Dear Reader,

a lot of things happened since the last update, making this newsletter issue much longer than anticipated. Who could have known that the circumstances of our lives would change as dramatically as they have been for the last few months? In a project like ours, where we work closely with partners from different European countries, the various strategies and degrees of impact of this current crisis pose particular and unknown challenges. At the same time, COVID-19 puts all of us in one boat and lets us face similar experiences.

In this Newsletter Issue, we share the latest activities from the GRANteD Project with you:

- Introduction of New Consortium Member
- Virtual Project Steering Group Meeting
- 3rd Blog Post
- Publication of Literature Review and Conceptual Model
- Status on Collaboration with RFOs

Introducing our New Consortium Member: Prof. Helen Peterson
We are happy to introduce a new GRANteD team member, Prof. Helen Petersonfrom University of Orebro. Prof. Peterson is a Professor in Sociology and has studied a wide range of aspects of our working lives – from both the employee’s and the employer’s perspective. She is an expert for gender and qualitative methodology, as both have been consistent themes over the course of her career, making her a perfect addition for the GRANteD Team! We are very happy to have her onboard.
Virtual Project Steering Group Meeting
For the third GRANteD project meeting we wanted to meet in Stockholm but circumstances have forced us to move into digital space. At the first day of the PSG meeting, the status quo of the project was presented and members of the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) were introduced into the progress of the GRANteD Project. Together with the SAB experts, the GRANteD team discussed current aims and challenges of the project. We have received valuable input and feedback from this meeting with our SAB members along two streams:

Causal analysis in GRANteD: Does gender influence the panel scores and the panel decision? What characteristics of panels and panelists explain the differences in gender bias between the panels? The discussion focused on methodological aspects of answering these questions.

‘How is it really done?’ Studying practices in panels and boards: To learn more about what in fact is going on in review panels, we analyse how formal policies are practiced within and across different panels and different research funding organisations (RFOs) and how decision making is organized in practice. In this session we discussed how practices can be identified on individual level and aggregated on panel level.

On the second day of the meeting, sessions where held with members of the Stakeholder Committee (StC), which includes staff members of interested and collaborating RFOs from all across Europe. The participating RFOs where asked to share their expectations towards the GRANteD project as well as their experiences with existing/established funding instruments and related policies focusing especially on gender aspects and which further topics should be discussed in the next meetings. It was an important meeting promoting our aim of sharing knowledge and co-creation.
Before and after the Sessions with the SAB and StC internal consortium meetings were held to reflect on the findings of each discussions and plan further steps based on the outcome. We believe with this close collaboration and exchange with our SAB and StC members we can establish and maintain the aim of co-creating a more inclusive and fair research funding system.
StC meeting_photo
3rd Blogpost “What the Figures don’t tell you”
Data-based, empirical evidence on different funding success rates for female and male researchers as well as the leaky pipeline phenomena in academia remains an issue of interest. In view of increasingly balanced numbers among female and male students in STEM the reasons for remaining gender inequalities seem to be especially complex. In this respect, the following question has not been answered sufficiently: What are the reasons for the persistent gender differences?

In our latest Blogpost Marlene Hock from JOANNEUM RESEARCH reflects on the relevance of using qualitative methodology for analyzing potential bias and practices in decision-making and research funding.

You can read the latest Blogpost here.
You can click here if you want to catch up on the other Blogposts.
Literature Review and Conceptual Model published on website
You can find and read our first public deliverable – the Synthesis Report of the Literature Review – by Laura Cruz-Castro and Luis Sanz-Menéndez from CSIC here.

The second public deliverable is also available here on our website. The report on the conceptual model “Identifying gender bias and its causes and effects” by Peter van den Besselaar and Charlie Mom provides the conceptual framework and approach to clarify prevalence, causes and (career) effects of gender bias in grant allocation.
Status of Research Funindg Organisations (RFOs) participating in GRANteD
Over the course of the last month, we have made considerable progress in our negotiations with RFOs to participate in the GRANteD project as case studies and to provide access to data and their decision making processes. The following RFOs have fixed the collaboration with GRANteD:

FWF, Austria
SFI, Ireland
SRC, Sweden

Other RFOs have expressed their interest in our project and we are currently fixing the terms for at least two further collaboration. We are very much looking forward to working closely with the funding organizations and subsequently gaining empirical knowledge and insights into their concrete policies, processes and practices that influence grant decision making.