The Swedish Research Council regards gender equality in research as a quality issue. We want to support the best researchers – irrespective of gender. In terms of the gender distribution in different areas, we strive to ensure women and men apply for our funding in equal measure, and also that the outcome of the evaluation is gender equal. It is also important that women and men get the same average amount of research funding.
Gender equality perspective in the evaluation
Our principle is to maintain gender equality on the review panels that assess the applications for research funding, with a minimum of 40 per cent of each gender. All applications shall be assessed objectively and therefore on a gender-neutral basis. That is why we inform all the members of the review panels, scientific councils, councils and committees about our gender equality objectives, and how we are working to achieve them.
Every year, the Swedish Research Council’s scientific councils, councils and committees report to the Board on the gender equality outcome of the grant decisions, in terms of approval rates and average grant amounts awarded. If there is any regular or significant divergence from the gender equality objectives, the scientific council, council or committee is asked to comment and justify such divergence, and to consider any need for correction.
We follow up how gender equality in the assessment of applications works in practice through observations of the discussion of applications, and then develop our work based on that. The gender equality observations form a report that we publish here on this website.
Analysis and follow-up of gender equality
The gender equality perspective shall permeate everything we do. It is applied in our official comments and forms the basis for our decisions and analyses. It is also applied in our seminars and conferences, which must be equal, inclusive and non-normative. When evaluating different research investments, we strive to have as many women as men on the expert panels.
We do not only follow up our own activities, but also the development of gender equality among researchers at Swedish higher education institutions.