GeCo-GenderConsulting (GeCo) is a consultation service that was launched by the Central Women’s Representative of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU Berlin) in 2012. Its goal is to promote women as central stakeholders in research and to ensure that women’s and gender studies form a part of research projects. Establishing family-friendly working conditions for researchers of all genders is a key part of our mission. In doing so, GeCo aims to reshape research alliances at HU Berlin into work environments where gender is not a barrier to success.
In 2022, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft’s (DFG) General Assembly decided to set a focus on diversity in research funding and to push for equal opportunities in science and research from an intersectional perspective. The promotion of diversity is now considered a quality feature of science and has thus become an essential task of the consulting service.
GeCo forms an integral part of the university-wide gender equality strategy, the Caroline von Humboldt+-Programme. It draws on the expertise of the Central Women’s and Equal Opportunities Representative and benefits from professional exchange with gender consultants from universities all over Germany in the Netzwerk GenderConsulting in Forschungsverbünden.
Role and tasks
Evaluating research proposals
GeCo advises researchers at HU Berlin on how to forefront equal opportunity in their funding proposals and design a gender equality and diversity concept that meets all the DFG’s requirements. This includes the following:
- Evaluating the need for support in reaching gender equality and diversity in the prospective research alliance
- Advising on how to integrate gender and diversity as research topics into the research proposal
- Suggesting ideas and strategies for implementing gender equality and diversity measures in the prospective research alliance.
Helping to successfully present your research alliance
Once your proposal has been reviewed and accepted, GeCo offers support for the presentation of gender equality and diversity topics during the DFG’s assessment. This can include participation and feedback in mock inspections as well as actual on-site-visits.
Implementing measures for gender equality and family friendliness
After your research alliance has been set up, GeCo offers guidance on how to make it a more gender-equal, family-friendly as well as a diversity-sensitive working environment. This also means making use of your equal opportunity funds.
GeCo supports research coordinators in the process of implementing target group-specific equal opportunity and diversity measures.
Helping to extend your funding period
GeCo offers support in updating your gender equality and diversity plan for the next funding period. Existing measures will be evaluated and further improved. New measures will be developed if your Research Alliance’s composition and needs have changed.
Benefits for research alliances
Making use of GeCo’s services of GeCo offers the following advantages:
- Helping your project achieve excellence, diversity, and innovation by supporting female researchers, researchers from diverse backgrounds and researchers with children to perform to their full potential
- Creating a family-friendly, diversity-sensitive and gender-equal research project and working environment, and therefore increasing attractiveness to top international researchers
- Reduced coordinator workload
- Increased prospect of positive reviews for subsequent DFG-proposals by showing your engagement in equal opportunity and your proven track record of successfully investing equal opportunity funds
- Drawing on expertise from the Central Women’s and Equal Opportunities Representative, thereby assuring high-quality and HU Berlin-tailored gender equality and diversity measures
- Taking part in HU Berlin’s comprehensive equal opportunity strategy, the Caroline von Humboldt+-programme, under the aegis of the Presidential Committee