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Five female scientists at different levels of their career serve as PIs in the RTG. They and the other PIs will function as role models for female and male doctoral candidates. Additionally, our PIs with kids will serve an important educational role to demonstrate the compatibility of family life and top quality research.

Special coaching of female scientists in the framework of different mentoring programs that exist at the UoC for example the Cornelia-Harte Mentoring program will help to overcome obsolete role concepts, both in the still male-dominated scientific environment or the mindset of female doctoral candidates themselves. Such coaching is also available for the (male and female) PIs to address gender-related leadership skills and unconscious bias influencing decision-making. We also support participation in skill training courses that are offered through the GSfBS and address female career advancement. We will ask external (female) scientists whom we invite for example to our seminar series to provide our doctoral candidates with insights into their career and the obstacles that they had to overcome. In this context, we would also like to highlight the Cologne Excellent Women in Science (CEWIS) meeting in which excellent female scientists present their work and career path, and encourage female (and male) doctoral candidates to also pursue a career in science.

All measures are well integrated in the UoC’s Gender and Diversity strategy as the implementation of Diversity Policies and Gender Mainstreaming have been essential structural aims of the UoC for more than a decade.