... is now a lively global platform for scientists to draw attention to their academic life in a direct and lively way. The English acronym allows the gender equality we want: it is about people who have dedicated themselves to science. They share this passion with us, talk about their curiosity, but also about disappointments, everyday priorities and questions that accompany them in their everyday research.
We picture this action in excerpts with women doing research here, to encourage all female academics to become more visible and to gain even more attention with their professionalism.
A scientific selfie is a short greeting and an invitation ...
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I’m currently learning about different methods outside my subject area such as grounded theory. It’s challenging but just as exciting and captivating. Grounded theory is often described as a „toolbox“ that can help to develop theories from emperical data. It’s the toolbox, that I will use to evaluate my notes and interviews from the palliative care ward at the university hospital of Augsburg. It is fascinating to watch so many different professionals working together and discussing medical details. There are specalists in nursing, medical fraternity, pastoral care, physiology, and psychology. Additionally, they are supported by social service counseling and employees of the pain clinic, music therapy and psycho-oncology. Needless to say, not all of these professionals are involved in the treatment of every single patient or work with the same patients, but everyone can voice their opinion or experience with the patient. And, of course, the patients and their relatives are involved in discussion of the treatment too.
Using my toolbox of grounded theory, I can analyze these meetings and additional interviews and generalize the results for developing a practical palliatve care ethic – from a moral theological point of view. It is a great opportunity to support the palliative care movement and to reinforce the care for every single human being in the last phase of their lifes.
Faculty of Catholic Theology
The offices for employees of the Center for Climate Resilience (ZfK) are still mostly empty. The Chair for Urban Climate Resilience was the first of several new central professorships to be filled. The background noise in the ground floor is therefore shaped by the keyboard and music selection of my colleague Johannes and me. Sometimes Urban Climate Resilience professor Markus Keck’s dogs greet you from afar with a friendly bark.
The three of us (plus four-legged secretaries) form the Augsburg core of the project "nutriAIDE - Building smart food environments for better nutrition", in which we investigate malnutrition in the urban context of India. I am doing my doctorate on the question of spatially and discursively measurable structures of obesogenic food environments and the corresponding practices of urban consumers in middle and low-income countries. I will be spending many weeks in India and Mexico over the next few years collecting data.
During my long research stays abroad, I consider myself very fortunate to be part of an experienced university team, and to count on the support of family, friends and, above all, my partner. She also supported the move from Berlin to Augsburg for the doctoral position. The large rainbow flag that hung between the university's two main buildings in June was a welcoming symbol for us in that change.
My self-image as a feminist activist scientist is an interactive give and take in the constantly changing social structures and processes, to which I contribute through my research and my academic writing. I don't identify with science as an isolated activity, metaphorically represented as watering orchids high up in an ivory tower. I hope to be able to convey the dynamic, epistemological and practical-transformative approach to geography students in teaching.
phD student amd research associate
third-party project "NUTRIAIDE - Aufbau smarter Ernährungsumfelder für eine bessere Ernährung"
urban climate resilince
It’s Monday morning, 8 o’clock: I am starting my computer and suddenly begin to smile: my desktop shows the skyline of Chicago. In 2017, I was able to spend my exchange semester right there and get to know the US legal system. Now, five years later, I am working on my PhD thesis concerning a comparative study of Dual-Class-Share-Structures (high voting share structures). These structures are quite common in the US and especially among Silicon Valley startups like Facebook, Google, or Airbnb. In Germany, however, high voting shares for public corporations have been banned for more than 20 years. With my research, I would like to give a deep insight into the implementation of Dual-Class-Share-Structures. Therefore, this fall, I will be joining Stanford Law School as a Visiting Student Researcher to conduct part of my research there. I would like to interview experts in this field of study, notably professors, entrepreneurs, and investors. I am very excited and looking forward to my research stay, and especially to the findings for my thesis!
Research Assistant at the Chair for Civil Law, Commercial Law, European Law, International Private Law and Comparative Law
Faculty of Law
Being the first of my family to attend university I didn’t know what to expect when I started studying teaching for English and History six years ago. My mother remembers pretty well when I came home one weekend and told her enthusiastically what a great and exciting place university was. My mother took my words to heart and from then on supported anything that had – even remotely – to do with university. When I was for example asked by Prof. Dr. Middeke – at that time unknown to me – whether I wanted to participate in a field trip to New York she said “Of course, do that!”. An internship in Poland? “Of course!”. An Erasmus exchange semester in Ireland? “Do it, we’ll come visit you!” I will never forget our visit to a local pub in Limerick together with my friends from Erasmus. Even when it came to giving up my teaching studies and instead focussing on my great passion that is literary studies I had my mother’s full support.
My mother’s attitude of trying everything, not missing anything and never being afraid of the unknown has left a great imprint on me. I am currently working on my PhD project which deals with, among other things, intergenerational relations and efforts of female emancipation. My PhD supervisor is – now no longer unknown to me – Prof. Dr. Middeke. Somehow everything comes full circle and that’s a nice and exciting feeling.
