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GERI-4-2015 - Support to research organisations to implement gender equality plans

Specific challenge: Gender equality is a key priority of the European Research Area Communication. ""A Reinforced European Research Area: Partnership for Excellence and Growth""[1], which invites Member States, research performing organisations (RPOs), including Higher Education Institutions, as well as research funding organisations (RFOs) to take action to promote gender equality in R&I with the following objectives:

       Removing barriers to the recruitment, retention and career progression of female researchers;

       Addressing gender imbalances in decision making processes;

    Strengthening the gender dimension in research programmes.

Scope: The action provides support to RPOs and RFOs in order to support systemic institutional changes, in particular through the implementation of Gender Equality Plans (GEPs). GEPs shall:

              Conduct impact assessment / audit of procedures and practices, including relevant data on HR management, teaching and research activities, in order to identify gender bias at organisation level;

              Implement innovative strategies to address gender bias; this should include family-friendly policies (e.g. work schedule’s flexibility; parental leave; mobility, dual-career couples); gender planning and budgeting; training on gender equality in Human Resources (HR) management; develop the gender dimension in research content and programmes; integrating gender studies in Higher Education Institution curricula;

              Set targets and monitor progress via indicators at organisation level.

The RPOs, including Higher Education Institutions, and RFOs involved in the consortium shall be at a starting stage in the setting-up of gender equality plans and shall ensure the support from their highest management level. Participation of professional associations in the consortium is recommended. The proposals shall include a first assessment of gender issues in each partner organisation. They shall also situate the planned GEPs in relation with existing national provisions relating to gender equality in research, and explain how they will contribute to the achievement of the European Research Area (ERA)[2] objectives on gender equality. The proposals shall include a methodology for impartially monitoring and assessing the progress made throughout the duration of the project. This activity could be dedicated to a specific partner organisation or subcontracted. This action will be further promoted through the EURAXESS initiative SEAC.3.2014 Trans-national operation of the EURAXESS Service network.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1.5 million and 2.3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact: The activities will increase the number of RPOs and RFOs implementing gender equality plans pursuing the three objectives mentioned in the challenge. In the medium / to long term, activities will contribute to the achievement of ERA in particular by increasing the number of female researchers, improving their careers and mobility, thus contributing to research intensity. The integration of the gender dimension in research programmes and content will improve the social value of innovations and the fitness for purpose of innovative products.

Type of action: Coordination and Support Actions.

[1] COM(2012) 392 final.

[2] COM(2012) 392 final.