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The International Postdoc Initiative

In 2016, 50.6% of the students graduating from university in Germany were women. However, in the higher ranks of academic careers, women remain strongly underrepresented. At habilitation level, the figures drop to 30.4% and only 23.4% of tenured professorships in Germany are occupied by female researchers. For technical universities such as the Technische Universität Berlin, the numbers are even lower. STEM fields still fail to attract female students and to keep talented women on an academic career path. Although statistics show gradual improvement in some areas, a lot remains to be done.

The International Postdoc Initiative (IPODI) of the Technische Universität Berlin is part of the gender equality initiative “Wissenschaftlerinnen an die Spitze” that aims at increasing the number of women in leadership positions. Since 2013, IPODI has awarded 30 two-year fellowships at TU Berlin to outstanding female researchers in five international open calls. The program addresses excellent researchers, regardless of their nationality or age, and is open to applications from all fields of research represented at TU Berlin. Researchers returning from periods of international mobility (research outside Germany), mobility between sectors (work in the private sector) or non-academic mobility (e.g. after parental leave) are especially encouraged to apply. The fellowships are announced in internationally open calls for application and awarded through a merit-based international selection process.

From 2013 until June 2018, IPODI is co-funded under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND Programme of the European Commission. Due to the great success of the program, TU Berlin decided to sponsor three additional calls for applications which will continue until 2022. IPODI is also mentioned as a good practice example for the internationalization of research at German universities by the German Rectors´ Conference (learn more).



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