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Gender Equality and inclusion in European research

The POLICIES Institute is part of the Centre of Excellence for Gender Equality in Research and Innovation (INSPIRE).

Projekt INSPIRE für Gleichstellung der Geschlechter in Wissenschaft und Innovation, Foto: JOANNEUM RESEARCH/Bergmann

Gender Equality in research and innovation

In recent years, significant efforts have been made to address gender inequalities in research and innovation, in particular through gender equality plans, that provide concrete measures to initiate organizational change in research institutions and research funding organizations across Europe.

Although some progress can be noted, there is still a long way to go until true gender equality: The She Figures 2021 show that women are still underrepresented at the highest levels in science and in decision-making processes:

Less than 24% of heads of higher education institutions are women, while they make up 43% of the total academic staff.

INSPIRE aims to promote and disseminate knowledge on inclusive gender equality by creating a center that brings together experts and practitioners with the aim of facilitating the introduction and implementation of equality plans and addressing existing gaps in knowledge and practice close. In addition to the topic of equality, the focus will also be on  intersectionalityinclusivity .

About INSPIRE: The European Centre of Excellence on Inclusive Gender Equality in Research & Innovation: Creating knowledge & engaging in collaborative action

INSPIRE is a five million euro project led by the Open University of Catalonia and supported by Horizon Europe, the European Union's research and innovation program. The project, which will start in October 2022 and end in September 2026, will be carried out by a consortium of 14 partners from Europe (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Spain) and Latin America (Argentina). The partnership is made up of gender experts and practitioners from various universities and research centers who have extensive experience in implementing institutional and structural changes.

 “We are delighted to be able to embark on this ambitious journey with such a wonderful, world-class team. Our aim is to create empirically based evidence for institutional change towards a more inclusive research landscape and to offer practical support to those institutions and actors that are embarking on this path or have already made significant progress in this area.” Rachel Palmén, INSPIRE coordinator and senior researcher at the Gender and ICT Researcher Group at UOC.

Target setting

INSPIRE aims to become Europe's sustainable center of excellence , recognized worldwide for the quality of its research and analysis on gender equality in science and innovation. It brings together cutting edge research, ambitious strategic approaches and innovative practices to give scientists, gender equality experts, practitioners and trainers the opportunity to exchange experiences and knowledge, jointly develop new resources and engage strategically with public and private institutions so that the entire European Research Area benefits from it. INSPIRE is eager to capture equality from a multidimensional perspective and to develop needs-based approaches so that geographical and sectoral differences are taken into account in the implementation of equality programs as well as intersectional forms of inequality.

  • The institute POLICIES takes on the important task of coordination and knowledge transfer in the consortium between the different perspectives and approaches organized in so-called Knowledge and Support Hubs. In addition, POLICIES runs a knowledge and support hub that deals with the integration of the gender perspective into innovation processes and innovation policies and is intended to anchor equality in the research and innovation-oriented corporate sector. POLICIES will thus become an important hub of knowledge and practice for all research institutions in Austria that want to promote equality.


The INSPIRE project starts with a kick-off meeting in Barcelona on the 14th of 2022. More information will follow shortly.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s H2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 82454


Mag.<sup>a</sup> Dr.<sup>in</sup> Helene Schiffbänker
Scientific Expertise JR Diversity and Equality
Mag. Florian Holzinger
Equality survey (on behalf of the BMK)
Mag.<sup>a</sup> Sybille Reidl
deputy research group leader
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