ERC policies to equalize the opportunities of men and women in getting ERC funds
Gender is a significant variable in research, which is a factor that is all too often overlooked. The current COVID-19 pandemic highlighted this fact. As one of the best funding agencies, the ERC is taking seriously the gender dimension, specifically its responsibility on the way research is designed, conducted and administered, since these influence the quality and usefulness of its results and its impact in the European scientific community. The view of the ERC Scientific Council is that women and men are equally able to perform excellent frontier research. Each process within the ERC - from creating awareness about the ERC to signing of grant agreements – is designed to give equal opportunities to men and women. To monitor gender balance in ERC calls, in 2008, the ERC set up a dedicated working group. In this talk the history of such efforts will be given as well as some statistics about the progress made so far in different calls and domains. At the same time, a real inside perspective will be given from a ERC scientific officer on how things are done in practice: what have been the concrete actions taken, what have been the successes, what are the current obstacles.