Many members of our research network pursue their scientific careers while taking care of family responsibilities, as symbolically illustrated here by nephrologist Prof Stefan Reuter and molecular biologist Dr Helena Block: They are out on business at our University, using their bicycles which are also equipped to transport their children.
© WWU/Marcus Heine

Reconciling a scientific career and family life: Support for parents in our research network

One of the main focuses of our equal opportunity strategy is making it easier for scientists to balance work life and family life. Whenever possible, for example, we schedule meetings and events outside school vacations and at family-friendly times of day. We try to design support measures so that they are as flexible and practical as possible and are always open to feedback and ideas from our members about how we can work together to make our scientific workplace more family-friendly.

We also run selected activities with the aim to place specific emphasis on the equal status of men and women, both in their taking on of family tasks and in shaping their careers. Equal family roles are not yet a matter of course in society, which can make it difficult for both sexes to combine family life with an academic career. We would like to provide support in overcoming the associated hurdles and contribute to this cultural change.

  • Lab aids and student assistants during pregnancy, parental leave and in the daily work routine

    We support researchers on parental leave or during pregnancy by funding technical staff and student assistants. Furthermore, members with family responsibilities can apply for assistance that will relieve them of their workload.

  • Family support for business trips

    We offer individual support to members with family responsibilities to enable their active participation in meetings and conferences outside Münster. Please reach out to discuss your specific needs.

  • Childcare during events and in emergencies

    In cooperation with the Family Service Office at the University of Münster, we offer childcare during network events with the family service “pme” – either on-site or at home, depending on your needs. The Family Service Office also offers backup childcare options during school vacations, in case of illness and other emergencies.