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Legal and Financial Aspects of Horizon 2020

Gender in Horizon 2020

The promotion of gender equality in research and innovation is a renewed commitment. It is enshrined in the core documents establishing Horizon 2020, with the following objectives:

  • Gender balance in decision-making
    The aim is to reach the Commission’s target of 40% of the under-represented sex in each group (for example expert groups) and panels (for example evaluation panels). For Advisory Groups, the target was raised to 50%, given the high response rate from women to the Commission’s call for interest launched in February 2013. Also, each group includes at least one expert with gender expertise; all gender experts in the groups meet regularly. As the pool of female scientists in Europe and beyond is constantly growing, Horizon 2020 wants to guarantee both a high level of expertise and the respect of gender balance. This will also help engage newcomers in EU research activities.
  • Gender balance in research teams at all levels
    Horizon 2020 encourages a balanced participation between women and men in research activities at different stages of the cycle.To reinforce applicants’ engagement at proposal level, gender balance in the research team has been included among the ranking factors to prioritise proposals with the same scores. In particular, by signing the grant agreement, beneficiaries will commit to promote equal opportunities between men and women in the implementation of their action. They will also commit to aim, as far as possible, for gender balance at all levels of personnel assigned to the action, including at supervisory and managerial level.
  • Gender dimension in research and innovation content
    The gender dimension is explicitly integrated into several topics across all sections of the Horizon 2020 Work Programme. In these cases, applicants will describe how sex and/or gender analysis is taken into account in the project’s content. Sex and gender refer to biological characteristics and social/cultural factors, respectively. Topics with an explicit gender dimension are flagged, to ease access for applicants. This should not however prevent applicants to a non-flagged topic from including a gender dimension in their proposal, when the topic and/or its findings may affect individuals or groups of persons. Recognising gender differences has important implications for scientific knowledge and actively contributes to the production of goods and services better suited to potential markets.
A novelty of Horizon 2020 is the inclusion of gender training among the eligible costs of an action.

Fact sheet on Gender equality in Horizon 2020