How can RFOs advance racial equity? Unequal representation in science means that some scientific questions are not getting asked or answered, and crucially, this limits the breadth of research and stifles innovation. For example, it is now known that encouraging broader populations to participate in clinical trials makes better therapies. Additionally, we know that increasing the diversity of human genome data can beneficially inform therapeutic development and the direction of genomics more broadly. Increasing the diversity of who participates in research careers improves health equity and outcomes by increasing the spread of research problems that are tackled. Funders have a responsibility to encourage questions of representation within their activities to achieve racial equity, and should do so with care — especially as we know that not focusing on cultural differences combined with poorly designed incentives can lead to harmful and extractive interactions between researchers and the very populations that should be benefiting from research. Finally,...

UK´s Wellcome Trust created a database to address funding inequities

Wellcome’s Equitable Funding Practice Library contains more than 50 distinct methods, models, approaches and ways of working that RFOs have used to address funding inequities. It brings together repeatable ideas that can be mixed and matched or applied individually to solve common challenges in reducing and eliminating inequitable funding outcomes.  For each featured practice, the library provides a short description of what the practice does. Users can click through for further details including why the practice is needed and examples of the practice in implementation. For a subset of ten practices, a more detailed profile and case study are provided, highlighting implementation tips and insights as well as evidence of success where available.  Learn more about the Equitable Funding Practice Library here. And explore the library here.

Knowledge and skills needs of consortium members identified

To launch its capacity building activities, the GENDERACTIONplus consortium carried out a needs assessment survey aimed at assessing project partner’s knowledge and identifying priorities, preferences, and needs. The results will guide the development of the plan for the policy and RFO Communities of Practice (CoPs).   The results show that in both the CoP, respondents have a good understanding of the institutional and policy context at regional and national level (institutional functioning, legal and policy context, relevant stakeholders) and of GEP design and implementation. Moreover, they have a fair level of soft skills (communication, negotiation, stakeholder engagement, participatory methods and techniques).   Although slight differences can be observed between the two CoPs as well as between respondents with different levels of work experience in gender equality (1-5 years compared to more than 5 years), intersectionality and gender+ approaches and dealing with resistance stand out as points of common and high interest. The...

Call for Action to End Gender-Based Violence

Join the effort to end gender-based violence in academia. Both individuals and organisations are invited to endorse the Call for Action. The time to act is now! Call for Action WORKING TOWARDS SAFE AND RESPECTFUL HIGHER EDUCATION AND RESEARCH FOR ALL was launched as an outcome of the conference Ending gender-based violence in academia organised in Prague on 24 and 25 November 2022 under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, within the framework of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic, holding the Presidency of the Research configuration of the Council of the EU in the second semester of 2022, strongly supports this Call for Action and invites all relevant stakeholders in the EU, including Research Performing Organisations, Research Funding Organisations, EU Member States and European Commission, to take action and to build...

Australia sets a 50:50 funding target

From 2023, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) in Australia will set targets to award equal numbers of Investigator Grants to women and men in a new commitment to address gender inequities in research funding. The Investigator Grant scheme is NHMRC’s largest funding scheme and a significant investment in Australia’s health and medical research workforce. The new initiative will see NHMRC introduce a special measure under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 that extends targets to fund an equal number of Leadership grants for women and men in the senior Investigator Grant scheme. Read more on this initiative here.

News from Czech RFOs

The Technology Agency of the Czech Republic launched the first call for applications in the SIGMA programme. The programme contains a specific call for the inclusion of women in the IT sector. The gender dimension of research and team diversity are among the evaluation criteria of project proposals. The Czech Science Foundation needs more women in its evaluation panels. Please, consider applying and/or helping spread the call!

INSPIRE, our new sister project launched

We are happy to welcome a new member to the family of Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe projects focused on gender equality in R&I. The project INSPIRE, started in October 2022, aims to be Europe’s sustainable centre of excellence, globally renowned for the quality of its research and analysis produced on inclusive gender equality in research and innovation. The project will provide a gateway for scholars, equality experts, practitioners and trainers to connect and share resources, co-create new ones, and link strategically with public and private institutions to benefit the European Research Area. INSPIRE’s research programme will develop new indicators for inclusive GEP design, conduct a GEP monitoring survey throughout Europe and identify key configurations of GEP success and failure. It will also fill critical knowledge gaps on the basis of case studies on intersectional policies whilst identifying promising practices in gendered regional innovation policy. By doing this, INSPIRE aims...

Ireland launched an implementation plan for ending sexual violence and harassment in HEIs

On 13 October, the Higher Education Authority in Ireland launched its implementation plan for years 2022 – 2024. The actions set out in the plan respond to the recommendations that emerged from the National Surveys of Staff and Student Experiences of Sexual Violence and Harassment in Irish HEIs, which were conducted by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) at the request of the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. The delivery of the actions in this plan is intended to build on and complement the broad range of initiatives ongoing across the sector towards the outcomes set out in the national policy framework published in 2019; ‘Safe, Respectful, Supportive and Positive: Ending Sexual Violence and Harassment in Irish Higher Education Institutions, (often referred to as the ‘Framework for Consent’), and accompanying institutional action plans. The HEA is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the framework, and HEIs...

Spain takes further steps to reinforce gender equality in R&I

A new amendment of the Spanish law on R&I brings alignment with the EU framework​ by including the institutional change to support inclusive and gender-sensitive environments (i.e., free from gender bias, discrimination, sexist behaviour and sexual harassment​) and the integration of the gender dimension in research projects and sex/gender analysis in content​. The National Plan for R&I will require a gender assessment report​, and the Spanish R&I public institutions will have to develop GEPs and sexual/sexist harassment protocols with annual monitoring​. The amendment also promotes gender expert advice in evaluation committees​, requests implementation of positive actions targeting women (particularly at the highest level of the research career) ​and requires that gender equality criteria be included in public procurement​. The law also obligates the integration of intersectionality in the design of GE policies and in the content of research, innovation and knowledge transfer​. Also, the gender award scheme for R&I centres...

Meet members of our Advisory Board

GENDERACTIONplus appointed its members of the Advisory Board. The AB consists of 5 experts and/or stakeholders, reflecting project values, priorities, key topic areas and target audiences. We are happy that our invitation to become GENDERACTIONplus AB members accepted Sergej Mozina, the co-chair of the ERA Forum, Yvonne Benschop from Radboud University, Adrien Braem, Senior Policy Officer, responsible for ERA policies and gender and diversity at Science Europe, Jörg Müller from the Open University of Catalonia and a member of our Horizon Europe sister project INSPIRE focused on research and analysis on inclusive gender equality in research and innovation. Last but not least, the member is Ágota Dávid, a science attaché at the Permanent Representation of Hungary to the EU.