Gender Equality in Topoi

The equality of women and men in academics is an important concern of the Excellence Cluster Topoi and its supporting institutions. Since 1993 and 1994, The Freie Universität and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin have, pursuant to applicable funding guidelines, committed to contribute to the realization of this fundamental legal requirement. Topoi committees and administrators are pursing this goal in close cooperation with the accountable administrators of both universities. An overview of the legal requirements, the measures currently being taken and other important information regarding the equality of women and men can be found on the websites of the central gender equality officers of the FU and HU.

Central Equality Officers

Central Gender Equality Officer of the Freien Universität Berlin
Central Gender Equality Officer of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin


Equal Opportunity Measures in Topoi

Topoi promotes equal opportunities for female academics and employees within the framework of its personnel and financial capabilities through diverse means. The programs pursue two goals simultaneously: the support of individual women, for example through scholarship grants, and the modification of the Cluster’s internal structure, for example by increasing the number of female academics through a dynamic employment policy.

Employment Policy

Topoi aims to thoroughly integrate women into the research conducted within the Excellence Cluster. The integration process necessarily begins with a proactive search for suitable female candidates, who are then approached by the Cluster. To enlarge the scope of the dual-career solutions we offer, close cooperation with other Berlin academic institutions is being pursued. Qualified female academics are also assisted along the path to habilitation by the Berlin universities’ successful ProFiL Program, which is supported by Topoi.

At the same time, emphasis is placed on the integration and encouragement of young people in academia. Young women in particular are encouraged to continue pursuing the academic careers they’ve begun in Topoi. Likewise, support is provided for male academics with families. Target funds and specific tools furthering the compatibility of family and career contribute to this goal, e.g. a comprehensive childcare service.

Compatibility of family and career

The compatibility of family and career is an important issue for young academics. Within the framework of the means provided for by the DFG, Topoi offers support particularly for young mothers and fathers pursuing doctoral programs. We are happy to discuss questions regarding individual support options in person.


Childcare services are implemented in cooperation with the facilities of both supporting universities. The central concern is to ensure flexible childcare and to allow mothers and fathers to participate in all Topoi events. We are happy to resolve all problems and issues with you on an individual basis.

Examples can already be provided of Topoi’s successful support of female academics: since 2008, half of all doctoral scholarships have been awarded to women. The proportion of women in the new research staff appointments amounts to 56 percent.


Recruiting, Scholarships and Fellowships in Topoi from 2008 to 2010 by gender

Recruiting, Scholarships and Fellowships in Topoi from 2008 to 2010 by gender




Beate Deppe
Exzellenzcluster 264 Topoi
Phone: +49 30 838-57276




Family Office of the Freie Universität Berlin
Family Office of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Daycare Centre for Berlin Institutions of Higher Education
ProFiL –  Berlin Program for the Professionalisation of Women in Research and Teaching
Continuing education program of the Freien Universität Berlin
Continuing education program of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Central Office for Women and Gender Studies at the Freien Universität Berlin
Centre for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies at the Humboldt-Universität Berlin
CEWS – Competence Centre for Women in Science and Research
DFG – The German Research Foundation