A multicultural group of three female scientists in a lab, whereas one is showing the two others a  test tube
© Universität Hohenheim / Astrid Untermann
The proportion of female professors has continued to rise steadily since 2016 in Baden-Württemberg.

THE LÄND: Working towards gender equality in science

The German Southwest is supportive of women in science. This is reflected in special support programs by the state of Baden-Württemberg, the success of outstanding female researchers and an increasing share of female professors.

Support programs for women in science

For young female researchers, Baden-Württemberg has instituted the “Margarete von Wrangell program”. The program aims at supporting excellent female post-docs on their way to becoming university professors. The scholarship money is used to fund a position at a university department. The female post-docs also receive special trainings and are invited to networking events. Read here about Montaha Anjass, a female researcher from Palestine who is a Margarete-von-Wrangell-Fellow at Ulm University and the Helmholtz Institute Ulm.

The Mathilde Planck Lectureship Program is aimed at women on their way to professorships at universities of applied sciences, at universities of arts and music, and at the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University. Applications are possible twice a year: Application deadlines are March 1 for the summer semester and September 15 for the winter semester.

Another program which is not specifically directed at women is the elite program for postdocs. With this program, the foundation has been supporting excellent researchers at Baden-Württemberg universities on their way to professorships since 2002. In 2023, 12 of 13 awarded postdocs are women, among them international scientists from Italy, Austria, Ethiopia, Slovakia and Ukraine!

On the rise: Female professors in THE LÄND

The proportion of female professors has continued to rise steadily in Baden-Württemberg: Around 36 percent of newly appointed professors in 2022 were female. This figure has been rising steadily since 2016, when it was 28 percent. Overall, women hold around 23 percent of all professorships in the state. As of 2019, for junior professors with tenure track, the share of women was even 54.2 percent.

Highly ranked and awarded

The "Best Female Scientists in Germany 2022 Ranking" shows that Baden-Württemberg is home to outstanding female scientists: Three female scientists in the top ten are from the German Southwest:

  • Physicist Prof. Dr. Beate Heinemann, University of Freiburg
  • Physicist Prof. Dr. Eva K. Grebel, Heidelberg University
  • Epidemologist Prof. Dr. Jenny Chang-Claude, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)

Or take the Landesforschungspreis of Baden-Württemberg 2022 which recognizes scientists for their outstanding achievements in basic and applied research. Three out of four award winners were women:

  • Prof. Dr. Anke-Susanne Müller, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
  • Dr. Katrin Schmelz, University of Konstanz
  • Dr. Sireen El Zaatari, University of Tübingen

Tip for aspiring researchers: Search our database for PhD positions or even professorships in Baden-Württemberg!

Author: Leonie Rörich