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RFOs webinar series #02: How can RFOs fight gender bias?


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Presentation held by Jana Dvorackova (Technology Agency of the Czech Republic) during the webinar "How can RFOs fight gender bias", organised by SUPERA on 18 November 2020.

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RFOs webinar series #02: How can RFOs fight gender bias?

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  2. 2. 2 RFOs webinar series #02: How can RFOs fight gender bias? Jana Dvorackova, Technology Agency of the Czech Republic
  3. 3. 3 About TA CR • founded in 2009 • organizational unit of the state • supports applied research and innovation in various fields • about 160 employees • active in gender equality issues for 6 years • the structural change project GEECCO (2017-2021) enabled a complex approach to gender equality issues • TA CR leads the work package “Implementing gender equality in RFOs” • the strategy for elimination of gender biases in the evaluation process addressed as part of the GEECCO project
  4. 4. 4 The current state of play • We developed the guideline Promoting gender equality in the evaluation process: Guideline for jury members, reviewers and research funding organizations’ employees: • This guideline is for general use (and in English), it has not been integrated in TA CR´s practices yet. • It presents possible intervention measures, which RFOs can implement in order to eliminate implicit bias at the organizational level, as well as recommendations and techniques for individual peer reviewers and evaluation panel members. • A general concept of changes to be implemented in TA CR in the future months has already been approved by the management.
  5. 5. 5 1) How can funders help to eliminate gender bias? • Integrating the commitment to eliminate the influence of bias in evaluation into institutional policy • Gender sensitive formulation of the evaluation criteria • Awareness-raising activities for evaluators and chairs of evaluation committees • Instructions for evaluators • Face-to-face trainings • Videos – example Recruitment Bias in Research Institutes (Institució CERCA 2016): • Briefings before each evaluation panel’s proceedings • Pre-determined seating arrangements at panels’ proceedings • Clear and consistently applied evaluation criteria • Pre-set rules for project presentation and discussion
  6. 6. 6 • Enough time for every project • Creating an atmosphere in which perceived biases can be discussed • Inviting a gender expert or gender observer to panel proceedings • Blinding of applications or using lottery practices in selecting projects for support • Monitoring of success rates and publishing the results
  7. 7. 7 2) How can individual evaluators try to eliminate bias? • Accept the fact that your evaluation is not less influenced by stereotypes and bias than the evaluation of others • Try to keep in mind how bias works and consciously lower the impact of stereotypes on your evaluation • Videos Recruitment Bias in Research Institutes (Institució CERCA 2016) • Reserve enough time for evaluation • Use the same criteria for all applicants • Be prepared to defend the reasons for your evaluation • Think about the criteria for assessing scientific excellence • Evaluate an application as a whole • Examine your own judgment in evaluation • Notice possible bias in others
  8. 8. 8 Future prospects • Integration of anti-bias policy in relevant materials related to the process of evaluation, specific chapter on gender biases will be added in guidelines for evaluators of different calls, integration of the topic in seminars for evaluators and briefings of chairpersons. • This general conception of future steps has already been approved by the management, however, the final form of the changes will also be the result of negotiations with lower organizational units (resistances can be expected on the part of co-workers working with evaluators and administering the individual calls). • The impact of gender bias is probably not particularly strong in TA CR (only research teams can apply for grants and these are usually mixed, the evaluation does not focus primarily on research excellence, but rather on the quality of the proposal and potential application of its results). • Nevertheless, the measures to be introduced may stimulate changes in the whole research ecosystem and influence women´s position in research and higher education in an indirect way.
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