Working Group on Gender Balance

Gender mainstreaming is among the core principles of the ERC in the sense that each process within the ERC - from creating awareness about the ERC to grant signing – is designed to include both genders, giving equal opportunities to men and women.

An important goal of the ERC gender equality plan 2007-2013 is to ensure that both male and female excellent researchers are fully informed and aware of the opportunities that an ERC grant offers. It is also essential to convey a clear message that fairness and equal treatment are fundamental in the ERC grant competitions. Moreover, the plan envisages closer monitoring of the gender distribution within the ERC’s peer review system, striving for balance.

In 2008, the Scientific Council decided to set up a dedicated working group to monitor gender balance. The group has drafted the ERC gender equality plan 2007-2013 - endorsed by the Scientific Council in December 2010 - based on the view that women and men are equally able to perform excellent frontier research.

The ERC Scientific Council Gender Equality plan includes three main objectives. Those are:

  • raising awareness about the ERC gender policy among potential applicants and working towards improving the gender balance among researchers submitting ERC proposals in all research fields;
  • identifying and challenging any potential gender bias in the ERC evaluation  procedure and  monitoring possible changes in gender structures (careers and academic posts) following the ERC grants;
  • achieving in the medium term gender balance among the ERC peer reviewers and other relevant decision making bodies, with a minimum participation of 40% of the underrepresented gender.

The WG on Gender balance is also following up two ongoing gender studies: ‘’Gender aspects in career structures and career paths’’ and ‘’ERC proposal submission, peer review and gender mainstreaming’’.

Working Group Members

ERCEA secretariat: Severina Shopova, Unit Support to the Scientific Council


  • 2/12/2013 - On the way to the top: providing equal opportunities for men and women in science and technology
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