360° – Gender and Diversity in Research

The project 360° – Gender and Diversity in Research (360°) points out how research is made sustainable and fit for the future: by including gender aspects in all phases of a research project. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) promotes this approach in the funding line Gender Aspects in View.

The Center for Gender & Diversity (ZGD) and the Hamburg Research Academy (HRA) are working on a concept – called 360 degrees – with all relevant actors in Hamburg’s research landscape. It is intended to develop measures that support researchers in taking gender aspects into account in their research projects. With this concept, 360° is applying to the BMBF for a five-year project to help implement gender aspects on all levels of research.

Are you interested in gender aspects in research? Do you have any questions or suggestions? Would you like to cooperate with 360°? The team is looking forward to cooperating with all interested parties. Feel free to contact Dr. Smillo Ebeling (smillo.ebeling@uni-hamburg.de).

Why 360°?

The category of gender is a cross-sectional category. It is relevant in almost all subjects and research topics. And it is present at all levels of research and innovation, for example in the research questions, in the methods, in data interpretation and in evaluation procedures. 360° therefore develops support services for:

The category gender is relevant to all disciplines, but not in the same way. Therefore, 360° addresses the different subject contents and cultures. It develops specific support and consulting services to raise awareness and to reflect on gender aspects in research and third-party funding.

 

360° measures are aimed at both young researchers (doctoral candidates and early post-docs) and established scientists (supervisors, experienced post-docs, professors, heads of junior research groups).

  • Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW HH)
  • Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH)
  • Hamburg University of Music and Theatre (HfMT)
  • University of Fine Arts (HFBK)
  • HafenCity University (HCU)
  • Helmut Schmidt University (HSU)
  • Bucerius Law School (BLS)
  • Protestant University Hamburg (EHS)
  • Kühne Logistics University (KLU)

Gender equality and gender aspects in research: what is the difference?

Gender equality work primarily aims at equal treatment of all genders. Equal opportunity officers fulfill the law-based equal opportunity mandate of Hamburg’s universities and structurally anchor university-specific equal opportunity concepts.

The consideration of gender aspects in research, on the other hand, has a thematic focus: it leads to new research questions, methods and results. This is where 360° comes in.

Gender is a cross-cutting category in research

The category of gender plays a role within research in many ways, for example in the conception of research designs, in the selection of methods, in the interpretation of experimental studies and data, in the effects and consequences on individuals and society, and in funding (Tannenbaum 2019). Accordingly, the inclusion of gender aspects leads to new insights on the content level – in almost all subjects. Here you will find short examples from different subjects as well as information about 360°’s subject-specific support services.

Gender aspects in research funding

Excellent research requires the consideration of gender aspects. This is the view of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the European Union (EU). And, this is where 360° comes in: 360° develops specific measures that support the inclusion and reflection of the category gender in the acquisition of third-party funding. (view more)

What 360° has in mind 

360° plans to develop and evaluate various measures for six areas:

The focus is on the establishment of a peer-based network for scientists to reflect on and advise each other with regard to the category of gender in research and in the acquisition of third-party funding. The peer network is accompanied by awareness and qualification measures. It is designed for the long term and offers a non-competitive, confidential framework in which the peers exchange ideas and advise each other. The regular and structured network work takes into account the specific professional and disciplinary cultures. It follows the principles of symmetry, shared learning and the expansion of one’s own perspective and professional expertise on the category of gender. The peers give each other new impulses for their own research and to identify “blind spots” in their research questions, theoretical approaches, research methods or data evaluation.

360° support structures and measures for early career researchers is dedicated to young scientists and supervisors. Workshops and lectures will propose ideas to young scientists on how to incorporate gender aspects into research by also taking diversity and intersectional aspects into account.

Supervisors (for example professors, postdocs or junior research group leaders) will also develop an increased awareness of gender aspects in the entire research process through workshops and coaching sessions. This enables them to better integrate the reflection of gender issues into their own advisory and supervisory practices.

The awareness-raising, reflection, information and qualification measures on the consideration of gender aspects in research, are open to all interested university members. For example, speakers from the DFG or other international experts from the EU will be invited to offer information events on how to take gender aspects into account when applying for funding. There are also plans for an ongoing series of lectures with inter/nationally renowned gender experts who will explain the benefits and innovative potential of gender aspects in research for changing disciplinary foci and for interdisciplinary collaborations.

