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Diversity in the Cultures of Physics: Summer Schools

Diversity in the Cultures of Physics - A European Summer School Series for Women Physicists: A bilateral exchange programme for women physicists who aspire to a PhD.

One of the central activities of the transnational network was organizing a annual international summer school series for female physicists transitioning from Undergraduate/Master programmes to a PhD study. Every year two Summer Schools were held, each of them in two different countries.

In a four week programme in two countries the participants got the opportunity to:

  • gain an insight into the variety of research fields of women physicists in Europe
  • establish contacts which may result in future collaborations and stays abroad while pursuing their graduate work
  • get to know the professional networks in physics
  • learn about national and international equality oriented advancement programs for young female scientists
  • become familiar with work place cultures of physics in actual cultural, political and everyday context
  • learn about equality politics at European universities and research institutions
  • learn about the role of gender and diversity in physics
  • recognize and explore the diversity in the cultures of physics.

The Summer School buildt on, intensified and initiated networks on several levels:

  • peer to peer between the participants
  • international between the participating universities
  • transgenerational between the students and the involved teachers
  • interdisciplinary between scholars from physics and gender studies
  • between physicists and equality officers and representatives from funding institutions.

In each country the programme included the following events:

  • Lectures and visits to research groups in the Physics Department of the university
  • Visits to other research institutions and universities in the region
  • Contacts to equality-oriented institutions and activities at the universities and cooperating institutions as well as in the national associations and foundations,
  • Lectures and discussions on gender & science studies.

As part of the annual Summer Schools a curriculum for a bilateral transnational summer school for female physics students was developed by the Strategic Partnership. It is directed at actors at physics departments who want to initiate and run such a summer school programme. The curriculum consists of four core pillars of modules: 1) research stays at physics departments; 2) visits to physics research institutions; 3) empowerment and gender equality policy; 4) gender studies and physics. One can also find examples for schedules of binational summer schools as they were implemented during the Strategic Partnership in order to give an impression of how summer school schedules can be designed.

The curriculum has been used and evaluated in each round of the summer school series. You can find the document as a pdf-file here.

The creation of these resources has been (partially) funded by the ERASMUS+ grant program of the European Union under grant no. 2016-1-DE01-KA203-002918. Neither the European Commission nor the project's national funding agency DAAD are responsible for the content or liable for any losses or damage resulting of the use of these resources.