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European Platform of Women Scientists

Final Report Summary - PLATWOMSCI (European platform of women scientists)

The PLATWOMSCI project aimed to provide a European Platform of Women Scientists (EPWS) to empower women scientists to participate in the research policy debate and to enhance their professional and career advancement.

To establish a solid geographical basis, EPWS made an effort to welcome at least one representative from each of the European Union (EU)-27 Member States as member. EPWS member networks were active across disciplines. At that time, there was a fair representation between social science and humanities (31 %), multidisciplinary - encompassing the whole spectrum of disciplines - (26 %), and natural science and engineering (35 %). A total of 7 % of the platform’s members specialise in mentoring, whilst members active in entrepreneurship accounted for 1 %.

During the reporting period, EPWS made great progress in terms of developing the platform as a contact point for issues relating to women scientists and maintaining lively contact with policymakers at European level. This was illustrated through the large number of invitations to interesting and relevant events received by the platform, e.g. the involvement in the drawing-up of an own-initiative report of the European Parliament on Women and Science, the participation as expert in the European Parliament Hearing on Women and Science, which took place on 18 December 2007 or the active participation in the ad hoc Committee on Women's Rights of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly, which took place in the European Parliament on 17 October 2007.

In terms of research policy monitoring, EPWS continued to monitor the progress of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) and to engage in the development of the European Research Council (ERC) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). For broader monitoring aspects, EPWS continuously participated in Brussels-based meetings and events on science organised in Brussels, such as IGLO-open meetings, the Informal gender lunches and public hearing and committee meetings in the European Parliament.

In terms of financial sustainability, EPWS established a list of foundations, paying special attention to the type of activities or structures financed. On account of the general list of foundations (which contained about 32 pages of information) a classification of the most relevant foundations was established according to the type of project they would be able to finance.

In order to establish contacts with foundations, several meetings with foundations representatives were organised in Brussels and in Europe. Additionally, EPWS actively took advantage of its membership to the European Foundation Centre (EFC).

In the last months, EPWS WAS contacted five times with regard to joining consortia applying for EU funding. EPWS received also numerous requests from organisations looking to be put in touch with women scientists, networks of women scientists and/or gender organisations with which the platform could collaborate thus illustrating that EPWS is fast establishing itself as the right contact partner for the search for women scientists of various disciplines, as well as for questions on gender balance and research.