar Series kicks off with a series of brilliant speakers who are at different stages in their Innovation  and Entrepreneurship journey.