Synthesis report on contextual factors, gender equality policy analysis and gender bias risk analysis

Liisa Husu, Helen Peterson, Helene Schiffbänker, Jeff Hearn, Angelika Sauer, Marlene Hock, David Walker

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


The project GRANteD (Grant Allocation Disparities from a Gender Perspective) started in January 2019, funded within the European Commission Horizon 2020 programme, to analyse the occurrence and causes of gender bias in research funding in Europe. Six project partners in five countries investigate from different perspectives and with a multi-method approach factors that may cause gender imbalances before, during and after grant submissions. The project adopts a broad, process-oriented, perspective when investigating gender bias in grant allocation, paying particular attention to several different key organisational processes within Research Funding Organisations (RFOs), which structure and systematize grant allocation, such as decisions-making processes, review processes, and selection processes.
The GRANteD project includes five empirical, multi-level and multi-method, case studies in which gender bias and gender equality policies are studied in-depth, to produce a multi-faceted understanding of complex issues regarding gender disparities in higher education and science, drawing on both qualitative and quantitative approaches to data collection. The case study research design allowed for inclusion of five public RFOs in the European Research Area, situated in: Austria, Ireland, Poland, Slovak Republic, and Sweden, respectively. The countries and the core RFOs were selected to achieve not only a geographical spread but also a variety of research funding landscapes. In each of the five core RFOs, one funding instrument, targeting mainly early career researchers, was selected for a more detailed analysis of gender bias in the funding cycle.
This GRANteD report constitutes a synthesis on contextual factors, gender equality policy analysis and gender bias risk analysis. It explores, first, national funding regimes and national gender equality regimes as broader macro contexts of the five core RFOs. This contextual analysis includes how gender equality is or is not foregrounded in the research policies and legislation, as well as gender relations in the research sector. Second, gender equality policies and relevant regulations of the RFOs have been mapped and analysed through timelines, framings, topics addressed, and measures. A grid for assessing gender bias risk in RFOs is introduced in the report as an innovative tool to map potential gender bias risk areas in RFOs, focusing on seven key areas: Strategy; Structure; Language and Communication; Evaluation; Transparency; Accountability; and Monitoring. Third, the five selected funding instruments included in the study are here analysed, adopting a similar framework for identifying potential gender bias risks.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages147
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study


  • 514,1 Sociology
  • research funding organisations; gender equality policy; gender bias; research policy


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