Get visible and confident for an academic career in science

Target Audience: Female Scientist (advanced PhD and PostDoc level) in DFG funded projects

Female scientists continue to be underrepresented in academic medicine and life sciences. Recent studies support the notion of the so called leaky pipeline i.e. that the proportion of women declines at every career step, including promotion to full professorship. Female scientists also earn lower salaries, receive fewer research grants, and receive fewer citations than their male colleagues. The reasons for the underrepresentation of female scientists are complex. On the one hand, research has shown that discrimination, biased resource allocation, or outright exclusion are causes of slower career progress. A recent retrospective observational study published in the British Medical Journal suggests that another mechanism that may contribute to these gender gaps is differences in the extent to which women promote their research accomplishments relative to men. Identifying gender differences in how research is self-presented is important given. Considering that visible research productivity is central to career progress in the academic life sciences and medicine, affecting hiring, promotion, pay, and funding decisions identifying and reflecting gender differences in how research is presented. The participants of this workshop will reflect their own perception and communication style. Structural circumstances will be examined and male and female communication patterns compared. Using elements of drama-based training, the participants will learn how to gain and project more inner strength in difficult situations with the help of their body and voice.
Various roles and power structures will be analyzed, and the participants will get a range of tactics at their disposal enabling them to respond appropriately to provocations and unfair behavior. They will have the opportunity to practice confident appearance in situations that are relevant to them. The feedback of the group, of the trainer and of a male counterpart will allow the participants to compare and adjust self-perception with outside perception. They will thus learn to use their strengths with purpose and to assert themselves.

Key topics include:


  • Different levels of communication
  • Hierarchies, male and female commnication patterns
  • Self-reflective exercise: body language, voice, delivering messages
  • Drama based communication techniques, assertiveness, how to respond to resistance
  • Interactive training of communication techniques in various environments
  • Dealing with difficult situations, power structures

Methods: Introduction to theories of communication, group work, role play, theatrical performance exercises

Facilitator: Dr. Kristina Böhlke (KEPOS)