The 2023 Voices Summer School will be held on the 5-7 of July in Athens, Greece. This year’s programme is organized by Working Group 3 – Gender as a research dimension -, led by Anita Thaler and Clemens Striebing, who have lifted the veil on the upcoming Summer School in this short interview:

What makes the “Breaking the Bias” Summer School a unique experience?

(Anita) This year’s Voices Summer School will be a great possibility to co-create knowledge in societal relevant fields of science and technology with researchers from various backgrounds and experiences.

(Clemens) With the Summer School we want to offer scientists who want to enrich their research with a gender dimension a platform for learning and international networking. It offers the opportunity to come into contact with international experts on the topics of gender data gap and gendered innovations, including, for example, authorities such as Londa Schiebinger, who was and is decisively developing the concept of Gendered Innovations at Stanford University.

How different is it from last year’s Summer School?

(Anita) The 2022 Voices Summer School was a fantastic pioneer event, where we learned so much on a content level, about intersectionality in the academic setting, and how intersections of inequities are influencing researcher’s careers. Plus, we learned also a lot from the feedback of all participants and trainers, how we can use the resources from the COST action in the best way. Thus, we agreed to focus on three issues: First, we have increased the possibilities for reflections and peer learning. Second, we have a mix of inspirational online and face-to-face plenary lectures and interactive workshops. Third, all participants will co-create knowledge within thematic groups, work concretely on their research and get feedback immediately.

(Clemens) In our Summer School we also emphasize an intersectional perspective. The expertise in this area is embodied, among others, by Professor Victoria Showunmi, who organized the summer school last year and will also be present and contributing to our programme. The IRAISS 2022 is a role model for us. One major difference is that our focus is more on gender bias in STEM fields and we want to gather scientists from these fields first and foremost.

Who should apply to the “Breaking the Bias” Programme?

(Anita) We are inviting researchers from early career stages (PhD students, early PostDocs, etc.) from various disciplinary backgrounds, all genders and ethnicities, who are interested in and are working on research topics aiming at societal challenges, which are represented in our programme: Health – Digital Technologies – Climate, Mobility and Biodiversity.

(Clemens) Yes, but we are also open to scientists of other experience levels and to scientists from academia as well as from industry. The prerequisite is a fundamental willingness to integrate a gender dimension into one’s own research or to discuss it in depth.