Supporting research organisations to implement gender equality plans

Specific Challenge:

Gender equality is a key priority set with the Member States and Associated countries in the European Research

Area. Research funding and performing organisations and universities are invited to implement institutional change through Gender Equality Plans (GEPs). The Council conclusions of 1/12/2015 acknowledged the contribution of gender equality to the quality of research and innovation. It reaffirmed the need for sustainable cultural and institutional change along the three following objectives:

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

2. Addressing gender imbalances in decision making processes;

3. Integrating the gender dimension in research and innovation content.

The GEAR tool developed by the European Commission and EIGE regrouped the state of the art knowledge and practices on institutional change and provided a step-by-step guide on how to set up and implement GEPs.


The action should focus on implementing Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) in research organisations and universities, as “drivers” for systemic institutional changes. The GEPs should be developed using a coherent approach, referring to the GEAR tool step-by-step guide. The proposed GEPs structure will include at least the following:

• Conduct assessment / audit of procedures and practices with relevant data to identify gender bias at organisation level;

• Implement effective actions to be developed over time, according to the identified bias;

• Set targets and monitor progress via indicators at organisation level.

The proposals will explain the planned GEPs in the context of existing national provisions and national action plans (legislation, specific incentives, etc.) relating to gender equality in research and innovation. The proposal should also explain previous steps taken by the organisation for gender equality.

The proposal will provide proof of long term commitment in the implementation of GEPs from their highest management level. The role of middle management and relevant departments of the partner organisations in the implementation of the GEPs shall be described.

The proposals will include a methodology for impartially evaluating the progress made on the impact the gender equality plans had on structural change throughout the duration of the project. A specific work package(s) and deliverable(s) should be introduced in the proposal for this purpose.

Special emphasis will be placed on the sustainability of the GEPs to be implemented and on project follow-up initiatives.

The allocation of resources within the consortium will focus on the implementation of GEPs in the partner organisations. These partner organisations must be at a starting/initial stage in the setting-up and implementation of gender equality plans. It is recommended that the proposals should allocate the majority of funding to setting-up and implementing GEPS. The proposal will explain the role of partners not implementing GEPs and their specific contribution in line with the text and requirements of the topic.

Participation of professional associations in the consortium is recommended.

Project duration of at least 48 months is recommended.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 2.50 million and 3.00 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 proposed action will contribute to increasing the number of research organisations and higher education establishments implementing gender equality plans. The individual implemented GEPs should be shared on the GEAR tool.

The expected impacts are:

– Increase in the participation of women in research and innovation and improvement of their careers prospects;

– Improvement of gender balance in decision-making bodies in research organisations;

– Inclusion, where relevant, of the gender dimension in research content and increase in the quality and societal relevance of produced knowledge, technologies and innovations.

In the medium to long term, the implementation of Gender Equality Plans will contribute to the achievement of the ERA.

Types of action: CSA Coordination and support action
Opening date:
11 December 2018
Deadline: 02 April 2019

Source: Horizon 2020 – The European Commission