Equality and diversity in researchWithin this RTG, we address the low percentages of females in the natural sciences by a number of specific measures. Underrepresentation goes along with special needs for recruitment and empowering. Here, networking opportunities are consciously used and role models, e.g., renowned female seminar speakers, are actively integrated. Professional coaching and mentoring offers are tailored to the individual students and their specific needs in order to help them build a successful career in academia, industry or other fields.
Awareness for STEM specific gender issues as well as tools to overcome them will be elaborated in a special professional skills in science course designed specifically for this RTG by Dr. Sophie-Charlotte August, who is the equal opportunities officer of the Department of Physics and research associate in the group of Sarah Köster. The course addresses current research on STEM specific gender issues, e.g., obstacles based on stereotypes, and evaluate positive and negative key situations from the participants’ own experience. Towards the end of their PhD, academic careers of female students are boosted by enabling them to attend a conference or visit a research group of interest to explore a new research direction for their postdoctoral research.
We also support students with families. In order to accommodate care responsibilities, home office work and relevant equipment is supported, schedules for RTG events like seminars are adjusted and complemented by special child care options, facilitated by the University’s cooperation with the “Kindertagespflegebörse Göttingen” (www.kindertagespflege-goe.de). For experimental work not recommended during pregnancy or nursing, student assistants can be hired to execute the lab work avoiding a delay in the research activities.