Relevance of gender and diversity in research content

Research is not conducted in a vacuum, but in the midst of society. In order to optimise the benefits of research results for the diverse needs and characteristics of people, it may be necessary to take human diversity into account when planning and conducting a research project, e.g. when forming hypotheses, selecting test participants, methods and analysis categories or creating data sets. KIT stands for excellent research and social innovation - considering gender and diversity in research content is of great relevance to reach these goals.

What does diversity have to do with excellent research?


Incorporating diversity and integrating it into research design helps to avoid blind spots and thus achieve high-quality results. The diversity of people is not only relevant in disciplines such as medicine, where clinical pictures can manifest themselves differently depending on gender or skin colour - it can also play a decisive role in technical, scientific, economic and many other research contexts. Headless people in online meetings, as the AI behind it does not recognise dark skin colours against virtual backgrounds, or a higher risk of injury for women, as crash test dummies are aligned to a male stature, are just a few examples of many. Which human characteristics are (not) taken as a basis for one's own research project can have a decisive influence on the outcome of scientific research for society

How is the topic taken into account in research proposals?

Various funding bodies for research projects, such as the German Research Foundation (DFG), have therefore established the consideration of gender and diversity as a criterion in their selection procedures. Researchers are obliged to reflect on the importance of diversity in their research when submitting proposals and, if necessary, to take it into account appropriately. This can have a concrete impact on research projects, both in terms of planning and implementation, as well as on the results. Of course, diversity aspects are not equally relevant for every research project. The extent to which gender and/or other diversity dimensions are relevant to your research project can be checked using the following checklist:

 DFG Checklist