The action will consist of a feasibility study of a European award/certification system for gender equality in research organisations, including universities. Several options should be investigated.
Based on the experiences of existing schemes and outcomes of previous research and initiatives (e.g. Horizon 2020 projects such as GEDII, and EFFORTI, FP7 ERA-Net Gender-NET[[https://ec.europa.eu/research/swafs/index.cfm?pg=policy&lib=gender]]) , the action will:
- Conduct an in-depth qualitative and quantitative assessment of existing national award/certification schemes for gender equality in research organisations and universities. Particular attention will be given to the national context in terms of legislation, policy and research funding environment to understand the intended and non-intended impacts of each evaluated award scheme.
- Provide a clear framework for at least 3 different options of a European award/certification scheme encompassing the three objectives for gender equality in the ERA, i.e. gender equality scientific careers, gender balance in decision-making positions and in the integration of the gender dimension in R&I content. The options should take into account the possible synergies and linkages with the current Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R).
A project duration of maximum 24 months is recommended.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of the order of EUR 1.50 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
Through the implementation of Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) in the last years in research organisations and universities a substantial knowledge base and a wide set of practices were established which is accessible in particular in the Gender Equality in Academia and Research - GEAR tool[[http://eige.europa.eu/gender-mainstreaming/tools-methods/GEAR]].
Gender Equality Plans are now common in some Member States and Associated Countries, but in others they are in their infancy. The implementation of the Plans as a key instrument for gender equality in the European Research Area and the institutional change they entail in research organisations and universities need to be further promoted and evaluated.
A promising option which is implemented in some countries, could be gender equality award schemes for R&I organisations. Some awarding schemes are also used as drivers for competition in attracting students and researchers and/ or as prerequisite to access funding.
Strengthen the incentives for research organisations and universities to set up Gender Equality Plans. Make progress on gender equality along the three objectives set in the European Research Area, i.e. in scientific careers, in decision-making and in the integration of the gender dimension in R&I content.