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For Female Researchers: Power Games and Micro-Political Competence in Academia

A workshop offered by the Gender Equality Office of the University Bonn

Are you navigating the ‚shark tank‘, just trying to survive, do you feel like a ‚shark‘, or are you actually placed in a peaceful ‚goldfish pond‘? Concerning social interactions, research environments may vary a great deal!

Online Workshop

Monday, July 1, 2024
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Registration Deadline: Monday, June 17, 2024


Dr. Veronika Fuest





Target Group

Female doctoral students and postdocs


Research, Research Management


8 units are applicable within the Doctorate plus or Careers plus certificate

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© colourbox


In Germany and elsewhere researchers are embedded in specific hierarchical constellations. Regardless of their position at the top, middle or lower levels of their organization, sometimes they meet irritating and even incomprehensible behavior and outcomes: formal regulations may be bypassed, expertise and institutionally defined responsibility may turn out to be unimportant when decisions are taken, rival camps may impede reasonable cooperation, etc.

Some processes involving power games are perceived as unproductive, frustrating or even annoying. However, experience also tells us that difficult situations can be mastered by analyzing the dynamics of key situations and of the players‘ interests involved, by skillful communication and, generally, by a power-conscious approach.

The theoretical approach of micropolitics and its conceptual enhancement provide a framework to systematically grasp manifestations of the everyday uses of power in organizations. However, micropolitics is not just about people in leadership positions or about power abuse. In fact, self-interests are pursued at all organizational levels and may be ethically motivated. Individual or collective strategies are used to exert informal influence or to avoid control by others. Of central interest is the question of power resources, also from a diversity perspective.

The subject matter of the lecture can enrich your (virtual) tea kitchen talks with an important shadow topic in your own organization. Above all, you can deepen your understanding of the power processes and the „games“ played in your own environment.

In the workshop, moreover, you have the opportunity to reflect on your own power resources and roles in micropolitical games - as ‚victims‘ or ‚agents‘ – supported by a systematic and unbiased approach. You can identify strategies to pursue your goals more effectively and gain perspective on how to further enhance your personal micropolitical competence pursuant to the workshop.


  • Science system and organization (focus on Germany)
  • Micropolitics, power games, power resources
  • Typical 'arenas'
  • Roles / game positions 
  • Room for maneuvre and micropolitical tools 


Gender Equality Office

Felicitas Frigge

+49 228 73-7670

More Workshops?

Have a look at further workshops offered in our Doctorate plus program this semester.

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