A research group led by a university professor is the classical and most established form of organizing research in physics. Most universities follow similar organizational standards here: they distinguish theoretical from experimental physics and establish different research fields such as solid-state physics, nuclear physics, astrophysics, as well as new interdisciplinary fields as biophysics and medical physics.

While the organizational structure of university physics institutes in Germany appears to be similar, we observe nationwide differences regarding the gender dynamics at physics institutes and departments. Our study focuses on these dynamics and their varying shapes.

For this purpose, we study the relations between organizational structures, the disciplinary culture(s) of physics, and gender arrangements at several German universities in the old and new federal states. Do disciplinary cultures and gender cultures differ due to regional, local and historical characteristics of physics institutes? Are there relevant differences between universities and institutes of technology when it comes to gender and disciplinary cultures? In what way do these differences take shape and how can we explain them?