The Center intends to increase the international competitiveness of economists trained in Germany. Few German-trained economists work in international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) or the World Bank. The Collaborative Research Center on Economic Risk aims to correct this discrepancy by providing high-quality training to young researchers.
In advancing the principle of gender equality, CRC seeks to counteract under-representation of women at universities by eliminating structural disadvantages and by fostering equal development. Gender-neutral job offers and descriptions and preferential treatment of equally qualified female applicants or adjustments for family-related career breaks already constitute an integral part of the member universities’ employment practices. In addition, universities participating in the CRC 649 are devoted to promote a family-friendly working atmosphere in order to become employers that are attractive for female job-seekers.
To support the compatibility of family and career for female scientists, the CRC 649 has implemented the following measures:
a mentoring program for young female researchers to develop the necessary skills for an academic career.
- a female travel budget , independent of the project budget which allows a female scientist to directly apply to the CRC 649 administrative office for travel and gender specific costs, such as child care, during academic conferences.
- a network support program for female CRC 649 members that aim at a quota of 30% of seminar guests in order to create stable networking channels and to support scientific activities with researchers from abroad. An annual seminar especially for woman will be held, tentative title “women in economics”.
- a budget priority algorithm in which female scientists will have priority in obtaining budgets for junior workshops inside the CRC 649. The first implementation of this measure is the junior workshop 2009 organized by Alexandra Spitz-Oener, a sabbatical priority line. The CRC 649 has applied for several sabbatical research semesters to give qualified female scientists in the CRC 649 more time for research and faster access to internationally competitive research topics.
- a family assistance program in addition to the existing environment of the participating universities, to assist female CRC 649 researchers to guarantee child support, while they are participating in e.g. conferences over night or weekends.
The CRC also organises a workshop for high-school students interested in economics, mathematics and statistics. The so-called “Econ Boot Camp” introduces pupils to modern economic research work and the role of data analysis by discussing ongoing real-world cases and problems. Further information can be obtained at http://sfb649.wiwi.hu-berlin.de/econbootcamp/
Ph.D. students are encouraged to participate at high-level international conferences and are financially supported to cover the travel costs. Furthermore, more experienced Ph.D. students are encouraged to gain some teaching experience before finishing their doctoral studies.
In 2008 the School of Business and Economics at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin has established a two-year master program in statistics jointly with the Department of Mathematics at the Humboldt-Universität, the Departments of Economics at Freie Universität Berlin and Technical University Berlin as well as the Berlin Medical School (Charité - Universitätsmedizin). The program consists of compulsory courses providing the necessary foundation in Mathematics, stochastics, probability theory and mathematical statistics. Students can specialize in the fields if statistical inference, econometrics, quantitative methods of financial markets as well as biometrics.
photo above © Rainer Sturm, www.pixelio.de