A Gender-Neutral Process – Gender Equality Observations in The Swedish Research Council’s Review Panels 2016

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One of the Swedish Research Council’s principal tasks is to fund basic research of the highest quality. Gender equality is a quality issue for the entire research system and the Research Council has a duty to promote gender equality within its own area of operations. Over the course of several years, the Research Council has built up its knowledge of how efforts to increase gender equality in conjunction with research funding can be conducted. One tool that the Research Council is using is gender equality observations.

These have been conducted every two years since 2012. The aim of these observations is to review, from a gender equality perspective, the meetings at which experts discuss applications for research grants that the Research Council has received. These meetings are a central aspect of the Research Council’s research grant allocation process. The observations are part of wider gender equality efforts within the Research Council that also encompass the development of other parts of the evaluation process in order to achieve the Research Council’s gender equality objectives.

Previous gender equality observations have resulted in recommendations that, together with an internal development process, have led to improvements to the Research Council’s procedures. In autumn 2016, the Research Council conducted gender equality observations for the sixth time in eight review panel meetings. This was done in order to investigate whether there was further room for improvement in terms of procedures, instructions and other aspects that promote a gender-neutral evaluation of grant applications.Gender equality in the allocation of research grants is an important objective that requires persistence and continuity. This report provides a good foundation on which to base the Research Council’s future discussions and makes a contribution to the work to further develop the quality of the Research Council’s processes.

Research Funding
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Report (EU and other)
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Research funding decisions