Gender and Diversity Programme (GDP)

Gender and Diversity Representative

Deputy Gender and Diversity Representative 

muehleisen serreli
Prof. Dr. Susanne Mühleisen Prof. Dr. Valentina Serreli
Office hours during semester: Wed, 12-1 pm, and upon agreement (room 1.16, GW I) 

In case of sexual harrassment, please do not hesitate to immediately contact your Gender and Diversity Representative.






Winter Semester 2018

No dates available at the moment.

Workshops and Individual Coaching with Dr Anette Hammerschmidt

In order to support the careers of female Junior Fellows, BIGSAS works together with Dr. Anette Hammerschmidt from Munich, a qualified coach with many years of expertise in coaching of young female academics. Within the scope of the BIGSAS coaching concept workshops for groups and individual coachings. Individual Coachings

  • On demand

  • Strictly confidential

Individual meetings are offered to each Junior Fellow. They are confidential and held on demand. Five (plus one) individual meetings (90 min.) are offered. Registration in advance is necessary. Please contact Juliane Fender.


What the Gender and Diversity Programme offers:

Uni-Bayreuth-7030BIGSAS is home to a diverse community of people. We cherish this diversity, as it creates an environment where people of different backgrounds and viewpoints can meet, interact, and learn from each other. As individuals we incorporate our own unique identities shaped by our faith, race, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, age, abilities, and socioeconomic class. Our interaction in BIGSAS gives us ample opportunities to examine the issues before us from a distinctive perspective. We challenge our assumptions, test our ideas, and broaden our understanding of the human experience. However, diversity is more than the aggregate of different individual backgrounds, personal identities, and various worldviews. It is also the removal of discursive and institutional barriers and the accessibility of space that allow individuals to fully engage in the life of BIGSAS. True diversity thus implies to take into consideration the uneven distribution of power and opportunities and to create mechanisms to address and resolve existing inequalities. We have therefore put in place several formats and mechanisms with the objectives of fostering our diverse environment, empowering underrepresented groups and disadvantaged individuals, and creating awareness for matters of diversity. All members of BIGSAS are invited to participate in the creation of this diverse space and to make use of the opportunities offered by the GDP.

A. The GDP supports the following group activities and offers the following types of individual assistance:

  1. Firesides (Salongespräche)

    This format offers the opportunity to invite scholars already present in Bayreuth (either as residents or visitors) to share their experiences and academic itineraries with Junior Fellows. All members of BIGSAS are eligible to suggest speakers. A Junior Fellow acts as the moderator of the event, which is not open to the public. For certain events only female participants are admitted. The maximum financial support per event is € 200,00.

  2. Work Groups

    The GDP encourages the formation of Work Groups that focus on issues relevant to Diversity Studies. So far, BIGSAS already features the Work Group Sexualities that Matter.

  3. Networks

    The GDP offers opportunities for the creation and cultivation of networks designed to foster group dynamics, such BIGSisters and the BIGSAS football team.

  4. Coaching

    All members of BIGSAS are eligible to schedule up to five individual coaching sessions with an experienced counsellor to receive support and advice for all work-related matters. An additional sixth session can be granted in the prelude to the disputation. All requests related to coaching should be directed to the Gender and Diversity Representative or the Deputy Representative and will be treated confidentially.

  5. Training/Workshops

    In response to formal requests the GDP can offer a range of special workshops to meet the needs of Junior Fellows, such as a workshop on how to prepare the disputation or how to deal with instances of discrimination and harassment.

  6. Support and Advice in Cases of Harassment

    In cases of sexual, racist, or other discrimination or harassment, all members of BIGSAS are requested to contact the Gender and Diversity Representative or the deputy immediately, who will offer support and take the appropriate steps.

  7. BIGSAS for Parents

    In order to support the parents among the recipients of BIGSAS stipends, the GDP can grant applications from Junior Fellows for:

    • maternal leave, equivalent to an extension of the time to degree and the stipend for three months (in accordance with the statutory maternal leave regulations);
    • parental leave, applicable to mothers and fathers, provided that the child lives in the same household (official proof of residence) and the child is born during the funding period. This type of leave can be granted during the first three years of the life of the child under the scholarship holder’s care; it is equivalent to an extension of the time to degree and the stipend for a period of up to four months. Each application is subject to individual examination.

    All Junior Fellows living with young children, whether they hold a BIGSAS stipend or not, are eligible to apply for funds to pay for child care or a student assistant. The maximum hourly rate that can be refunded is € 8,84 and can be paid for purposes such as:

    • child care in place of residence

    • a student assistant to support research-related work, such as search for literature, compiling bibliographies, etc.

    • child care during participation in an academic conference

    The support by a student assistant is limited to a maximum of 50 hours during the Junior Fellow’s enrolment in BIGSAS. Applications for child care support are subject to individual examination.

  8. BIGSAS for Junior Fellows with disabilities and chronic diseases

    In accordance with legal injunctions pertaining to people with disabilities, BIGSAS strives to compensate for disadvantages experienced by Junior Fellows with disabilities and chronic diseases. In particular, we offer the following measures if requested by Junior Fellows:

    • additional funds to cater for special needs of eligible Junior Fellows during their field research (such funds will come from the field research budget of BIGSAS, not from the GDP’s funds);

    • an extension of time to degree and/or the time period to prepare for the defence;

    • creating awareness among supervisors and mentors for the special needs of Junior Fellows with disabilities and chronic diseases;

    • provision of additional financial support through diversity grants (see below, 9.) as required in individual cases in order to compensate for impediments or disadvantages individual Junior Fellows might be facing.

  9. Diversity Grants


    Through the GDP, BIGSAS can offer diversity grants to compensate the disadvantages Junior Fellows might have to cope with. The total amount available per year is € 14,000 and will be assigned to eligible applicants by the Gender and Diversity Representatives in consultation with the Management Board and the spokesperson for students with disabilities at the University of Bayreuth. This support extends the time to degree and is usually granted for up to three months in addition to other forms of financial assistance or stipends offered by BIGSAS. Applications should be accompanied by appropriate documentation, which may include a diversity statement giving reasons for the eligibility for a diversity grant.


B. The GDP will pursue the following activities in the field of public relations and outreach:

  1. Lectures

    We encourage and fund the invitation of scholars who work on diversity related themes to give public lectures at the University of Bayreuth. All members of BIGSAS can make suggestions; every semester we can host up to three lectures. At the end of each semester, the Gender and Diversity Representatives present the proposed programme for the following semester to the Management Board and, if desired, to the Academic Committee.

  2. Diversity Conference

    We intend to convene an international conference in conjunction with our partner universities on the theme of “Diversity Policies at Universities in Africa and Europe.” The conference is designed to examine diversity concepts and policies from a comparative perspective, with a focus on intersectional, interdisciplinary, and transcultural approaches. We plan to publish the proceedings of the conference in an edited volume, with a publication subsidy from the general BIGSAS budget.


All decisions regarding the implementation of the gender and diversity activities will be taken at the level of the BIGSAS Management Board.