Measures And Materials


Diversity in Research Paper Awards (DIRPA)

The DIRPA call of the Human Brain Project (HBP) invites applications for the Best Diversity in Research Papers, i.e. publications that consider diversity traits such as sex, gender, age, ethnicity, etc. in their specific field of research. Differentiating variables has been recognised to be relevant in brain research, robotics, and AI alike – from the level of stem cells to the reflected usage of data in order to avoid the replication of stereotypes.

You can find all information on the DIRPA in   this document and use this form for submission.

Considering sex/gender has become a requirement by default for the Horizon Europe programme. Examples are outlined in the second “Gendered Innovations” policy report (see also the DIRPA Website).


Diversity in Research and Management

Gender and other diversity aspects are not only important for teamwork but can also be essential elements in scientific research projects leading to additional insights and knowledge or far-reaching results. In line with the European Commission's RRI guidelines and the gender agenda for Horizon 2020, the HBP aims to play a pioneering role in promoting awareness and advancing gender equality in research teams and decision-making, as well as in research content and innovation.

Image: convelop, Karin Grasenick

The HBP supports researchers, especially scientists at an early career stage (Master, PhD, Post-Doc) who integrate new variables and methodological approaches accordingly sex, gender, age, specific diseases etc.).  Differentiating variables has been recognised to be relevant in brain research, robotics, and AI alike - from the level of stem cells to avoiding the replication of stereotypes due to the use of data without reflection.

Additionally, managers of sciences are encouraged to contribute their observations and suggestions on how to enhance equal opportunities within teams and the overall HBP.

The most outstanding and promising ideas and concepts will gain substantial feedback from peers, be presented at the HBP Summit to a large scientific audience and representatives of the European Commission. Registration and travel expenses of award winners will be covered.

Terminology and examples for research and management are explained in this document.

HBP Leaders' Commitment to Equal Opportunities and Inclusiveness

The members of the Science and Infrastructure Board (SIB) endorsed the letter and the attachments, which comprise a vision, the mission to follow the cascade model and a checklist ( link ).

The checklist gives each leader 20 action steps to care about: from reflecting statistics to a fair work distribution in teams and individual career development plans.


Every person with a leadership responsibility is invited to join and sign the letter and choose those aspects from the checklist that can be applied to her or his position. HBP leaders thereby counteract the leaky pipeline and strive to implement the reference model of the HBP: Women and men are expected to be represented at each career level in proportion to the level below.

The initial figures are derived at the level of PhD students and Postdocs, based on ratios from sources like the European SHE FIGURES and/or organisations considered as best practice for each Work Package or Task. If there is a significant difference, the responsible leaders will check closely to try to find the reason. If the reason is discrimination, the HBP will endeavour by all means to fix that.

All HBP leaders are encouraged to sign the letter! Join us, take actions, share your thoughts and suggestions with the Diversity and Equal Opportunities Committee (former Gender Advisory Committee).

HBP Guidelines

For HBP leaders we have summarised a short HBP Leadership Checklist as well as the HBP Recruiting Guidelines for HBP Leaders . The Leaders' Commitment to Equal Opportunities and Inclusiveness is waiting for you to be signed!

For researchers we have summarised the HBP Research Guideline as well as the HBP Publication Guideline .

Early stage researchers might wish to explore the HBP Career Guideline and further material on career planning .


HBP High Potential Mentoring Programme 

Due to its enormous success, the HBP High Potential Mentoring Programme is now carried out for the second time, after it was originally launched on International Women's Day 2019. It was developed by the Diversity and Equal Opportunities Committee (former Gender Advisory Committee) and is designed for early career stage scientists, researchers and managers of science. 

The programme embraces diversity and inclusiveness as it supports both women and men with the aim of improving the gender balance in all disciplines, contributing to the success of the HBP. This includes both scientific work and science management activities, as both are essential elements in a large project like the HBP. The programme design reflects feedback received during the career planning workshops held at the Student Conference in Ghent, Belgium 2019. Held in gender mixed as well as homogeneous discussion groups, participants emphasized the importance of understanding each other in order to overcome gender biases and to share responsibilities and collaborate fairly as a team.

Photo credit: Images from HBP Education workshops and conferences 2018/2019

Mentoring in the HBP is designed as “High Potential Programme” to provide interdisciplinary, cross-organisational support for early career stage scientists, researchers and managers of science. Mentors and Mentees agree on 6-8 (virtual) meetings between August 2020 and May 2021, each no longer than an hour. Voluntary virtual focus groups are offered for mentors and mentees can participate in the Peer Group Mentoring. Additionally, all mentorships are supported by guiding documents (see below).

Additional tools and methods for career development are provided in the Career Planning Presentation and guiding documents. More material will be uploaded soon - stay tuned!

For further info on mentoring, read the blog post on the HBP High Potential Mentoring Programme.
Registration is currently closed. Registration for the next round of the HBP High Potential Mentoring Programme will open in September 2021.
You might also contact Karin Grasenick ( or Julia Trattnig ( directly.

Mentoring Process Materials

Please find a portfolio of all the Mentoring Process Materials here.