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Gender Equality Office

The CFN is dedicated to increasing the female representation across all of its academic levels. Regarding problems, questions, comments, or concerns please contact either of the two CFN Gender Equality Officers, the CFN Administrative Manager, or the CFN Coordinator.


The following specific measures aim at supporting parents with young children:

  • The CFN funds 2 child-care teachers in the “Räuberkiste” (if necessary, the funding level shall be increased). Applications should be directed towards the “Räuberkiste”. In case of problems contact the above CFN officials.
  • KIT and CFN support individuals after maternity leave. Applications and requests can be informal and should be directed towards the above CFN officials.
  • KIT's Diversity-Management Program provides support to KIT employees and students. It offers programs for returning parents after the maternity/ paternity leave, and it also offers financial help and advice to the institute or workgroup leader during employee's pregnancy.
  • CFN provides funds for technician support for potentially harmful laboratory work during pregnancy (e.g., in chemistry or biology laboratories). Applications and requests can be informal and should be directed towards the above CFN officials.
  • CFN provides funds for accompanying persons for child care during conference visits. Applications and requests can be informal and should be directed towards the above CFN officials.


Furthermore, aiming at increasing the CFN awareness of gender-equality issues and uncovering hidden problems, we have started a mentoring program for all female CFN PhD students and postdocs. Each female CFN PhD student or postdoc is encouraged to choose a (CFN) professor as mentor when entering the CFN.


The combination of these measures has already had an impact. For example, the fraction of female CFN professorial principal investigators is larger than 20% (5 out of 24). This fraction can, e.g., be compared favorably to a Germany-wide 9% of female professors (C4) in engineering disciplines or 12% in natural sciences and mathematics (Statistisches Bundesamt, Pressemitteilung Nr. 235, 6.7.2010).  As of April 1st, 2011, 25% of the 146 CFN scientists (PhD students, postdocs, and “Young Scientist Groups”) directly paid by the CFN were female. For comparison, for the winter term 2010/2011, the fraction of female first-year university students (“Erstes Fachsemester”) was 67% for Biology (78 total), 71 % for Chemical Biology (42 total), 34 % for Chemistry (42 total), 13 % for Physics (27 total), and 13 % for Electrical Engineering and Information Technology (39 total). This corresponds to an average of 27 % females (210 out of 768 students total) for the CFN disciplines.


Nevertheless, can still do better. In particular, it becomes clear from the above numbers that we will have to attract more female students entering university. Please help achieving this goal by sharing the excitement of interdisciplinary CFN research with kids and schools. The “girl’s day” is just one option for doing that.



Dr. Ljiljana FrukDr. Ljiljana Fruk

Fon: +49 721 608 45800
Fax: +49 721 608 48496

Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
DFG-Center for Functional Nanostructures
Wolfgang-Gaede-Str. 1a
76131 Karlsruhe, Germany


Dr. Regina Hoffmann-Vogel Dr. Regina Hoffmann-Vogel

Fon: +49 721 608 43515
Fax: +49 721 608 46103

Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
Physikalisches Institut
Wolfgang-Gaede-Str. 1
76131 Karlsruhe, Germany