Our doctoral program aims at providing special support to women in science.
Consequently more than half (54%) of the EC2/BIG-NSE scholarships were offered to female candidates by our Executive Board (one-third of whose members are women, incidentally).
Unfortunately, a few refused our offer to follow their male partner. In addition, our Recruitment Committee also accepts members with external funding (we call them our "fellows"), and these are predominantly men. Consequently, the share of female members since foundation amounts to "only" 39%, which is still a high figure.
However, our aim is 50% at least.
As a means of providing financial support to women and families at BIG-NSE, female scholarship holders have previously received an extra year of funding whenever they got pregnant or had a child during their regular scholarship funding time. The same conditions applied to a male scholarship holder who decided to stay home and take care of his children to allow his wife to go back to work after the birth of their second child. We also once decided to grant a scholarship for a few months to a female PhD student with external funding (CSC scholarship), one of our "fellows", who had given birth to a daughter and could not finish her PhD on time. Finally, all our scholarship holders with a non-adult child, born before their mother or father entered our program, receives an additional monthly sum in addition to the scholarship.
The same building in which the offices of EC2/BIG-NSE are located, the Villa Bell, also contains the day nursery "Kita an der Technischen Universität Berlin“. The children of PhD students of the TU enjoy priority access there. Children are taken care of from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm every week day. Many students and employees of EC2/BIG-NSE and UniCat/UniSysCat have taken advantage of this service in the past.
Finally, our female scientists can profit from the gender equality measures taken by the Cluster of Excellence (UniCat, now UniSysCat), in particular its "Gender Equality Committee" chaired by our EC2/BIG-NSE vice chair, Prof. Maria-Andrea Morginski. See details here. Since October 2019, the Cluster's "Executive Assistant and Gender Equality Coordinator " of the Cluster, Claudia Nasrallah, has also served as Women's Representative at School II of the Technische Universität Berlin. Among other activities, the cluster has regularly organized a "UniCat Women get-together", in which female PhD students of BIG-NSE often took part.
Finally, our female scientists can also profit from activities organized by the Technische Universität (e.g. the "Girls Day" or the "proMotion" program), or by the Berlin University Alliance.