Gender Equality Plan

1. Introduction

"Horizon Europe sets gender equality as a crosscutting principle and aims to eliminate gender inequality and intersecting socio-economic inequalities throughout research and innovation systems, including by addressing unconscious bias and systemic structural barriers"

(European Union, 2021).

Starting in 2022, the European Commission expects a Gender Equality Plan (GEP) as a criterion for public bodies, research organisations and higher education establishments to be eligible for funding under the Horizon Europe Framework Programme for Research and Innovation 2021-2027.

The University of Bamberg endorses this initiative and embraces its aims.

2. Gender Equality Policy at the University of Bamberg

The University of Bamberg’s Equal Opportunity Concept

The University of Bamberg is pursuing an active equal opportunities policy as part of its mission  and of its statutory obligations under Articles 22 and 23 of the Bavarian State’s university legislation. It has gradually developed its services and advisory structures for the advancement of gender equality to a high standard. It has established support services for various career stages and accepted gender equality as a constant challenge for the entire institution (see below).

The University of Bamberg has a joint equal opportunity concept for both academic faculty and administrative staff. The concept was passed by the University of Bamberg’s Senate on 17 July 2019. It contains an analysis of the current situation, from which the goals and measures for equal opportunities for men and women are derived and which are to be implemented over the next five years when this important document will be reviewed and updated.

Not only are equal opportunities for men and women a crucial part of our mission, but they also constitute an important part of our statutory and regulatory obligations and commitments based on (amongst others):

  • Articles 1-3 of the German Basic Law (constitution)
  • Articles 100, 101 and 118(2) of the Bavarian Constitution
  • Paragraphs 3 and 6 of the Federal Framework Act for Universities (Hochschulrahmengesetz)
  • Articles 22 and 23 of the Bavarian Universities Innovation Act (Bayerisches Hochschulinnovationsgesetz)
  • the Bavarian Act on the Equality of Women and Men (Bayerisches Gleichstellungsgesetz)
  • the European Commission’s Gender Equality Strategy for 2020-2025
  • the German Research Foundation’s (DFG’s) DFG Research-Oriented Equity and Diversity Standards
  • the fifth part of the Statutes (Grundordnung) of the University of Bamberg

3. Mandatory GEP Content Areas under Horizon Europe

Compliance with the Horizon Europe GEP criteria for eligibility involves four mandatory requirements:

  1. The GEP must be a formal document published on the institution’s website, signed by the top management and actively communicated within the institution.
  2. A GEP must have dedicated resources and expertise in gender equality to implement the plan.
  3. The organisation must provide sex/ gender disaggregated data and monitoring on personnel and students with annual reporting based on indicators.
  4. The GEP must include training and awareness-raising actions on gender equality.

Public document

The University’s current Equal Opportunity Concept was adopted by the University’s Executive Board and Senate in 2019 for the duration of five years. The document guides policies and practice across the institution and sets several objectives for the period 2019-2024. These include:

  • Creating a culture of respect in all areas of institutional activity
  • Creating equal opportunities for men and women in work and study throughout the University
  • Enhancing the family-friendliness for work and study across the University
  • Working towards equal representation of men and women in the University’s governance bodies across all levels
  • Where women are currently under-represented, increasing the share of women in academic and non-academic positions significantly
  • Enhancing awareness of deficits regarding equal opportunities among senior management, persons in academic leadership positions and in the University’s human resources division.

The Equal Opportunity Concept is available in German and, in slightly less detail, in English.

Dedicated resources

The University of Bamberg introduced the office of a dedicated Vice President for Diversity and International Affairs in 2020. The Vice President acts as a Champion for gender equality in the University’s Executive Board and oversees the implementation of the strategy set out in the Equal Opportunity Concept and the Gender Equality Plan.

Traditionally the University has supported a system of Equal Opportunities Officers for Academic Faculty (“Gleichstellungsbeauftragte”) at the University and Faculty levels and a central Equal Opportunities Officer for its non-academic staff.

