CARRE project aims to innovate also in a different way. A small, albeit crucial, part of the work plan is dedicated to gender balance awareness.
During Grant Negotiation with the European Commission, the project was given the chance to discuss Gender Aspects within the Technical Work Annex of the Contract. This spawned an interesting discussion within the consortium. Based on the FP7 Negotiation Guidance Notes, the consortium decided to include a specific Task titled Promoting Gender Balance corresponding to 2.5 person-months effort (out of 329 person-months for the entire project). Specific goals of this Task are:
- to ensure a good representation of both genders in all decision making bodies of the project;
- devote a part of Project Consortium meetings for gender aspects discussion and awareness; and
- liaise with the Committee on Women in Medical and Biological Engineering (WiMBE) of the International Federation of Medical and Biological Engineering (IFMBE) on promoting gender balance and improving working climate for both genders in the project.
As a first outcome, gender representation in the decision making bodies of the CARRE project is as follows:
- 100% female representation in coordination (Project Coordinator and Project Manager);
- 1/3 female representation in the Team Leaders and in General Assembly;
- 50% female representation in Work Package Leaders
- 54% female representation in Task Leaders; and
- 37% female representation in Team members.
Although CARRE may only be a case report of gender balance in a bioengineering research project, one can only expect that more such examples will soon come. Indeed, Horizon 2020 (the new European Union Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, 2014-2020) places emphasis on gender dimension in research projects. In specific, Article 15 of the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and Council establishing Horizon 2020 is devoted to Gender Equality as promoted in research and innovation content. Horizon 2020 is set to integrate the gender dimension into the content of projects, the Framework’s interim evaluation shall also take into consideration gender balance (see http://ec.europa.eu/research/horizon2020/index_en.cfm?pg=h2020-documents).
Author: Eleni Kaldoudi, CARRE Coordinator, DUTH
Date: 3 December 2013[/vc_column_text]