Research & Innovation - Participant Portal H2020 Online Manual

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Gender equality

Gender equality in Horizon 2020

Gender equality concerns all parts of Horizon 2020. When drafting your proposal, you need to pay attention to gender equality from different angles, in terms of:

  1. Human resources: balance between women and men in the research teams who will implement your project
  2. Content: analysing and taking into account the possible differences between men and women, boys and girls, or males and females, in the research and innovation content of your project.

Gender balance in research teams at all levels

When applying for a grant under Horizon 2020, you are encouraged to promote gender balance at all levels in your teams and in management structures. Applicants should seek at having a balanced participation, as close as possible to 50/50, of both men and women in the teams and among the leading roles.

At the evaluation stage, gender balance in staff is one of the ranking factors that come into play to prioritise the proposals above the threshold with same scores. When it is used, evaluators need to compare the shares of men and women in the personnel named in the proposals (in Part B, section 4.1, of the proposal template) and they will rank higher the proposal with the share closer to 50/50.

More on the use of gender balance as a ranking factor

Integrating the gender dimension in the content of research and innovation

When applying for a grant under Horizon 2020, you are invited to explore whether and how the gender dimension is relevant to your research. In the proposal template (section 1.3), you are asked to “describe how sex and/or gender analysis is taken into account in the project's content”.

The way sex and/or gender analysis is taken into account in your proposal will be assessed by the evaluators alongside the other relevant aspects of the proposal. This is even more important if you submit your proposal to a topic where gender-related issues are explicitly mentioned.

All H2020 research topics with a gender dimension

Why is it important to take the gender dimension into account?

Integrating the gender dimension in research and innovation is an added value in terms of excellence, creativity, and business opportunities. It helps researchers question gender norms and stereotypes, to rethink standards and reference models. It leads to an in-depth understanding of both genders’ needs, behaviours and attitudes. It enhances the societal relevance of the knowledge, technologies and innovations produced. It also contributes to the production of goods and services better suited to potential markets.

How can you integrate the gender dimension in your proposal?

  1. Determine the relevance of integrating sex and gender analysis in your research. Are there any sex differences that should be investigated and addressed? Have you questioned the gender assumptions that can influence your scientific priorities, research questions, and methods? Do you expect that your research findings affect differently male and females, women and men, girls and boys?
  2. Use checklists as provided for example by the Gendered Innovations project
  3. Refer to existing evidence
  4. If more knowledge on gender dimension needs to be generated, include specific studies on gender in your activities. They are eligible costs!
  5. Engage scientists with gender expertise among your key research staff. You can also include trainings on gender dimension in your proposal, as eligible costs, in order to help researchers develop and share gender expertise in relation to your project.