Beyond Academia – six proposals regarding Horizon 2020

The European Platform of Women Scientists, which represents more than 12,000 female researchers in Europe and beyond, has urged the European Commission (EC) to do six things with respect to Horizon 2020, the upcoming EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. 
First, the EC needs to introduce binding gender-evaluation criteria in EU research-funding programmes.
Second, it should set targets for the participation of women in EU-funded research projects at all levels (young and senior scientists, project leaders, consortium managers) at the proposal stage, sanctioning missed targets and publishing results. 
Third, the EC needs to set indicators for gender sensitivity in the research design of proposed projects. 
Fourth, it should extend the 40% target for women’s participation beyond advisory groups and evaluators’ panels to all structures related to Horizon 2020 — including the ERC, Joint Research Centre, European Institute of Innovation and Technology, steering and expert groups and the like. 
Fifth, it needs to train evaluators in gender issues. 
Finally, the EC must increase funding for research into improving societal structures as part of its innovation strategy (see Motivation and participation are the basis of high-quality results in research — not biased evaluation criteria, job insecurity and glass ceilings. An academic culture that is transparent, democratic and sensitive to gender and diversity will benefit all scientists. 
Taken from “Only Wholesale Reform Will Bring Equality”, in Nature Vol 495, 7 March 2013. 
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