360° develops possibilities for the integration of gender aspects in the acquisition of third-party funding in cooperation with the institutions of research management and equal opportunity offices of all participating universities. This include, for example, information and training on the category of gender in funding applications for research advisors. In this way, applications for third-party funding from Hamburg as a center of science and research should be supported even more strongly with regard to gender (and also diversity aspects).

In cooperation with the university transfer institutions, 360° develops support services for the integration and strengthening of gender aspects. Therefore, reflecting on the category of gender in research and development broadens perspectives and leads to innovations in the areas of social engagement/civil society.

360° aims to strengthen the understanding of the relevance and actuality of gender aspects in research (and other diversity dimensions) – both in the scientific community and in the general public.

360° communicates the importance of gender aspects in research to the scientific community and the general public. In doing so, 360° links up with the existing science communication of the participating universities and cooperates with the responsible institutions. The aim is to develop target-group-specific science communication that above all conveys the advantages and necessity of taking gender into account in research and raises awareness of gender and diversity aspects in research.

Wanted: Pilot areas

360° is currently looking for pilot areas for a five-year implementation phase in the fields of research, support for young researchers, research management, equal opportunities, transfer and science communication.

For all planned services, it is important for 360° to cooperate with existing institutions and relevant actors. It is planned to set up and evaluate the 360° services in a project with a duration of five years together with chosen pilot areas. Furthermore, 360° is developing its concept for this pilot phase in order to apply to the BMBF in the funding line Gender Aspects in View.

Would you like to cooperate with 360°? Do you have any questions or suggestions? The team is looking forward to cooperating with all interested parties. Our contact person is Dr. Smillo Ebeling (smillo.ebeling@uni-hamburg.de).

Information material for interested parties

Here you will find a selection of digital, interdisciplinary and subject-specific information materials.

What is Gender? (Hamburg University of Applied Sciences): In the OER, two learning units explain basic concepts and theories of gender studies.

Gendering MINT digital (Humboldt University of Berlin): The OER explains interdisciplinary basic knowledge of gender studies with references to the natural and technical sciences and explains the relevance of gender aspects in biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics and physics in five learning units.

Gendered Innovations (Stanford University): This international project shows how methods can be developed that integrate gender aspects in the natural and technical sciences. Using illustrative case studies in medicine and the natural, engineering and environmental sciences, the platform highlights the innovative potential of incorporating the category of gender.

MUGI Music and Gender on the Internet (University of Music and Theatre): Encyclopedia of female musicians and multimedia presentations.

How do we work and live? And what does that have to do with gender? (University of Hamburg): This 10-minute video explains the historical development of gender relations and the connection between work and gender.

GERD: Gender Extended Research and Development (University of Bremen and University of Kassel): This ia a Digital tool for considering gender and diversity aspects in engineering, technology research and development. It supports the reflection of gender and diversity aspects in all research phases.

GenderSciLab (Harvard University): Research facility for integrating gender aspects into biology and biomedicine. The information material supports the avoidance of blind spots, the recognition of gender aspects in research and their relevance assessment.

Handout for the integration of gender and diversity aspects into the engineering science teaching (TU Braunschweig): The case studies also offer numerous suggestions for considering gender in engineering science research.

Gender and Diversity in the Teaching of STEM Subjects (Gender and Women’s Research Center of the Hessian Universities): This is a toolkit to help instructors make their teaching approaches more gender and diversity sensitive, for example by including definitions of terms, references to relevant gender toolboxes, subject-specific advice on integrating gender into teaching for the subjects of computer science, mechanical engineering, mathematics, and a literature database.

Tannenbaum, C., Ellis, R.P., Eyssel, F. et al. Sex and gender analysis improves science and engineering. Nature 575, 137–146 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1657-6

Gendered Innovations 2: How inclusive analysis contributes to research and innovation. European Commission, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, July 2020 (pdf)

List of glossaries of gender and diversity-related terms

Do you have any questions or suggestions? Would you like to cooperate with 360°? The team is looking forward to cooperating with all interested parties. Our contact person is Dr. Smillo Ebeling (smillo.ebeling@uni-hamburg.de).

The project “360° – Gender and Diversity in Research” is funded by the BMBF