Gender Equality

The University of Göttingen and the Max Planck Institutes in Göttingen support gender equality by a number of already established measures and programs. These include:

  • the Dorothea Schlözer Program, which offers fellowships for female PhD students and postdocs including career coaching and development,
  • women-only courses in the framework of the GGNB graduate school,
  • coaching for female professors in the framework of the Institutional Strategy Concept funded by the German Excellence Initiative and
  • successful participation in the “Professorinnenprogramm” of the German federal ministry of education and research, granted in 2008 to the university of Göttingen, with all three granted slots occupied by now.

Additionally, the faculties of chemistry and physics and the MPIs offer a variety of supportive measures such as:

  • funding for a research assistant supporting female researchers, who cannot perform certain laboratory work due to pregnancy,
  • funding for female scientists who would like to attend the yearly “Deutsche Physikerinnentagung”,
  • funding for young female group leaders, especially after the PhD or postdoc and especially within chemistry departments, to bypass financial problems at this stage of the scientific career and
  • diversity-management schools and workshops organized together with the departments of chemistry, geosciences mathematics, informatics and physics to impart diversity expertise

While these programs and measures are successfully established by now and we explicitly support them, we believe that our CRC will offer the opportunity to further strengthen these efforts to achieve gender equality. In particular, we believe that two female project leaders and especially the female coordinator will act as role models and will encourage women to join the CRC and pursue their career in science. We know from experience that young female scientists tend to choose research coed groups. Consequently, this “nucleation-aspect” is very important to us.

We propose the following measures to promote gender equality:
Mentoring program: In collaboration with other SFB we plan to establish a mentoring program for female PhD students and postdocs encouraging them to pursue a scientific career and providing them with role models. This includes identifying established and highly acknowledged female scholars willing to support this program. These mentors will be invited to present and discuss their research with the mentees. Female PhD students and postdocs will then have the opportunity to informally discuss science and also career and gender related questions with them. The program can (but does not have to) also include short research visits (weeks to months) in the mentors lab (abroad).

Female as well as male students will benefit greatly from an exchange program of this kind. Hence, providing the possibility to network at an early stage, the program will encourage female scientists and strengthen their scientific standing to a great extent – not only on a short term basis but, even more importantly, throughout their scientific career. Additionally, we could benefit from the foreign view-point the mentors bring with them, and identify gender barriers as such that still exist in our scientific setting but might have been overcome elsewhere.

Mentoring program guidelines


SFB 755
Eva Hetzel
Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1
37077 Göttingen

Tel. +49 551 39-9391
Fax. +49 551 39-9430

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