Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Supporting research organisations to implement gender equality plans

Topic identifier: SwafS-09-2018-2019
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Types of action: CSA Coordination and support action
Opening date:
11 December 2018
Deadline: 02 April 2019 17:00:00

Types of action: CSA Coordination and support action
Opening date:
05 December 2017
Deadline: 10 April 2018 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Science with and for Society
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Work Programme Part: Science with and for Society
Topic Updates
  • 20 December 2018 16:36

    A policy briefing recording for this topic is available together with the slides under 'Topic conditions' (section 8. additional documents).

  • 06 March 2018 11:23

    Regarding the 2018 topics of the H2020-SwafS-2018-2020 call, in the proposal template for part B section 1-3, which is accessible from the submission service, there is a page break after the cover page. In order to gain space, in view of the page limit, applicants are advised to remove this page break from their proposals.

  • 21 December 2017 11:08
    A policy briefing for the 2018 topics of the H2020-SwafS-2018-2020 call (Science with and for Society) has been recorded and is accessible together with the slides under 'Topic conditions and documents', section '8. Additional documents'.
Topic Description
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[1] 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[2].

The GEAR tool developed by the European Commission and EIGE[3] 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[4].

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.

Delegation Exception Footnote:

It is expected that this topic will continue in 2020.

Cross-cutting Priorities:



[2]i.e. taking into account the biological characteristics and the social / cultural features of women and men

[3] - GEAR Tool supports the research community with a practical steps-by-steps guide, an action toolbox as well as with many arguments, background information and good practices to develop tailor made Gender Equality Plans for universities and research organisations.

[4]The GEAR tool is managed by EIGE, therefore it is easy to check –the GEAR tool provides a platform for sharing experience and guide future GEPs.

Topic conditions and documents

1. Eligible countries: described in Annex A of the Work Programme.
A number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects. See the information in the Online Manual.


2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in Annex B and Annex C of the Work Programme.  

Proposal page limits and layout: please refer to Part B of the proposal template in the submission system below.


3. Evaluation:

  • Evaluation criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex H of the Work Programme. 
  • Submission and evaluation processes are described in the Online Manual.

4. Indicative time for evaluation and grant agreements:

Information on the outcome of evaluation (single-stage call): maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission. 


5. Proposal templates, evaluation forms and model grant agreements (MGA):

Coordination and Support Action:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Standard proposal template
Standard evaluation form
General MGA - Multi-Beneficiary
Annotated Grant Agreement


6. Additional provisions:

Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions.

Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

Open access to research data
The Open Research Data Pilot has been extended to cover all Horizon 2020 topics for which the submission is opened on 26 July 2016 or later. Projects funded under this topic will therefore by default provide open access to the research data they generate, except if they decide to opt-out under the conditions described in Annex L of the Work Programme. Projects can opt-out at any stage, that is both before and after the grant signature.

Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they plan to open or share their data, and will not be penalised for opting out.

Open research data sharing applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan.

Projects need to create a Data Management Plan (DMP), except if they opt-out of making their research data open access. A first version of the DMP must be provided as an early deliverable within six months of the project and should be updated during the project as appropriate. The Commission already provides guidance documents, including a template for DMPs. See the Online Manual.

Eligibility of costs: costs related to data management and data sharing are eligible for reimbursement during the project duration.

The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.


8. Additional documents:


Applicants are advised to view the policy briefing recording as well as the accompanying slides and to read carefully the introduction to '16. Science with and for Society WP 2018-20'. Please note that this material will also be part of the evaluator briefing.

SwafS-09-2018-2019 policy briefing recording

SwafS-09-2018-2019 policy briefing slides 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) H2020-SwafS-2018-2020


1. Introduction WP 2018-20
16. Science with and for society WP 2018-20
18. Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation WP 2018-20

General annexes to the Work Programme 2018-2020

Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Regulation of Establishment
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme



Additional documents

  • Flash info en

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Type of Action Coordination & support action [CSA]
Topic Supporting research organisations to implement gender equality plans - SwafS-09-2018-2019
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