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Press Release No. 44 | 5 September 2011
Research-Oriented Standards in Gender Equality: Clear Advances in Implementation

Interim reports by DFG members and evaluations now published on the Internet

The members of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) have made considerable progress in implementing their voluntary commitment to the organisation’s Research-Oriented Standards on Gender Equality. This fact is borne out by the interim reports provided by the member institutions and their evaluations by a working group from the DFG’s General Assembly. These are now published on the DFG’s website and provide comprehensive insights into equal opportunity structures in the German higher education landscape. “Since our first survey in 2009, a great many universities and other research institutions have made tremendous strides,” emphasises DFG Vice President Professor Ferdi Schüth, head of the working group. “Equality is now almost universally recognised as a managerial responsibility and implemented as such.”

In 2008, the overwhelming majority of DFG members decided to introduce and implement the Research-Oriented Standards on Gender Equality. This resolution included a commitment to present a total of three reports on the implementation of structural and personnel measures, in 2009, 2011 and 2013. In 2009, the General Assembly set up the “Research-Oriented Standards on Gender Equality” working group from among its ranks. This working group was charged with evaluating these reports and with supervising and supporting the implementation process.

At the beginning of 2011, the working group received 69 reports from its members for the second round of evaluations. The group evaluated them and assigned each an “Implementation Stage”. These range from Stage 1 – “First steps towards implementation have been taken”, right through to Stage 4 – “An already successful and established concept is being taken further and expanded through additional innovative approaches”. Information on the stage each institution has attained is taken into account in the funding decisions taken on proposals submitted to the DFG’s Coordinated Programmes, i.e. the Excellence Initiative, Collaborative Research Centres and Research Training Groups.

The results of the second reporting round are generally extremely positive, with the number of concepts attaining the highest level increasing from twelve to twenty since the last reporting round. In addition to the RWTH Aachen, the Free University of Berlin, the Humboldt University of Berlin, the University of Bielefeld, the University of Bremen, the University of Duisburg-Essen, the University of Freiburg, the University of Göttingen, the University of Hamburg, the University of Paderborn and the University of Tübingen, this category now includes the following universities: the Technical University of Berlin, the Technical University of Dortmund, the University of Frankfurt am Main, the University of Constance, the University of Münster, the University of Oldenburg, the University of Osnabrück, the University of Siegen, and the University of Trier.

The working group sees potential for improvement by the time the final reports are produced in 2013. The group expects to see even more complete and conclusive data and closer coordination between the institutions’ centralised and decentralised levels. The final reports will be presented to the working group at the beginning of 2013.

Further Information

Information on the Research-Oriented Standards in Gender Equality, as well as the interim reports and their evaluations, can be found at

Contact persons for the “Research-Oriented Standards on Gender Equality” in the Quality Assurance and Programme Development Group at the DFG Head Office:

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