Gender Equality in Academia and Research
Comprehensive funding support scheme for parents at German RFO (DE)
The Volkswagen Foundation, a private research funding organisation in Germany, has developed a comprehensive funding support scheme for parents. Although it is directed to parents of either sex, also including adopting parents, it has a clear gender sensitive approach, aiming at lowering the burden and career cost of parenting for early career female researchers. Funding is available for male or female researchers raising one or more children. As a second prerequisite, the supplementary funds are restricted to funding initiatives and calls specifically targeted at young researchers submitting applications for the funding of their own positions, in particular postdoctoral positions, and W1 professorships in Germany. During maternity and/or parental leave the current legal provisions shall apply. The end of the project will be shifted accordingly. After prior consultation with the Foundation, part-time employment combined with a proportional project prolongation is possible. If during parental leave and with the prior consent of the Foundation, it is considered indispensable for achieving the project targets, an appropriate replacement (e.g. research assistant) may be hired. Any additional costs thereby incurred may be claimed in a substantiated post-application, always assuming a cost-neutral budget reallocation is not possible. An allowance for child care may be paid from the grant for children no older than twelve. The amount depends on the number of children and is set as follows: For a single child EUR 400 per month. For each additional child the allowance is increased by EUR 100 per month. Within the context of funding initiatives involving long research stays in another country (minimum six months), the Volkswagen Foundation may assume the costs of flights for grantees as well as return flights for children and the grantee’s partner. Alternatively, in the event that the grantee travels alone, it is possible to apply for one return trip home during the stay.