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Gender Balance Initiatives in Research Funding : Barriers and Possible Measures to Increase the Share of Women within Natural Science and Technology

by Anna Stegger Gemzøe; Helene Pristed Nielsen; Stine Thidemann Faber

Jan 1, 2019

The objective of this research memorandum is to identify and describe what constitutes the significant barriers against achieving a better gender balance at Danish universities, in particular within natural sciences and technology.

The memorandum also addresses the question of the possible role of research funding institutions in relation to gender imbalances in academia, and in particular which actions and measures have been put in place in order to prevent women from remaining disproportionately underrepresented.

Based on desk research, this research memorandum presents in total six promising practices and short summaries of existing experiences regarding what works in addressing the gender gap in research funding. While the identified gender balancing initiatives and measures stem from numerous national contexts, each of them are characterised by focusing mainly on one specific part of the grant allocation process – whether it be early in the process, where measures such as certification of applicants and/or earmarked funds are a possibility, or while applicants and projects are being assessed, or in the post-award phase, where measures to ensure public accountability for funding schemes and counteracting the motherhood penalty are distinct possibilities. Following the presentation of the promising practices below is a number of clear and concise recommendations on possible actions to be taken.