Family-friendly working conditions
The Oeschger Centre supports the University of Bern in its efforts to enable all researchers – both men and women – to balance their academic careers and their parental duties by providing family-friendly working conditions. We actively help to promote gender equality via tools and career models that boost the career chances for women and men working in the field of science. In particular, we are committed to working conditions that allow researchers to successfully combine family responsibilities and scientific research.
As part of the University of Bern, the Oeschger Centre strives to find individual solutions for its team members – as called for by the university’s Equality Action Plan (in German).
At the Oeschger Centre, there are three equality managers: Olivia Romppainen-Martius, Dr. Ariane Ballmer and Martin Grosjean. They are the people to approach for advice and support. PhD students and postdocs with family responsibilities are explicitly encouraged to get in touch with them promptly.
The Oeschger Centre supports the so-called 120% model, which helps people combine work and family while ensuring career continuity. If postdoctoral researchers need to devote time to childcare, they can cut back from 100% down to 60% or less. Using additional resources, a technician or doctoral candidate can be hired to ensure that current research projects are carried out as planned. The total employment rate for both people is 120%.
Best practice examples
The following examples show how members of the Oeschger Centre have managed to balance their work and family lives at different stages of their careers.