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More research institutes hit sex equality targets

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Germany’s largest public research funder, is steadily achieving more equality between men and women, according to a series of reports published by the DFG’s governance working groups on 5 September.

The working groups said that the number of DFG member institutions that reached the highest level of gender equality had increased from 12 to 20 since the previous set of reports in 2009.

The DFG divides its members into four categories according to their efforts and success in improving gender equality.

The report series was launched in 2008, when DFG members agreed to regularly monitor gender equality developments in the organisation. The initial programme includes reports issued every two years, ending in 2013, to monitor structural and personnel changes at DFG universities.

“Many higher education and research institutes have made a big step forward since the first reports in 2009,” said Ferdi Schüth, head of the DFG’s gender equality working group. “Gender equality is recognised almost everywhere as a high-level responsibility, and thus is being implemented.”

Information about where DFG members stand in terms of gender equality is considered when members apply for “coordinated funding”, which includes the Excellence Initiative, graduate colleges and short-term, high-priority research fields.