Considering sex and gender perspectives in your research

As from 2020, we ask all who apply for a grant from us to state whether sex and gender perspectives are relevant in their research. This applies to most of our calls. You can find instructions in the call text.

One of the tasks in the Swedish Research Council’s directive from the Government is to work towards sex and gender perspectives being included, when applicable, in the research funded by us.

This task, which was given to us in 2018, is part of the Government’s work to promote gender equality, but also aims to promote the quality of research and its future benefit. It is about including both social and biological aspects of gender and gender identity in the methods, analyses and results of research – when this is relevant. The Swedish Research Council sees this as part of the work to strengthen the quality and renewal of research.

How sex and gender perspectives are managed in research, when relevant, forms part of the assessment of scientific quality in the applications we receive. You can read about how the assessment of applications is done under the heading “How your application is assessed” in our call texts.

In the links further down this page there are many examples of how sex and gender perspectives can be applied. They are taken from different scientific fields, and cover everything from research at cellular level to research into traffic planning.

This applies for grant applicants

In your application, we ask you to describe whether sex and gender perspectives are relevant in your research and, if so, in which way you will use such perspectives, or why you choose not to do so. You can find full instructions on this in the call text.

For spring 2019, only those applying for grants within clinical therapy research, medicine and health and educational sciences were covered by the new requirement. As from 2020, most of those applying for grants from us must describe whether sex and gender perspectives are relevant in their planned research.

What are sex and gender perspectives?

Sex describes the division into categories based on biological characteristics, usually women and men, girls and boys, male and female animals.

Gender describes, in simple terms, the social and cultural processes that construct perceptions of sex and has implications for both structures of society and the gender identity of individuals.

To include sex and gender perspectives in research can concern anything from including and analysing both women and men in the study material (sex perspective) to applying a problematising and reflecting attitude to how gender affiliations are created and understood (gender perspective).

Note! Sex and gender perspectives in research content should not be confused with gender distribution in research teams or gender equality in assessing research applications.



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  1. How gender-equal is higher education? Women’s and men’s preconditions for conducting research

    Do women and men have the same opportunities to advance and make a career in academia, and to conduct research in the Swedish higher education system of today? That is the question this study of gender equality examines. The focus of the study is on ...

  2. Why does it take longer for women to become professors? A new gender equality study points to several reasons

    The differences between women’s and men’s career development in higher education are small, but women encounter obstacles on the way to a professorship. This is shown in a study by the Swedish Research Council, where around 2 000 researchers answered...

  3. Do women and men have the same preconditions for conducting research?

    This is the question for a new study of gender equality among researchers in Sweden that the Swedish Research Council will be conducting during 2021. On 29 January a questionnaire was sent to around 4 800 researchers, with questions about their worki...