Equal Opportunity

The advancement of women is an important goal within the NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering. A progressive model to expand the integration of women in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) will be developed and pursued in order to attract and retain active female scientists for academic careers.

Equal gender participation in Life Sciences is within reach at the PhD level. However, it is far more difficult to achieve in more technical oriented disciplines. In addition, at the advanced career levels (postdoc, assistant and senior professorships) female candidate pools become smaller and dual career opportunities are more difficult to implement. To improve the gender balance, support from institutional services in equal opportunities is offered by Universities. Nevertheless, the NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering wants to show more commitment and actively develops its own activities to encourage and support women to join and pursue a promising career in STEM.

Information is crucial

In the hectic of the daily student and researcher life it is sometimes difficult to look for up-to-date information on specific subjects. Therefore, this website will provide information about relevant external and internal equal opportunity related programs such as calls for fellowships and mentoring opportunities and support measures for childcare.

Another initiated measure is the financial support of a peer mentoring community platform comprised of female PhD students and postdocs. This group is organizing diverse informal (e.g. bi-monthly lunches) and formal events and workshops to provide skills and knowledge vital to its members to successfully master early academic careers. An important aspect is to share experiences with other female graduates and undergraduates and to invite female role models as guest speakers willing to share their career experiences with their younger female peers.

Active recruitment of female scientists

Every effort will be made to recruit additional female researchers at all levels among candidates with equal qualifications. Career breaks due to parental leave will not be regarded as a disadvantage in the selection process.

So far, the NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering includes four female project leaders: Nikola Biller-Andorno, Catherine Housecroft, Cornelia Palivan and Viola Vogel. With the aim of improving the gender balance for project leaders, the following measures will be implemented:

  • Advertisements to specifically encourage applications by females to join an environment that supports scientists with families.
  • A proactive recruitment process with search committees identifying outstanding female scientists.
  • The University of Basel and ETH Zurich, the two home institutions of the NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering, both offer dual career programs at various levels and will provide support whenever possible.

Peer Mentoring Community

Read more  about the peer mentoring community platform for female PhD students and postdocs of this NCCR, and find out about their upcoming meetings.