The University provides resources to support these officers. The most important resource is the Academic Equal Opprtunity Office (Gleichstellungsbüro Wissenschaft) where two highly qualified members of administrative staff support the work of the Equal Opportunities Officers for Academic Faculty at the University and Faculty levels. The Academic Equal Opportunity Office also provides numerous further resources to advance equal opportunities between men and women and to provide advice and training. In 2021, the University has also appointed a dedicated Anti-Discrimination Officer.


The University of Bamberg is using a range of formats to offer gender equality training and awareness-raising activities for staff and students. These workshops are generally in German and include:

  • Frauen und Führung (Women and Leadership)
  • Frauen und Macht (Women and Power)
  • Frauen und Ressourcen (Women and Resources)
  • Frauen und Strategie (Women and Strategy)
  • Führungsanforderungen im Wissenschaftsbetrieb (Requirements for Leadership in the Academic Profession)
  • Gleichberechtigte Elternschaft (Equity in Parenthood)
  • Die Welt als Bühne (The World as Stage)
  • Wie werde ich Professorin? (How Do Women Become Professors?)
  • PR in eigener Sache (Self-Promotion)
  • Rhetorik und Kommunikation im Universitätsalltag (Rhetoric and Communication in Daily University Business)
  • Von der Idee zum Projektantrag (Developing Ideas into Funded Project Applications)
  • Strategische Karriereplanung (Strategic Career Planning)
  • Einfluss gewinnen: Gestaltungsmöglichkeiten für das Amt der Frauenbeauftragten (Gaining Influence: Opportunities Arising from the Position of Equal Opportunities Officer for Academic Faculty)
  • Coaching für Fakultätsfrauenbeauftragte (Coaching for Equal Opportunities Officers at the Faculty Level)

In addition to these workshops targeted exclusively at women (especially at early career stages), the Graduate Centre Trimberg Research Academy (TRAc) specialises in individual advice to doctoral and post-doctoral researchers, many of which are highly relevant to women.

International female scholars without knowledge of German are offered tailored advice on workshops and courses in English and other languages on a regular basis.

Data collection and monitoring

Each year, the University of Bamberg publishes its President’s Management Report including data on all categories of staff categories and students disaggregated by gender.

Access the 2021 report in German here(684.2 KB).

The data are monitored by the Bavarian State Ministry for Science and Art and provide the basis for regular internal discussions between the University’s Equal Opportunities Officers for Academic Faculty and the University’s Executive Board about the University’s performance regarding the targets set out in the "Equal Opportunity Concept”.

In 2022 the University adopted a new structure for an annual data monitoring exercise based on the "cascade model" which serves as a basis for the University’s management strategy. This means that the proportion of women on a particular career level should be at least equal to the proportion of women on the level immediately below (e.g., percentage of women among professorial staff in a subject ≥ the percentage of women among junior academic staff [e.g., lecturers] ≥ percentage of female graduate students ≥ percentage of female undergraduate students).

These reports – published and analysed as management dashboards in the University’s data warehouse – constitute the first stage of an annual cycle of gender monitoring. The data provide the foundation for subsequent stages of the cycle, especially regular consultations between the University’s Executive Board and the officers responsible for equal opportunities of academic faculty and administrative staff. Moreover, the University’s gender monitoring constitutes the foundation for its Equal Opportunity Concept and the President’s Annual Management Report.

4. Recommended GEP content areas

Information about the University of Bamberg's work in the thematic areas recommended by Horizon Europe can be found here:

Work-life balance and organisational culture

Family-friendly working conditions for students and staff

The University of Bamberg has established numerous services to support persons with care responsibilities while studying or working. This includes counselling, training and awareness-raising as well as childcare facilities. In 2002, the University of Bamberg was successfully audited as a family-friendly university by the Hertie Foundation for the first time. After several successful re-audits, the charitable Foundation was satisfied to award the status of a family-friendly university on a permanent basis.


The University awards several annual prizes recognizing students with care responsibilities and staff or students contributing to an organizational culture that celebrates diversity. These prizes are awarded at the University’s Annual Celebration (Dies Academicus) in the presence of members of the University, regional and local politicians, representatives of civil society and the local media. They are, thus, a highly visible recognition of outstanding achievements in this area. This helps to raise awareness and disseminate good practice.

