On the creation of the funding line "Barrier-free Qualification"

The reason for the conception and establishment of the funding line "barrier-free qualification and networking" was the admission of a deaf doctoral student who started a position as a research assistant at the SignLab and at the same time began her doctoral studies. Liona Paulus and her supervisors pointed out communicative barriers that we weren’t even aware of in many places in the university. Liona used the funding line that was finally established in 2017 to raise funds for individual writing advice and individual mentoring, both formats were accompanied by sign language interpreters. In September 2019 Liona successfully defended her dissertation in German Sign Language - as the first deaf person at the University of Göttingen and one of the few deaf doctoral students in Germany. Immediately afterwards, she took up a permanent position as a research assistant at the University of Cologne.

Had Liona and her supervisors not been willing to share their knowledge and experience with us, and if they had not patiently accompanied the long path of conception and establishment, given the limited doctoral time, our funding line would never have been launched. They paved the way for all doctoral candidates at the GSGG who will take the risk in the future to research and teach in an environment that is still characterized by many barriers. We cannot take the burden off the shoulders of these doctoral candidates to explore structural and cultural boundaries on a daily basis. However, we can offer them a reliable and transparent procedure for the individual support they are entitled to, and at the same time we contribute to the diversity-oriented development of our university.