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Are sex and gender perspectives relevant in your research?

For some of our calls in 2019, we will be asking all who apply for a grant from us to describe if sex and gender perspectives are relevant in their research.

New directive relating to gender equality and research quality

In 2018, the Swedish Research Council received a new task in our directive from the Government:

The Swedish Research Council shall work to ensure a sex and gender perspective is included, when applicable, in the research funded by the Swedish Research Council.

This is part of the Government’s work to promote gender equality, but also aims to promote the quality of the research and its future benefit. It concerns including both social and biological aspects of gender in the methods, analyses and results of research – when this is relevant.

Forte, Formas, Vinnova and the Swedish Energy Agency have received similar tasks in their public agency directives.

The task of working towards the inclusion of sex and gender perspective places demands on our process for reviewing applications.

How grant applicants are affected

During 2019, we have particular focus on applications within

  • clinical therapy research
  • medicine and health
  • educational sciences.

In the application, we will ask you to describe whether sex and gender perspectives are relevant for 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 in the call texts that will be published during spring 2019.

How sex and gender perspectives are managed in the research, when relevant, will form part of the assessment of scientific quality. We see this as part of the work to strengthen the quality and innovation of research.

The plan is that all who apply for a grant from us as from 2020 shall describe whether sex and gender perspectives are relevant in their 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.

In other words, including 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).

Proposal on sex and gender perspective in the Government bill (2016/17:50, page 79-80. Only available in Swedish.) External link.

Sex and gender according to the Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research External link.

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