Gender balance in leadership and decision-making

The University endeavours to achieve gender balance in leadership and decision making at all levels. It recognises that there is still some way to go. Structural obstacles are discussed in regular meetings of the University’s Executive Board and the Equal Opportunities Officers for Academic Faculty.

The Academic Equal Opportunity Office has successfully organized “Female Leadership Curriculum“ and the "Imposter Workshops".

Gender equality in recruitment and career progression

Recruitment of professors

In line with its statutory obligations, the University of Bamberg has formulated procedures to ensure equal opportunities for men and women in the recruitment of professors. These standards are part of the appointment regulations. This includes gender equality as an overriding quality criterion in selection procedures, the representation of women on selection committees and the guaranteed participation and rights of Equal Opportunities Officers for Academic Faculty. The University's Executive Board and Senate monitor that gender-equitable quality standards are consistently applied in all selection procedures at the University.

The Equal Opportunities Officers for Academic Faculty have had significant input into the University’s rules of procedure and further guidelines for the appointment of professors.

Academic career development

The University’s Academic Equal Opportunity Office is responsible for several programmes supporting the career development and progression of women across all career stages focusing on women in post-graduate and post-doctoral positions.

 The University’s Equal Opportunities Officer for Academic Faculty, in conjunction with the Academic Equal Opportunity Office, have created a structured support programme of scholarships and mentorships to provide female early-career researchers with better access to financial and social assistance that helps them reach their academic goals. These programmes are designed in a flexible manner to aid early-career researchers at a critical juncture in their careers. This includes:

  • The CatchUP programme introduced during the Corona Pandemic to support female researchers with care responsibilities
  • PUSh is an award for female students with outstanding Masters theses. This prize is awarded by the University’s Equal Opportunities Officers for Academic Faculty to support females starting an academic career
  • After starting a PhD Program, female early-career researchers are supported by a mentoring programme. The Female Researcher Network (FeRNet) for early-career researchers is an interdisciplinary opportunity for networking, mentoring relationships, strategic career planning, and strengthening one's self-perception as an academic.
  • At the post-doctoral stage of female careers, SPOT offers a platform for advanced early-career researchers to showcase their work by supporting their efforts to organize a conference at University of Bamberg—an opportunity that is especially important for female researchers with small children, who often face severe obstacles to participating in international conferences due to high organizational demands.
  • The programme Step-by-Step aims to support early-career researchers through every step of their academic careers from their doctorate to the post-doctoral phase (including the phase after their "habilitation") through short term scholarships. It is the aim to bridge the transitions between the different stages of an academic career, thus preventing a so-called leaky pipeline.

Integration of gender dimensions into research and teaching content


In 2022 the University of Bamberg’s Equal Opportunities Officer for Academic Faculty, Professor Astrid Schütz, successfully applied for funds from the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research to establish the project GENIAL, which aims to strengthen gender-sensitivity in research across the entire spectrum of research areas at the University. The funds will help to develop gender-sensitive research designs and research methods into a major element of the University’s strategic research profile.


Since 2021, the University has provided an online handbook of modules relevant to the study of gender and diversity, the Course Catalogue Gender & Diversity. This handbook makes teaching activities in this area visible, raises awareness and helps disseminate good practice in the way issues of gender equality can be integrated in subject-specific academic teaching content. Not least, the University awards an annual Diversity Prize, which can be awarded for outstanding achievements in the teaching of gender and diversity.

Measures against gender-based violence, including sexual harassment

In 2021, the University established an Anti-Discrimination Office. The trained Anti-Discrimination Officer provides crucial individual advice and supports the Vice President for Diversity and International Affairs in overseeing the implementation of the University's "Guidelines for the Prevention of Harassment, Discrimination, Bullying and Stalking: Respecting Boundaries" adopted by the University’s Senate in 2017.

This version of the GEP was passed by the University of Bamberg’s Executive Board (Universitätsleitung) on 16 November 2022.

The GEP is regularly updated by: Frauenbüro Universität Bamberg