MATH+ as a Research Object


Despite increasing shares of women at all levels of qualification, statistics show that the share of female professors in mathematics has hardly changed in Germany over the last 25 years. Existing potentials of highly qualified female mathematicians for the subsequent academic qualification levels remains under-exploited up to now (leaky pipeline). Additionally, female mathematicians continue to be trapped by glass ceiling, which contributes to their persistent underrepresentation at the professorship level as well as in other higher-level leadership positions in academia.

The project studies the reproduction mechanisms of gender asymmetries in mathematics, which may even be effective in a distinguished working environment such as the MATH+ Cluster of Excellence. It furthermore focuses on their dissolution through career and equality supporting diversity measures. The MATH+ cluster is part of the Excellence Strategy of the federal government and the governments of the states (Länder) to strengthen top-level university research.

The aim of the project is to identify existing gender differences in the Cluster of Excellence and to provide references for overcoming these differences. Additionally, we will contribute to the scientific discourses on the phenomena of the leaky pipeline and glass ceiling – especially for mathematics and related STEM subjects. The cluster provides a unique opportunity to examine both access to an excellent research environment at different career stages and gender patterns in status transitions in academia. Reflecting previous research desiderata, the project focusses on the role of career knowledge, career trajectories and cultures of recognition and support as foundations of self-selection, other-selection and successful inclusion. The data base for this research is provided by a long-term study in a mixed-method design.

"MATH+ as a Research Object" is a cooperation project with the Gender Studies in Mathematics at Freie Universität Berlin headed by Dr. Anina Mischau.

Main content

Selected Publications

Hofmeister, Sophie (2022): "Leaky Pipeline im Exzellenzcluster MATH+?". In: Geschlechter*Gerecht - Blog der Zentralen Frauenbeauftragten der Freien Universität Berlin, 08.04.2022.
Hofmeister, Sophie/Lindenau, Johannes/Mischau, Anina/Ransiek, Anna/Solga, Heike (2021): Erste Befunde aus dem Projekt 'MATH+ as a Research Object'. Karriereziele, -wissen und -handeln, Nachwuchsförderung und Rekrutierung. WZB Discussion Paper SP I 2021-501. Berlin: WZB.