Stronger integration of gender perspectives in all research
Gender research is a well-established field of research in Norway. In the future the Research Council of Norway will give priority to integrating gender perspectives more dynamically into all of its programmes and activities.
During the past 17 years the Research Council has worked to create a strong framework for gender research in Norway through independent, thematically oriented programmes. The Council rates these programmes as highly successful.
“Gender research is well established as a separate field of research. The most prominent researchers are doing well in obtaining funding from other programmes at the Research Council as well as under the FRIPRO funding scheme for independent projects,” states Anders Hanneborg, Executive Director of the Division for Science.
When the current Programme for Gender Research concludes in 2012, it will be replaced with other types of funding instruments instead of a new programme in the area.
“The most important task in the future will be to integrate gender perspectives into research activity in general. This objective is high on the Research Council’s agenda,” says Mr Hanneborg.
The Research Council’s Policy on Gender Equality and Gender Perspectives in Research states that gender is a main organising principle of society. High-quality research must take both biological and social gender differences into account.
The criteria “gender perspectives in research” is already being applied in the assessment of all grant applications submitted to the Research Council.
Most progress in the humanities and social sciences
The research programmes and institutions in the humanities and social sciences have taken the lead and made the most progress in integrating gender perspectives into research activities. In addition, the Research Council’s new Programme on Cultural Conditions underlying Social Change (SAMKUL) will seek separate projects related to gender in its upcoming calls for proposals.
Some researchers in other subject areas may be unclear about whether, and possibly how, gender perspectives are relevant to their areas. Competency in the gender field varies, and the relevance of gender perspectives is still not recognised in all subject areas. The Research Council views this as a major challenge to address in the years to come.
Analysis of the current situation
“Clearer, more effective follow-up of our established policy in this area will also require greater knowledge, awareness and expertise within the Research Council administration. This is vital if we are to successfully convey our expectations in this area to the research institutions,” states Mr Hanneborg.
Initially the Research Council will analyse the extent to which gender perspectives are being included in the research activity it already funds and determine how the activity is distributed among subject areas, programmes and other instruments.
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