Gender, Diversity and Inclusion


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Diversity and Inclusion in Teams

Diversity in Research

In this training, we present the intersectional approach to enhance gender equality and inclusiveness in the Human Brain Project and offer a collection of materials for career planning and mentoring of researchers in the early stages of their careers.

Gender and other diversity aspects are not only important for teamwork but are also essential as research content. In scientific research projects, taking these elements into consideration can lead to additional insights and knowledge and even far reaching results. In line with the European Commission's RRI guidelines and the gender agenda for Horizon 2020, the Human Brain Project 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. Given that diversity in teams is one of the essential requirements for innovation and success, EBRAINS should serve as a European lighthouse example for inclusive interaction and collaboration.

This training resource presents the intersectional approach to enhance gender equality and inclusiveness in the Human Brain Project. Our measures for diversity include dimensions protected by law as well as scientific, organisational and individual dimensions such as field of expertise, role, or cultural background. We also offer a collection of materials for career planning and mentoring of researchers in the early stages of their career.

Diversity and Inclusion in Teams

Want to learn how to contribute to an inclusive working environment and get insights into different aspects related to interaction, collaboration, and leadership? These resources should help you consider gender and diversity and counteract discrimination. Not only is this considered a moral and ethical requirement but it also reduces turnover rates and raises interest of potential contributors to join and collaborate by attracting and retaining highly qualified personnel and partners. In addition, an inclusive work environment is an essential requirement for innovation and contributes to a positive perception of an organization or project. 

The presentation provides insights into different aspects for research teams and leaders:

  • Awareness of biases and their impact, respectful interaction, inclusive collaboration 
  • Understanding of individual diversity traits, the impact on how we perceive others and are perceived by others
  • Learning about different working styles, values and norms and their impact on collaboration 
  • Contributing to mutual beneficial interactions in diverse virtual teams 
  • Knowing whom to turn to in case of explicit biases or discrimination 
  • Creating inclusive working conditions, especially for virtual teams

Download the presentation:  Diversity in Teams

More Resources on Inclusion in Teams

Guidelines, Measures and Materials for Diversity and Equal Opportunities
EDI Toolkit for Supporting Diversity in Research Teams

Resources for Career Planning and Mentoring

The Human Brain Project offers an HBP Career Guideline and a Publication Guideline, dedicated to Early Stage Researchers. For support on how to navigate careers in academia, we suggest you take a look at the HBP Career Planning Presentation. We provide guiding documents with additional tools and methods for career development. These materials for mentoring can be used by anyone, from scientists and engineers to managers, where the latter often includes a majority of women. For further information on mentoring in the Human Brain Project, we suggest you read the blog post Who needs a Mentor? The High Potential Mentoring Programme of the HBP and take a look at the portfolio of all the Mentoring Process Materials

The material will help you:

In the Human Brain Project, we have encouraged leaders to use the HBP Leadership Checklist as well as the HBP Recruiting Guidelines for Leaders. The material supports leaders in counteracting the leaky pipeline and implementing the reference model of the project: women and men are expected to be represented at each career level in proportion to the level below.

Diversity in Research

Considerations of sex, gender, age, ethnicity, culture and other diversity aspects has been recognized as relevant for new scientific insights, and have become a default requirement for projects within the Horizon Europe programme. The Human Brain Project has supported researchers, especially scientists at an early career stage, in their work to integrate new variables and methodological approaches according to sex, gender, age, specific diseases, and other diversity parameters. Differentiating results on the basis of these variables has been recognised as relevant in brain research, robotics, and AI alike - from research on stem cells to avoiding the replication of stereotypes when using data without reflecting on presumptions. 

These Diversity in Research training resources explore diversity definitions, how diversity can be incorporated in research design and practices, and interdisciplinary research. They will help you:

  • Increase your awareness of biases and their impact on scientific priorities and findings (which priorities are set, male bodies as norm, female as deviations, missing data on minorities)
  • Understand the definitions of gender, diversity, intersectionality and how to operationalise them in specific fields of science
  • Learn how to apply gender and diversity in project design and research processes


Diversity in Brain Research: Does It Matter? 

Biology, different social factors and culture play an important role in shaping the brain. The Human Brain Project has encouraged scientists to consider sex, gender and additional diversity factors in neuroscience and related fields. This video includes presentations by Professor Lutz Jäncke and Dr. Frances Quevenco, covering recent findings and different viewpoints on how and when sex/gender differences in brain research are relevant. The recording is from an event in May 2022, moderated by the Human Brain Project’s Scientific Director Professor Katrin Amunts. During the event, the Human Brain Project also presented the winners of a Diversity In Research Paper Awards (DIRPA): Sanne Peters and Yi Zhang, who outlined their own research results and joined the discussion.

Diversity of Research Objects and Target Groups in Neuroscience

In this video with Human Brain Project's Task Lead for Gender and diversity Karin Grasenick, you will learn more about the topic of diversity in research objects and target groups in Neuroscience.


Want to know more? Read about the common challenges in neuroscience, AI, Medical Informatics, Robotics and new insights with diversity or ethics on the Neuorethics Blog.

Have a look at the EDI Toolkit on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Research for further tools for supporting diversity as research topic:

EDI Toolkit on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Research

Related Publications

  • Grasenick K. (2019): Research Guideline: Diversity and Gender Sensitive Research Projects. A guideline for sex, gender and diversity in research projects providing guiding questions, examples, and references to literature for research activities with a focus on neuroscience and related fields. DOI:
  • Webinar: HBP Tea & Slides. Dec. 2021 (PLUS ID 3700)
  • Sanne Peters et al. (2020), Sex differences in the association between major risk factors and the risk of stroke in the UK Biobank cohort study.
  • Yi Zhang et al. (2021), The Human Brain Is Best Described as Being on a Female/Male Continuum: Evidence from a Neuroimaging Connectivity Study.
  • Materials on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Research available at the EDI Toolkit.

Want to know more about Gender, Diversity and Inclusion in the HBP?

Keep reading on our Diversity and Gender Equality webpage!

Diversity and Gender Equality Webpage


Karin Grasenick
CONVELOP - cooperative knowledge design GmbH
Gender and diversity, Task Lead, DEOC Coordinator

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The Human Brain Project will have an impact on both science and society.

We promote RRI practices within the HBP, and help to shape the direction of its research in ethically sound ways that serve the public interest. 

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