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Project of the Month: How a wonderfully original board game aims to promote gender equality and encourage a new generation of researchers

We feature the GEARING ROLES project as our Project of the Month due to its intrepid work in the field of gender roles and gender equality in the research and innovation sectors. In particular, we’re highlighting their wonderful board game, ‘Nobel Run’, which tasks players with winning a Nobel Prize – with some help along the way from some of Europe (and the world’s) most prominent female scientists!


Despite efforts to eliminate gender disparities in research and innovation, women continue to be under-represented in this field. When considering all disciplines, only a third of researchers in the EU are women and only 15 % in the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Women also represent less than 10 % of patent holders and founded only 8 % of European start-ups. Furthermore, only 25 % of European start-ups were founded by a team that included at least one woman. Enter ‘Nobel Run’, a deck-building board game, developed through the EU-funded project GEARING ROLES (Gender Equality Actions in Research Institutions to traNsform Gender ROLES), with an innovative approach to tackling the issue of gender stereotypes and inequality in science. By racing to win a Nobel Prize, players need to manage a research team, hire predoctoral, postdoctoral and senior researchers, publish articles and get funding through international projects. To aid in these endeavours, players can call on renowned female Nobel laureates, such as Marie Curie, Austrian-Swedish physicist Lise Meitner and Jocelyn Bell Burnell, an Irish astrophysicist. We at CORDIS absolutely adore this entire idea and we can’t wait to give it a go ourselves and try our luck at winning a Nobel Prize! If you think this could be a great gift for your budding young (or even older) aspiring researcher, the game will be available by May 2021. For more information, please see the project website “We become women by internalising gender roles that often limit us and discourage us from questioning our social identity and our position in society. Learning that a different way of being women is possible can be done through gaming: In the game we can play – literally – different social roles and learn the best ways to possibly win a Nobel Prize and pursue an academic career.” - Maria Silvestre, GEARING ROLES coordinator If you are interested in having your project featured in ‘Project of the Month’ in an upcoming issue, please send us an email to and tell us why!


GEARING ROLES, gender equality, Nobel Run

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11 October 2021