At FMI we believe that scientific excellence flourishes in a research environment that welcomes and values the contributions of all based on merit and without discrimination of any kind. We also think that diverse teams provide added benefits through varied perspectives and approaches. We are proud that 43 nationalities are represented in our current staff, and are committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our activities.

Gender equality

Currently, approximately half of the PhD students at the FMI are female, but as is generally the case in natural science research institutes, the number of female researchers decreases at the postdoctoral level and drops further in leadership positions. We continually monitor this situation to raise awareness, and take steps to address the gender imbalance at more senior levels.

For example, we have taken measures that aim to diminish potential gender bias in faculty recruitment and evaluation. Through our participation in the LIBRA gender equality project funded by the European Community, we utilize resources such as the LIBRA Recruitment Handbook to lessen gender bias in recruitment procedures, and the LIBRA Guide for Faculty Evaluation to improve fairness in faculty assessment.

We also promote professional development activities specifically for our female trainees to counteract any gender-specific disadvantage they might incur due to having fewer female role models in scientific leadership positions. The FMI is a founding member of TWIST (Towards more Women in Science and Technology), an association of multiple local academic research institutes that supports the advancement of women in science with seminars and networking opportunities featuring female senior scientists in Basel. Further, FMI female PhD students and postdocs may apply to the Antelope and Zoom@Novartis programs from the University of Basel which provide female trainees with coaching and networking activities for academic and industry careers. The FMI is also a member of International Dual Career Network (IDCN) Basel, which offers career support for partners of people joining the FMI in Basel.

Responsible staff members

Our Guidance Counsellor holds a dual role as Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Officer in order to raise awareness, provide resources, design strategies for improvements and be a point of contact for issues in this area. FMI group leaders have assembled a committee on equality, diversity and inclusion to focus on these topics and propose measures for improvement.