Diversity & Equal Opportunity

Our Cluster welcomes knowledge, expertise and collaboration from all around the world. During our work, we seek to implement equality and minimize inequalities wherever we see them. Our aim is to speak up when we see injustices, and amplify those voices which are often overheard. This allows us to build a diverse environment where everybody feels welcomed, respected and appreciated.

Structures and responsibilities

The centre’s Equal Opportunity Representative will be a member of both the centre’s Board and of the university’s Equal Opportunity Council. The Equal Opportunity Representative will be included in all relevant processes. All decision-making bodies will receive training in considering and implementing measures that address gender bias . Additionally the centre’s Equal Opportunity Coordinator will be part of the Managing Office and the Equal Opportunity Office, ensuring a tight connection between cluster and university.

Internal processes

Our selection processes will be carried out with a commitment to ensuring equal opportunity, and with a particular focus on monitoring female representation and considering family leave when evaluating scientific achievements. The centre’s Equal Opportunity Representative will be included in all relevant procedures, including recruiting, job placement, allocation of funds and invitation of guests. We will utilize the tools established by the university’s Academic Staff Development unit and Equal Opportunity Office for selection processes that account for gender consciousness as well as leadership and social abilities, thereby promoting a diversity-conscious culture.

Gender balance

To promote gender balance and to reduce the attrition of female researchers, our centre will implement a cascade-based strategy. We intend to appoint an equal number of male and female researchers as junior professors, early career research group leaders, and new principal investigators. We also aim to achieve gender parity in the selection of doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers. Supporting measures such as active recruitment are implemented in our selection processes and a monitoring process to track the gender balance at all career levels, with annual reports to be submitted to the centre’s Board, will be set up. These measures will be especially relevant when we are seeking to fill positions in the fields of biology and computer science, where still too few women are rising through the ranks to become professors. To attract highly-qualified female researchers from all disciplines, we will advertise the centre’s family support and equal opportunity measures in job postings. Measures and support for female researchers are extended to researchers whose identity varies from traditional gender norms, e.g. transgender, transsexual or intersex.

Promoting cultural change

Our centre is committed to creating an organisational culture that is gender-, family- and diversity-conscious. We will create such a culture by ensuring that our new researchers and their families receive a warm welcome (e.g. Welcome Centre, Welcome Week), and by ensuring our institutional processes are transparent, sensitive to diverse career and personal situations as well as flexible with regard to individual needs.

Promoting female researchers

To enable women to pursue a successful career path, we will implement a range of measures administered by the university’s Equal Opportunity Office, and funded specifically for our needs. The Konstanzia Fellowship is a career-enhancing program that includes mentoring, coaching and training, and financial support. The fellowship is tailored to fit the needs of the career cultures in the participating departments. Mentoring with Experts and international Networking (MEiN) allows female early career researchers to develop their international research profile and network with support from a mentor. Further, regular peer meetings with experts or senior researchers will help all early career researchers build networks and exchange experiences in science. For biology and computer science, which are disciplines with low representation of women in leading positions, this measure will be complemented by a mentoring tandem in which a senior researcher will accompany a female post-doc during the early phase of her career. We will strive to recruit a fair share of female seminar speakers and visiting fellows who, in addition to contributing scientifically to the centre, will serve as role models to younger generations of female scientists.

Supporting diversity

Researchers with families

The university-wide Science Goes Family program will be complemented by a special funding instrument that allows for the continuation of research (e.g. via hired assistants) to mitigate loss of productivity after family-related leaves of absence or parental leave. We will foster our close relation with the university’s Kinderhaus childcare centre to balance our needs with the university’s spectrum of flexible child care options and short-term childcare during conferences and for special situations. Additionally, travel grants for accompanying children and caretakers are provided. Partners of newly-appointed researchers receive assistance with their own job search by the university's Dual Career Service.


We are committed to ensuring equal opportunity for under-represented minorities. A targeted support is going to be developed for all scholars with a disability and master’s and doctoral students from less-developed countries into the centre.

Solutions for work-life balance

We offer unprecedented flexibility to researchers who cannot maintain the standard full-time work schedule. A respective concept / call is going to be set up. This will provide security (contract duration) and flexibility (adaptable grade of employment) at the same time as increasing the diversity of our staff and advancing career opportunities in research and academia.

Representatives for Diversity & Equal Opportunity

Dr Einat Couzin-Fuchs, Group Leader


Phone: +49 7531 88-2100

Room: M 1125

Dr Alex Jordan

Group Leader, Max Planck Instiute of Animal Behavior

Phone: +49 7531 88-4928

Room: Z 8xx

Website: thejordanlab.com

For more information about CASCB's diversity & inclusion approaches, please contact our Diversity, Equal Opportunity & Career Officer, Felicia Afriyie.

If you would like to participate in our Diversity Committee, please contact Felicia Afriyie.