Barriers to participation in scientific life can take many forms. Below are some resources and initiatives to overcome barriers towards greater inclusion.


Scientists with Disabilities
Researchers with disabilities often face considerable barriers to participation in scientific life. We strive to find solutions for individual needs.
In this interview, we hear from Alexandra Tzilivaki, a disabled doctoral student in the neurosciences, and Oliver Mai-Kolerus, program administrator for the Einstein Center for Neurosciences Berlin, about how they overcame nearly insurmountable administrative obstacles for Alexandra to do her PhD in Berlin. (Audio/Text
For support at the Charité, contact the representative for employees with disabilities.
(Photo by K. Mason. From left: K. Mason, A. Tzilivaki, O. Mai-Kolerus)
Support for LGBTQ+ and gender diversity

A diverse research community thrives on the contributions of LGBTQ+ scientists. Through cooperations with local initiatives and activities, we hope to raise the visibility and representation of LGBTQ+ individuals in STEM fields. Below are some initiatives we support:


LGBTQ+ STEM Berlin - network and events

(Gender) Identity and Facilitating Change in Academia in "Science with Milk, No Sugar", a podcast moderated by Franziska Sattler 

Soapbox Science + LGBTQ+ STEM Berlin @ Berlin Science Week


Inclusive Language

The way we use language can reinforce or counteract stereotypes about which groups of people are best suited to a given professional field. For example, studies have shown that using the masculine form for job titles (e.g. the German masculine term “Wissenschaftler” to mean all scientists) influences perceptions of the job as typically male.

Further, we can support greater inclusion of LGBTQ+ colleagues, e.g. by using people’s correct pronouns (he/she/they or neo-pronouns) and symbols acknowledging a non-binary spectrum of gender identities (e.g. women*, Wissenschaftler*innen, Wissenschaftler:innen, etc.). Moreover, the symbol *, while not completely barrier-free, is currently the most accepted gender-inclusive symbol among people who use screenreaders.

For resources supporting a more inclusive use of language for science and academia, see Action Potential #4.