Equal Opportunities

An increase in the representation of talented women in the research area on the interface of mathematics and physics will be beneficial for SwissMAP itself, but also, by creating positive role models, for the general appeal of science and technology for young women. For this reason, we are committed to providing equal opportunities and supporting female researchers and young families in science.

SwissMAP gender equality policy (pdf)


SwissMAP  Equal Opportunities Committee

Chairs: A. Alekseev, A. Beliakova 

Members: S. Fiorelli, G. Felder, J. Sonner, A. Szenes, C. Ulcigrai

The committee has put in place a number of initiatives and measures to promote and increase the representation of talented women in the research area on the interface of mathematics and physics.

Financial support:

NCCR SwissMAP has several funding schemes to support families and female researchers:

  • Family support grants: liberation of teaching/administrative duties (up to 20% of the work-time) for researchers with young children.
  • If you are participating in a conference or another event organized by SwissMAP and you are coming with young children, we may be able to provide grants for their travel and/or child care. Please contact us for more information.
  • If you are member of SwissMAP and you wish to attend an external conference or another event, we may be able to provide grants for travelling with young children or for child care. Please contact us for more information.
  • We make an effort to support dual careers of young researchers. If you are a couple studying or working in SwissMAP-related research areas, we may have the means to support your parallel careers. Please contact us for more information.

The Swiss National Science Foundation has several grants in equal opportunities:

  • Gender equality grants are available to young women researchers funded by the SNSF. An eligible person receives CHF 1000 per 12 months' approved project running time. The grant may be used to finance career support measures but does not cover family support measures.
  • The SNF Flexibility Grants are aimed at postdoctoral researchers who need to look after children during an important stage in their career and who therefore need more flexibility. The grant allows researchers to reduce their work-time percentage and hire a support person for the same period.

If you wish to apply for any of these grants, please contact us.




Gender biases

We are all susceptible to unconscious bias in our decision processes. Being aware of them is a first step to reducing their impact, leading to fairer decisions. These pages aim to provide some advice in counteracting gender bias during the process of recruitment.

Forms of bias include:

Confirmation bias

This is when we look for and give more weight to information that confirms our existing views and opinions. We are led to evaluate information in a biased way.

Selective perception

This is when we selectively retain information that we want to hear, rejecting any contrary evidence.

Affinity bias

This is the tendency view more favourably people who we perceive as being more like ourselves.

• Projection bias

This is when we interpret the views of others by making the assumption that they have the same priorities, attitudes or beliefs as us.

• Status quo bias

This is the preference for “not rocking the boat” to maintain the current state of affairs.



• University of Zurich flyer “Recruiting for excellence

• University of Lausanne brochure “Recruiting without discrimination

• UK Royal society briefing “Unconscious bias

• NCCR Planets memoranda on avoiding biases

• University of Bristol “Guidance to unconscious bias at shortlisting and interview

• European Research Council “Unconscious bias - avoidable or inevitable

• Notices of AMS article “Reducing Bias in Faculty Searches” by E. Burroughs


If you have any questions or comments, please contact the SwissMAP administration or the contact persons for equal opportunities: Prof. Anna Beliakova, Prof. Anton Alekseev.