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Press Release No. 16 | 7 May 2014
Examples of Best Practice in Promoting Gender Equality

Relaunch of the ‘Instrumentenkasten’ Portal / DFG Commitment to Equal Opportunities in Research and Academia

With its relaunch of the German-language website "Instrumentenkasten" (toolbox), the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) once again underlines its commitment to equal opportunities and gender equality in research and academia. Speaking on the launch of the website, DFG Secretary General Dorothee Dzwonnek said: "We must send strong signals to counter the discrimination of women in research, which is not only unfair but a waste of considerable intellectual potential."

The portal at www.instrumentenkasten.dfg.de (available only in German) offers a wide-ranging collection of quality-assured examples intended to promote equal opportunities in research and academia. The searchable database is an important component in the "Research-Oriented Standards on Gender Equality" approved in 2008 by the General Assembly of the DFG. By entering into this voluntary commitment, the DFG member organisations defined structural and personnel standards for a sustainable equality policy in the research and university community. From 2009 to 2013, one of the working groups set up by the General Assembly of the DFG reviewed the ideas for gender equality submitted by the member organisations, facilitated their implementation and monitored their progress.

The common goal of the "Research-Oriented Standards on Gender Equality" is to significantly increase the proportion of women at all academic career levels on the basis of the “cascade” model, which sets out targets for the proportion of women at each career level based on the proportion of women at the next lower level.

The General Assembly decided in 2013 to technically enhance and revise the content of the toolbox. In addition, it was decided that proposals for the DFG coordinated programmes (Collaborative Research Centres and Research Training Groups) now include precise details of the female researchers involved and their levels of qualification. Each university will also be asked to submit annual figures on gender equality to the DFG.

Further Information

Media contact:

DFG programme contacts:

Quality Assurance and Programme Development Division:

The DFG’s Instrumentenkasten:

Detailed information on equal opportunities and activities undertaken by the DFG can be found at: