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DG R&I report “COVID-19 impact on gender equality in research and innovation”

Published on | 1 week ago

Programmes Enhancing EU R&I  

This report presents the findings of the European Commission’s Expert Group on the COVID-19 impact on gender equality in Research and Innovation (R&I). The report highlights in particular the pandemic’s gendered impact on academic productivity, early career researchers (ECRs), and work-life balance. It investigates institutional responses and aims to bring forward unseen and marginalised experiences in academia. The recommendations are intended for R&I policymakers at national and EU-level, research funding organisations and research performing organisations. They present an opportunity for Member States and R&I organisations to apply the lessons learnt from the pandemic to the development of inclusive gender equality policies in the European Research Area (ERA). (from the report’s back cover)

The four chapters provide policy recommendations for specific stakeholders. In general the report highlights:

  • A need for further funding on gender and intersectional research under Horizon Europe as well as national funding schemes
  • The necessity of reconsidering the criteria used to assess and select candidates for recruitment, advancement, and funding.
  • A demand for specific research funding schemes for the most disadvantaged groups (e.g. women, ECRs, researchers with care responsibilities) particularly affected by changing work roles and modes to overcome the productivity decline associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • A call to enhance international academic and scientific mobility schemes, including for dual-career couples, by promoting and investing in virtual mobility programmes and providing conditions that allow women and individuals with care responsibility, especially ECRs, to combine care, work and mobility.
  • A request for the availability of teleworking as a guaranteed option while designing plans and guidelines for work-life balance and ensuring that the right to disconnect digitally is recognised and regulated.

The executive summary including the five general recommendations can be found on pages 8-14.

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The RUSTICA project obtained funding under Horizon 2020, more in particular under the topic ‘Closing nutrient cycles’.  RUSTICA focuses on demonstration and implementation of circular bio-based nutrient valorisation chains, focusing on waste from the fruit and vegetable agro-food system. The project kicked off in 2021 and will run until 2024. It will use a strong multi-actor approach to co-create both socio-economic and technological knowledge in four case study regions in Europe and one in Colombia. The Flanders-based company DRANCO is one of the project partners and acts as technical project manager for the entire project. DRANCO participates in the project to develop its own technologies, to network and to help make the transition to a more circular based economy.