Modifying Institution by Developing Gender Equality Plans (MINDtheGEPs)

Project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme
Grant Agreement: 101006543
Duration: 48 months
Start date: 1/02/2021
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A new European research project, awarded with almost 3 million Euro and starting on 1st February 2021, prepares the ground for structural changes to promote gender equality in public and private research organisations. Led by the University of Turin, the four-year MINDtheGEPs project will identify good practice and help shape measures to reduce gender imbalances in seven research institutions and generate data to support the development of national and European policy for gender equality in research performing organisations.

The MINDtheGEPs team is a mix of EU institutions coordinated by the University of Turin. The project has partners from Italy, Spain, Ireland, Poland, Serbia, Sweden and The Netherlands. Seven partners: University of Gdańsk, the School of Electrical Engineering-University of Belgrade, Jagiellonian University, Institute of Technology Tralee, Automotive Technology Centre of Galicia (CTAG), National Research Council (CNR) and the University of Turin will set up and implement gender action plans. They receive support from the Italian National Research Council (CNR), Knowledge and Innovation (K&I), Uppsala University and Elsevier.

The gender equality plans developed in the project will include both cultural and structural aspects. This includes removing barriers to hiring and the career development for women in research, and to contrast gender inequalities within governing bodies and evaluation committees. This ensures actions are aligned with the European Commission’s objectives for gender equality in European research.

MINDtheGEPS will both map existing data and generate new datasets on sex and gender differences to support the development of policy on gender action. This qualitative and quantitative data collection will drive the implementation of effective gender equality plans that can be monitored and evaluated. Furthermore, having a scientific publisher on board allows MINDtheGEPs consortium to develop structures to collaborate with scientific journals and publishers on gender differences.
A number of workshops on empowerment and gender education for both male and female researchers in the early to middle stages of their career will be organised. Measures to balance work and family life, aimed at both men and women, will be focused on. A set of key professional profiles, for example Gender Equality Managers, and Gender Database Manager, that can act as experts on gender equality will be designed and implemented, to complement existing roles.


On 12th May 2023, the fourth Open Forum “No data: no policies” promoted by the MINDtheGEPs project will be held, during which the results and recommendations that emerged from the work of mapping the push and pull factors that (de)construct gender inequalities in a research career will be presented. In particular, evidence and recommendations will be shared regarding, four aspects: 1. Decision-making bodies: defining leaders and institutions according to gender; 2. Balancing recruitment and career progression; 3. Improving work-life balance; 4. Gender-biasing research and teaching. Speakers at the Open Forum will include Cristina Solera of the Centre for Women and Gender ...
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In July 2022, the activities of WP7 “Monitoring and Evaluating GEPs” started. The Work Package, coordinated by K&I, is aimed at supporting the 7 teams involved in the design and development of the Gender Equality Plans, both in the specific activities of each research organisation and in the transversal activities of the MINDtheGEPs Project. Within this framework, Deliverable D7.1 “Evaluation Plan” was delivered in September 2022, which describes the characteristics and approaches of the evaluation and monitoring model used in the project, the reference dimensions and indicators, and the methodological aspects (sources used, technical tools, procedures, etc.). The document also ...
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On 7th and 8th June 2022 MINDtheGEPs organised the first train-the-trainer workshop aimed at strengthening capacities for sustainable change in partner organisations. Around 50 people met in Vigo to discuss basic concepts and tools to promote organisational change, and how “situated knowledge” can support the implementation of Gender Equality Plans (GEPs). On the first day, work focused on raising awareness of gender equality in research and academia, providing participants with the necessary skills to design, negotiate, implement, and monitor a GEP. This part of the workshop also dealt with resistance to gender equality. The second day of the workshop focused ...
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In May 2022, at the seven research organisations involved in the implementation of the GEPs, the data collection activity for the initial assessment of gender imbalances was completed. Starting from the last months of 2021, in fact, each institute started collecting quantitative and qualitative information and data on the existing situation in their organisation. Several methodologies were used to do this, including interviews with researchers and key informants, processing data already existing in their archives, and collecting national and regional statistics (for more information see here). The activity involved not only the research teams, but also the administrative staff of ...
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Since February 2022, the MindtheGEPs project has published a newsletter through which you can be regularly informed about its activities and achievements. If you would like to receive the Newsletter, you can subscribe at this link. The first number of the Newsletter was published on the occasion of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science and was entitled “Paving the way for quality in research: First newsletter issued!”. This issue offers an illustration of the structure of MINDtheGEPs and the key areas in which it intends to intervene. The second number of the Newsletter “Gender audits & our ...
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The MINDtheGEPs project includes a communication and dissemination programme coordinated by the Uppsala University. In addition to fostering the partners' capacities to communicate with different internal and external audiences interested in their actions and to report on MINDtheGEPs activities and results, the programme aims to foster the exchange of ideas and experiences with organisations and individuals interested in promoting gender equality in science and higher education through institutional and cultural change programmes. In this context, a short illustrative video on MINDtheGEPs has been on the project website since 20 December 2021, available in the five languages of the implementing bodies ...
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The kick-off meeting of MINDtheGEPs project was held online from 4 to 5 March 2021. During the first day, after a welcome address by the rector of Turin University (project leader and host of the meeting), a session on Gender Transformations in the Academy: Using Gender Structure Theory to Identify Challenges and Solutions was held. Barbara J. Risman from the University of Illinois gave a keynote talk. Esposito, Italian Representative in the European ResearchArea Committee and MINDtheGEPs Advisory Board, and Pauline Stoltz, Aalborg, University and At-Gender Board Member, were discussant in the session. On the following day, the project ...
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