My mother never held me back from anything, but instead inspired me and gave me confidence and that’s what I wish for all daughters, granddaughters, sisters, nieces, cousins, etc. When someone believes in you, at some point you will do it yourself.
Carolin Steinke, M.A.
Lecturer at the Chair of English Literature
Faculty of Philology and History
I’ve just finished listening to the last few seconds of a podcast about attribution research - an emerging discipline in the field of climate and environmental sciences that focuses on the possible influence of anthropogenic climate change on specific extreme weather or climate events. A podcast, a TV show, a journal article ... from the early days of my studies to the final phase of my PhD, the issue of global warming, whether titled as climate crisis, climate catastrophe, or simply as climate change, has increasingly attracted the attention of public and media. It becomes more and more evident that we humans, our lives, and our health, are also strongly affected by the changing environmental conditions. And these changes, their causes and effects need to be considered on different scales from local to global - during my semester abroad in Canada, the "everyday" questions about climate and environment were discussed just as much as in my bachelor’s and master’s programs in Munich and Augsburg. In this regard, an increase in events with two concurrent natural hazards, so-called compound events, are of particular interest, as they often pose an even intensified risk on human health. In my PhD project, I analyze, model and project one specific compound event, the combined health-relevant occurrence of heat and tropospheric ozone, under both recent and future European climate conditions. Next to the content-related aspects of my PhD, I especially enjoy the familiarization with new methods – e.g., getting to know and learn new statistical methods, further programming languages or related software. The first three years of research were accompanied by teaching within the scope of my position at the University of Augsburg, while the scholarship now enables me to fully concentrate on the finalization of my PhD.
M.Sc. Sally Jahn
Regional Climate Change and Health
Faculty of Applied Computer Science / Medicine
I am from India and travelling during pandemic and setting up my life here has been both challenging and rewarding. I have made so many friends, my supervisor, Annika McPherson is one of the best supervisors and person I have ever met and she is such an amazing guiding force in my PhD. Even far away from my country, I feel so loved and supported by her and my colleagues. My PhD topic predominantly deals with series and shows on nonlinear television, i.e., steaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu providing a more global perspective to different kinds of excess and humour produced around the world. And I feel so thrilled when I write about my topic because of the kind of representation I aim to do through it. I have started teaching at the university and it is such a fulfilling, enriching and learning experience. Within these 6 months in Germany, I have gained so much love, life lessons and experiences. Hopefully, I continue doing that throughout my PhD.
PhD Project at the Chair of Prof. Dr. Annika McPherson
Modern English Literatures and Cultural Studies
Faculty of Philology and History
Between home office and parental responsibilities, the year 2020 is ending for me with a sense of achievement as a young academic: the publication of my first monograph.
The book “Re- storying a past that lies between us: an exploration of the legacies of German - Russian family histories in the Soviet Union”, which emerged from my Master’s thesis in the field of Peace Studies, will be published as part of the 'Masters of Peace' series by Innsbruck University Press. This is my view after I click on the 'Submit' button of my final version: months of revision, editing and layout processes have paid off. While I feel that I have finished with the topic of transgenerational trauma, I have an inkling that my journey has only just begun. Peace is not mastery, but practice.
Christina Pauls, M.A. Peace Studies
Chair of Political Science, Peace and Conflict Studies
I am sitting over this pile of old books on artificial intelligence and have to smile as I read the following passage in one of the books:
“I should make it clear that very little has actually been modelled with these networks to date And, in addition, there are already a number of difficult and unsolved problems [...]. The overriding concern, in my opinion, is one of comprehensible. In order to build and use complex computer systems, we must be able to understand, at some level, how they are doing what they are observed to be doing " (P. 64, Partridge, 1990)
These networks that Derek Partridge talks about in his book are known today as "deep neural networks". And they are now being used effectively in our everyday lives. For example, they are used to recognise faces or to learn our preferences for music and films. And in my doctorate I am doing research precisely on Partridge's point of criticism, which he saw as early as 1990: to make these neural networks comprehensible. The German Informatics Society has now recognised me for this work and added me to the ranks of GI Junior Fellows. In my first interview for a daily newspaper, I was not only allowed to answer exciting questions (“Is AI fairer than humans?”, “What innovations are needed in the technology sector?”), but also to tell them something about my major concern: bringing our research closer to people. The results of our studies show that AI is no longer a foreign concept for laypeople as it was a few years ago. But they also show that people often completely overestimate AI and have wrong ideas about it. My current goal is to help people assess the opportunities and risks of AI more realistically and make decisions more easily.
Katharina Weitz M.Sc.
Research Assistant at the Chair of Multimodal Human-Technology Interaction
to the price
Doctorate, teaching, project work, coordination and organisational work ... as the mother of a lively three-year-old daughter, I am used to multitasking. Even if the challenges (especially in the year of corona) are sometimes very difficult, I enjoy it very much! My PhD project is really picking up speed now. We are researching indicators for therapeutic change processes in music therapy with people suffering from severe mental disorders. It's intense - but also exciting. I can draw on my practical experience as a music therapist. Much of it also comes in handy in my teaching!
Beate Haugwitz, graduate music therapist, M.A.
Research assistant in the master's program in music therapy