The Lorentz Center is committed to hosting workshops that bring together people with different ideas, experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives. 

At our workshops we encourage diversity of the participants (e.g., in gender, age, seniority and experience, disability, ethnicity, and social- and economic background). We aim for our workshops to be an inspiring place where everyone can feel comfortable contributing to scientific discussions and voicing their opinion. We also aim to continuously work on improving access to our facilities and our workshops, and to let everyone feel at home at the Lorentz Center.


How does diversity benefit group dynamics?

  • Diversity in a team boosts the variety of approaches to problem solving, improving creativity and innovation [1,2]. This what gives rise to the most exciting ideas, also during a Lorentz Center workshop.
  • In diverse teams, ‘big picture’ thinkers tackle challenging scientific questions in collaboration with those who excel at addressing details, leading to a more multifaceted and critical discussion [3].
  • Gender balanced teams possess a higher social perceptiveness and are better in giving space to everyone’s voice [4].
  • Diversity in research has led to the expansion of the research agenda, for example in health, primatology, and has fostered inclusion of gender-related and sex-related factors in medical research [5].

For the successful outcome of the workshop, it is crucial that participants and organizers have a positive attitude towards diversity [6,7].


How can you implement diversity and inclusion in your workshop?

We strongly encourage our workshop organizers to keep in mind various aspects of diversity when composing their participants list. To work towards a diverse group:

  • Create a gender balanced participant list.
  • Think about geographical diversity, also inviting participants outside Europe and the US.
  • Ask your invited participants to recommend committed PhDs.
  • In addition to the workshop budget, our diversity fund is dedicated to participants from underrepresented groups, e.g., participants with disabilities, participants from the global south or those who need childcare.


How to support a more inclusive environment:

  • Make sure that all the participants (especially the early career ones) have an active role in the workshops (e.g., taking notes in breakout sessions, moderating sessions, presenting their work in talks or poster sessions).
  • Encourage discussion leaders to dedicate space to each participant.
  • Empower each participant to bring forward topics they feel important to discuss.
  • Provide participants who are less familiar with a specific research topic with background material in preparation for the workshop.
  • In hybrid meetings, make sure online participants are heard and seen clearly and actively involve them into the meeting (see also our tips for virtual workshops).

We hope that you find these points on diversity and inclusion inspiring. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at: diversityandinclusion@lorentzcenter.nl

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Niels Bohrweg 1 & 2

2333 CA Leiden

The Netherlands

+31 71 527 5400