Certification-Award Systems to Promote gender Equality in Research (CASPER)

Project founded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme
Grant Agreement: 872113
Duration: 24 months
Start date: 1/01/2020
The project official website

The CASPER project aims at examining the feasibility of establishing a European award or certification system for gender equality in research organisations. Based on in-depth assessment of existing relevant systems, the project proposes to devise and validate four scenarios, including a no action scenario, in co-creation with national and international stakeholders. Each scenario will be pre-tested via a walk-through methodology, in order to understand their respective strengths/weaknesses, costs/benefits, other positive/negative impacts or their contextual relevance, and it will be subsequently validated with stakeholders.
The project will focus predominantly on gender-related inequalities in research and innovation, and will incorporate an intersectional perspective where possible. It will take place over a two-year period, and consider not only the European Union and its Member States but also relevant countries for gender equality certification/award systems such as Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, the United States and Australia.
Within CASPER, besides participating in all work packages K&I is in charge of the validation process of the co-created scenarios. Following a walk-through methodology, each step of the scenarios will be analysed in depth with the affected stakeholders at five European research institutions. The aim is grasping in practice, being exposed to the diverse perspectives of all relevant internal stakeholders, the complexities of implementation of the different scenarios in multiple sites, thus collecting first-hand information to draft a set of recommendations concerning each scenario.


Kick-off meeting of the CASPER project in Strasbourg

The first project meeting of CASPER was held on 9 and 10 January 2020 at the headquarters of the coordinator (European Science Foundation) in Strasbourg. On this occasion, the different organisations and teams introduced themselves, and the general approach of the project was presented by the Oxford Brookes University team, before reviewing and discussing all the work packages.
The presence of Anne Pépin (Senior Policy Officer of the European Commission, SwafS/Science with and for Society Unit, DG Research and Innovation) throughout the project allowed putting the project in the more general context of the Commission’s policies for gender in science in the next Framework Programme (Horizon Europe) 2021-2027. Katherine Quezada, REA Project Officer for CASPER, participated instead from Brussels and presented the project management and reporting procedures.
Considering the intensity of work in all project phases, also due to its short duration (2 years), the agenda was arranged to ensure enough time for discussion and the identification of the best solutions for cooperation between all partners in the different work packages. Within this framework, a common calendar of all in-presence and remote meetings and all the main deadlines for joint work in the first year was also agreed.