Diversity and Gender Equality Activities Overview



Gender equality policies foster innovation by including a diverse and often untapped talent pool, whilst balancing task distributions and career opportunities, helping to overcome stereotypes for both women and men regardless of educational background or current position in HBP.

In line with the European Commission's gender agenda for Horizon 2020, the HBP aims to play a pioneering role in advancing gender equality by aiming for a balance between male and female scientists in research teams and decision-making, as well as promoting awareness of gender equality in research and innovation. One of the main challenges will be to increase the number of women in higher-level positions and in education activities.

The HBP began its activities on gender equality in January 2017. During the SGA1 period (April 2016 to March 2018), foundations were laid for a comprehensive and sustainable gender strategy by EAF Berlin.

For SGA2 (April 2018 to March 2020) HBP is supported in this challenging task by convelop, an independent organisation advising clients on diversity and equality in research and innovation.

The Gender equality activities planned include:

  • Support HBP Stakeholders to share a vision on diversity and equality, setting targets, supporting and carrying out own activities.
  • Contributions at conferences with short interventions and interactive sessions, e.g. at the HBP Summit 2018 and the Student Conference 2018.
  • Offering webinars and advice on diversity in teams as well as career building workshops.


WE ARE HBP at the Community Forum

the Category WE ARE HBP (Work for and Engage in Activities and Research for Equality in HBP),
at https://forum.humanbrainproject.eu/ invites an open discussion and feedback on guidelines and planned activities. Ideas and initiatives are also highly appreciated.
You are also welcomed to contact Karin and her team directly:

The activities are coordinated by convelop,

in cooperation with Project Coordination Office in Geneva,
Contact person: Birgit.Schaffhauser-AT-epfl.ch


HBP High Potential Programme for Mentoring  


The Gender Advisory Committee invited researchers to join the High Potential Programme as a mentor or mentee.

The HBP supports equal opportunities and career development regardless of gender, for leadership positions as well as among PhD students and post docs.

Mentoring in the HBP contributes to this goal and is designed as “High Potential Programme” to provide interdisciplinary, cross-organisational support for early career stage scientists and managers of science. Mentors and Mentees agreed on 6-8 (virtual) meetings between April 2019 and February 2020, each no longer than an hour.

Further details are available at


or contact karin.grasenick@convelop.at



Open Call For Diversity

Best Concepts and Ideas for Diversity in Research and Management SGA2

This Call for Expression of Interest (CEoI) is open for members of all HBP Partner Institutions, especially scientists at an early career stage (Master, PhD, PostDoc) and science managers. It invites applications for the following categories in management and science:

1)    Best Ideas and Measures to improve equal opportunities in scientific research teams or in the overall HBP

The HBP will honour the best ideas and measures that focus on improving equal opportunities in various settings; we strive to implement these best practices in the HBP.

2)    Best Scientific Concepts that integrate diversity (planned or ongoing projects and papers considering sex, gender, further intersectional variables like age, specific diseases etc.)

The HBP will honour research concepts for integrating sex, gender and further diversity dimensions in their research design (see also H2020 Guidelines).

Get an Overview, Explore Examples
Participate In the Diversity Open Call

Upcoming Event

Neuroscience, Robotics, AI and Medical Informatics: New insights with diversity & ethics

Graz University of Technology, Austria

Sept. 26, 2019 – Sept. 27, 2019

Workshop of the 3rd HBP Curriculum Workshop Series

In this 2-day workshop, scientists from different fields like neuroscience, robotics, AI and medical informatics will provide you with insights on how they consider variables such as sex, gender, age etc. Additionally, experts in ethics and diversity will introduce you to Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) concepts and their practical application.

Click Here For Further Information

Gender Advisory Committee

The Gender Advisory Committee (GAC) is an advisory body to the Project Coordination Office (PCO) and Directorate (DIR) of the Human Brain Project (HBP).

The Gender Advisory Committee is composed of HBP board members, leaders, scientist, technologists or managers engaged in the work for HBP from different domains. Each board and subproject appoint at least one, preferable two members (a man and a woman) for the GAC, who are chosen for their unique engagement and willingness to contribute. Currently the GAC consists of 24 members.

The Gender Advisory Committee is providing advice and feedback on the Gender Action Plan (GAP) of HBP on activities planned to improve equality in their respective areas of responsibility.

Useful documents and links

Women in Neuroscience Repository is to help you identify and recommend female neuroscientists for conferences, symposia or collaborations.

See the Article Gender bias in (neuro)science that was published on the International Women's Day 2019 about how to ‘debunk the myths’ related to gender bias and to affirmative actions in academia.

Collection of research articles related to diversity and gender at PLOS:

PLOS Editor's Picks: Understanding the Gender Imbalance in STEM Fields

LERU - League of European Research Universities, ADVICE PAPER: Implicit bias in academia: A challenge to the meritocratic principle and to women’s careers – and what to do about it. Jan. 2018, online available at


Article in Neuron: Gender Equality from a European Perspective: Myth and Reality

Icon Salinas and Bagni_2017_Gender equality - myth and reality.pdf (836.8 KB)

HBP Gender Survey flyer:

Icon HBP gender survey_flyer.pdf (2.0 MB)






Past events

3rd HBP Student Conference on Interdisciplinary Brain Research 6-8 Febr. 19

A workshop on career planning will be offered on 8th of February 2019. This workshop for participants of all genders will provide success factors and challenges for scientific and alternative career options; information on expected formal requirements and the importance of networks, informal rules and biases.; opportunities to reflect individual career goals and to build a roadmap on how to get there as well as to learn from sharing experiences with peers.

Dual Use and Responsible Research Conference 15-17th Nov. 2018

Session on Research Design: Exploring the diversity of research objects and target groups

This session will explore how diversity of research objects and/or target groups (that is e.g. differences of sex, age or other physical factors, psychological or societal factors) should be considered in order to improve the probability for robust and innovative findings – and last but not least: funding opportunities. Examples, guiding questions, tools and techniques for diversity research design and content will be presented. RRI context will be provided and discussed.

The Talent Session at the HBP SUMMIT 15-18th Oct. 2018

offered hands on guidelines and support on recruiting and then 'science of team science' with a clear focus on equal opportunities in divers teams, regarding e.g. different disciplines, tasks, cultures, sexes, gender.  


The first HBP conference on Gender and Diversity in March 2018:

A call to action for everyone at HBP” - 1st Gender and Diversity Conference


Best practice interviews

HBP researchers and staff talk about their experience of gender equality issues and what they see as the best practices for the HBP.

"It would be very helpful to learn about the experiences of others and see how they deal with the question of work-life balance." - Anna Luhrs

"In our project management office, for example, we have a much more comfortable, flexible and regulated situation because the boss himself has children." - Ingar Seeman