News11 December 2020BrusselsResearch and Innovation
Accounting for sex and gender makes for better science – The European Commission is set to insist on steps that will make research design more inclusive.
For the next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon Europe, grant recipients will be required to incorporate sex and gender analyses into the design of research studies, unless it is specified by the Commission that sex or gender may not be relevant for the topic at stake. This is a significant achievement, which will strengthen research outcomes and help them becoming more inclusive, by also taking into account intersecting aspects like ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation. Although the European Commission began asking grant recipients to include sex and gender analysis in their research design in 2013, later evaluation reports found that fewer researchers than expected implemented this request. The current proposal will probably improve these figures, and should create a window for changes to eventually be applied by public funders across EU member states.
To help researchers to better address sex and gender analysis, the Commission’s Gendered Innovations Expert Group has published 15 case studies in the fields of health, artificial intelligence, energy, transport, marine science, urban planning, waste management, agriculture, fair taxation and venture funding, as well as on the COVID-19 pandemic, as examples of good practice.
Read the full editorial here, the Nature News interview with the Chair of the EC’s Gendered Innovations Expert Group, Londa Schiebinger, here, and the full Gendered Innovations policy review and factsheet here.