EUR 600,000 for Hamburg's university projects

"Close the Gap" network for female scientists and first-year students to boost science in Hamburg
22 January 2021
Hauptgebäude UHH

The Ministry for Science has earmarked EUR 600,000 in funds for science in the wake of the corona crisis. Around  EUR 300,000 will fund initiatives that counteract the so-called "Corona Publication Gap". As a result of the pandemic, female scientists have released fewer publications and participate less in research projects due to family and professional double workloads. Another EUR 300,000 will go towards expanded (digital) services for Hamburg's first-year students.

"Close the Gap" for female academics

The joint project will lend more support to female academics with family and care responsibilities from spring 2021. The "Close the Gap" network consists of the University of Hamburg, Hamburg University of Technology (TU), HafenCity University (HCU) Hamburg and the Hamburg University of Music and Theatre (HfMT). Katharina Fegebank, Senator for Science, Research and Equality, commented: "We want to support in particular female scientists, who in the wake of the pandemic, are balancing career and care work every day and often at the expense of their scientific careers, through 'Close the Gap' funding and individual projects by Hamburg’s universities." Other projects entitled "Pay the Time Gap" by the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW) and "Kunst trotz(t) Corona" by the University of Fine Arts (HFBK) are also lending support to female scientists and artists. Their services include e.g. coaching, staff support, work retreats, qualification for online teaching and emergency childcare.

Empty lecture hall at UHH
© UHH/Lutsch
Only digital and instruction and study at present.

More support for first semester support 

The pandemic is presenting challenges for Hamburg's higher education landscape, Fegebank stressed, especially for students in their first semester. These students have to find their way around a new, largely digital study environment. More support especially in terms of digitalization will allow Hamburg's universities to create the conditions for a successful first term, Fegebank added.