Whereas childcare during regular working hours is normally well covered, also by various institutions close to the campus, care outside of business hours is problematic.
Participation in full day scientific events and conferences as well as workshops for professional development are an essential part of establishing and maintaining ones personal scientific network. This is particularly important in the qualification phase, which often coincides with family planning. Due to the high mobility requirements, most scientist lack a local family network.
The UniKLEX team has developed a coherent concept based on experiences of flexible childcare from various research associations and facilities of the University. It has been supported by the university management as a pilot project for three years since March 2019. UniKLEX is now open for all scientists of the University of Bremen in their qualification phase.
These offers are a career-enhancing measure for early career researchers with care responsibilities. The hourly flexible child care at off-peak times gives them the necessary freedom to build up and maintain their own scientific network, which is essential for the effective design of the qualification phase and the leap into scientific independence.
In the field of tension between family and career, this support offer for families represents a symbolic recognition in addition to the pure financial relief.
UniKLEX started in April 2019 as a pilot project of the University of Bremen and just under a year after a conversation between Susan Köppen and Rita Groß-Hardt during the teatime with professors within the scope of navigare Career Coaching for Women in Science. The core of the initiative was formed by four junior researchers from four different areas of the university who are networked through the MAPEX Center for Materials and Processes and the Network for Equal Opportunities in Research Networks. They received strategic and content-related advice from the very beginning through the AcademiaNet Club Bremen-Oldenburg. Driven by the common desire to provide all scientists with flexible childcare during their qualification phase, the circle of supportive staff grew steadily. Each iteration made the UniKLEX concept a little more coherent. Thanks to the quick and unbureaucratic support of the managment of the University, the project was able to start as a pilot after less than a year of planning.
The UniKLEX team will continue to meet regularly during the project to evaluate the offers and to agree on possible additions.
The following people have played a decisive role in the development of the UniKLEX concept:
- Susan Köppen (BCCMS, GRK QM³)
- Hanna Lührs (MAPEX)
- Iwona Piotrowska (ZeTeM, GRK π³)
- Claudia Stolle (SOCIUM)
- femal scientists* of the AcademiaNet Club Bremen-Oldenburg
Department 04 – Equal opportunities and anti-discrimination
- Bettina Schweizer
- Anna-Lena Vallentin
- Clara Hoppe (student assistant)
The project is also supported by:
- MAPEX Equal Opportunity Board (incl. SFB 1232, SFB TRR 136, GRK 2247, GRK 2224, GRK 1860, zentrale Frauenbeauftragte)
- Referat 12