Equal Opportunities Symposium of the RTG 2753

On the 2nd of April 2024, the RTG 2753 organised an Equal Opportunities Symposium, which was open not only to its members, but also to other interested researchers.

The goal of the event was to offer diverse perspectives on the topics of Equal Opportunities in science, with a special focus on the paths of female researchers.

The event, moderated by our student representative Kim Sobania, started with the impulse talks of the four guest speakers. Dr. Uta Wagner, Deputy Equal Opportunity Commissioner of the Universität Hamburg, presented the work of the Equal Opportunities Unit of the UHH in her talk. Dr. Fleur Zeldenrust, from the Donders Center for Neuroscience, shared her experience of following a career as a female scientist in a STEM field, along with some advice on dealing with the pitfalls of a scientific career. The talk of Dr. Arnoud Oude Groote Beverborg, also from the Donders Institute, provided insights into a project on the experiences of first generation students and ways of fostering inclusion in higher education. And finally, Dr. Abdel Rayan, from the Donders Center for Neuroscience, in turn shared the progress of the Radboud Gateway fellowship, which was established to increase diversity and access points to science.

The impulse talks were followed by a panel discussion with all the speakers. The PhD students and postdocs of the RTG prepared a wide range of questions, largely falling under the topics of gender equality in science, ways to support first generation/lower income students, internationality/language barriers in research, challenges for LGBTQIA+ individuals within the scientific community, as well as ways of combining a scientific career with parenthood.

Following the panel discussion, the female participants, including the female guests, had an opportunity to share their concerns, advice and experiences on the challenges for women in academia.

The evening was completed by a dinner, offering an occasion for further informal exchanges between the speakers and the participants. We thank everyone who contributed to this important event!