The promotion of gender equality is part of the mission statement of the Universität zu Köln. The numbers of female scientists increasingly drops beyond the Ph.D. level. A major hurdle for women in biomedical science to take is the transition from post-doctoral fellow to an independent principal investigator position. A complex network of causes are likely responsible for this development, including insufficient role models, too little or suboptimal mentoring, lack of confidence or support due to changing family conditions. The Universität zu Köln has therefore implemented various measures centered on a) career support and development, b) role models and mentor programmes, c) gender-related information, and d) family support.

Since July 2011 the SFB 635 also avails funds to promote gender equality. In order to help creating a sustainable work-family balance for working mothers and fathers and to improve the promotion of female young scientists in their career, the SFB installed a gender board:

Ute Höcker, Botanisches Institut, Universität Köln

Jane Parker, Max-Planck-Institut für Pflanzenzüchtungsforschung

Tina Wenz, Institut für Genetik, Universität zu Köln

If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact one of our gender board members or Claudia Ballweg at the SFB-office.