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Research programme on gender equality in academia

The male dominance in top positions in Nordic research seems to persist. A new research programme, focusing on solutions, is now being launched.

The Nordic countries have had gender equality in academia on their to-do lists since the 1970s. But it has not turned out to be a quick fix. According to the Nordic Council of Ministers’ report The Nordic Region – a Step Closer to Gender Balance in Research? (2013), nearly 80 per cent of all professors in the Nordic countries are men. The greatest imbalances can be found in the natural sciences and technology.

Lotta Strandberg
 Lotta Strandberg

‘The report suggests that the reasons for this should be explored. That’s the background to the new research programme,’ says Lotta Strandberg, senior adviser at NordForsk.
The new research programme, Gender in the Nordic Research and Innovation Area, is a collaboration between NordForsk, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The purpose is to find out why the area of research and innovation has not followed the trend towards a gender-equal society and identify the measures needed to solve this problem.

Nordic researchers collaborate

‘There’s a focus on finding solutions. How can we make the academic world more gender equal? A more diversified research community will generate more diversified perspectives, more ways to look at things, so it’s important to have both women and men in leading positions,’ says Strandberg.
The idea is to encourage Nordic cooperation around these issues. Consequently, the research projects must consist of researchers from at least three Nordic countries. Only researchers from the countries funding the programme – Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden – are eligible to apply, but researchers from other countries are also welcome to participate in the projects. The application deadline is 27 April 2016 and the maximum grant amount is NOK 25 million.

Updated 18 April 2020