Close the Gap—Research and Family Life during Corona
Close the Gap—background
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated society's already-existing inequalities, and it has not spared academia. Here too, we find structural inequalities that have a substantial effect on academic career paths and which have only become greater through the pandemic, including inequalities regarding social background, migration history, and questions of gender and work-life balance in particular. These inequalities are currently most apparent with regard to a pandemic-related reduction in publication activity and fewer research project applications from women researchers. (inter alia, Viglione 2020; Zimmer 2020)
The Close the Gap project, funded by the Ministry of Science, Research, Equalities and Districts (BWFGB), aims to address these pandemic related effects. Male academics are also addressed about the challenges involved in balancing work and family life.
Measures as part of the Close the Gap project
A range of measures are offered as part of the project as of spring 2021:
- discretionary funds, for example for staff support
- emergency childcare
- qualification impulse for online teaching
- awareness training workshops for decision makers
- work retreat
In addition, a cross-university network will be initiated to serve as an exchange platform between experienced and early career researchers which will run until December 2022 to promote involvement. A range of events are offered as part of the network.
The Close the Gap network will kick off alongside another event on equal opportunity against the backdrop of shutdowns, gaps, and working from home on 23 April 2021 from 10 am–12 noon.