BMBF Project GesMINT


Development of Competence and Structures for Gender-Sensitive STEM Research at RWTH Aachen University

GesMINT Logo © RWTH Aachen University

In STEM research, Gender aspects are still not being considered sufficiently. The GesMINT project, funded by the BMBF under the guideline "Geschlechteraspekte im Blick" (that is: Gender Aspects in Focus), intends to address precisely this point and ensure the creation and further development of competencies and structures regarding the gender dimension in STEM research at RWTH Aachen University.


*** AKTUELL: Empfehlungen des Wissenschaftsrates (07/2023) ***


    Why taking the gender dimension into account in research?

    Gender biases in research interfere with both the equal participation of the sexes in research and the validity of the research results themselves. Gender-dependent differences - for example in the mode of action of pharmaceuticals, in the development of crash test dummies or bulletproof vests, etc. - remain unknown in this way or are not taken into account, although they could have had a decisive influence on the research results or could have prevented serious consequences for the life and limb of women in their application.
    It is not only important who does the research, but also how it is done, in order to exclude gender bias or differences as well as one-sidedness in the research.

    Positions of the EU and the DFG

    Already in its 7th Research Framework Programme (2007-2013), the European Union developed a toolbox and a portfolio of trainings to support researchers in making their research gender-sensitive. As can be seen in the current Horizon Europe Guidance on Gender Equality Plans (2021), "gender dimensions in research" (Directorate-General for Research and Innovation 2021) will be a mandatory component for the review of all research proposals.

    The DFG has also positioned itself with the statement of its Senate "Relevance of Gender and Diversity" of April 2020. RWTH Aachen University shares the conviction of the German Research Foundation (DFG) that the consideration of gender and diversity in research is part of good scientific practice (DFG 2020). This is the only way to generate generalisable and reliable research results. This is both the mission and the self-image of RWTH Aachen University as an integrated technical university and university of excellence.

    Objectives of the GesMINT project

    • Raising awareness of the gender dimension in (MINT) research, building on the expertise already available at RWTH Aachen University
    • Provision of suggestions, knowledge, resources for competence and structural development
    • Conception and implementation of cross-departmental strategies for the universal consideration of gender in STEM research contexts
    • Establishment of sustainable structures and networks at RWTH Aachen University

    GesMINT - Project Phases and Processes

    In the conceptual phase of the project, there was conducted an inventory of the processes and structures that already sensitize for the consideration of gender aspects in research at RWTH Aachen University. Within the framework of a strengths and weaknesses analysis, not only the gender consulting service and the activities of the professorships with gender and diversity denomination were taken into account, but also the status quo in the STEM subject groups at RWTH. Based on the results, concrete measures for a following implementation phase were developed.

    Duration of the conceptual phase: July 1, 2022 - January 31, 2023

      Logo "Sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research" with eagle and German flag

    The project is sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research under funding code 01FP22G22.