Rethinking gender Equality and Scientific Excellence Together
French National Research Agency (ANR)
Funder: French National Research Agency (ANR)Project code: ANR-19-MRS1-0002
Funder Contribution: 29,916 EUR

For ten years, the European Union considers the notion of gender equality through the lens of a liberal political mindset, aiming to rally an entire highly-skilled workforce to maintain the continent’s economic competitiveness internationally. Research and academia are at the same time dramatically evolving through the generalisation of competitive funding and the establishment of excellence policies. Observing that in this context, female researchers remain underrepresented, the RESET project (Rethinking gender Equality and Scientific Excellence Together) aims to address the following question: how, and to which extent, do scientific excellence norms have an impact on female researcher’s careers, with regard to the local academic and national labour markets? Supported by Equal Opportunities Officers from several European universities, most of whom are researchers involved in Social Sciences and Humanities, RESET brings research and political action together. It intends to make the most out of its practical and organisational dimension to address research areas currently ignored by SSH research on the obstacles to women’s career progression in academia. European literature traditionally analyses women’s position in academic careers in three categories: at micro (individuals), meso (organisations) or macro level (society) (Lefeuvre 2016). Corrective actions that form the GEP tie these three dimensions together. Through the questions we raise and the data we collect, the project intends firstly to provide answers to the “grey area” of comparative analysis at a European level identified by Nicky Lefeuvre. In the context of RESET, mechanisms of women’s inclusion/exclusion in scientific careers with regard to the national academic labour market will be compared on four criteria: duration and status of the granting of tenure after the PhD, methods of selection for professorial positions, distribution of positions between “local” and “national” candidates, decisions related to the allocation of resources (salaries). Beyond the use of qualitative and quantitative methods of survey, the definition and implementation of the GEPs shall collect information of the effects of the norm of scientific excellence on the gender of academic careers, depending on the state of the academic labour market for each university and of each national context. The guideline of the corrective actions of the GEPs is to act upon the academic career continuum (PhD enrolment, allocation of a tenured position, access to senior/higher positions; emeritus, honours and academic acknowledgements). The second major research guiding principle of the RESET project will consist in addressing the impact of the international norm of scientific excellence on gender-related career inequalities among the partner European universities. The most common analytical frame used to describe the evolution of the higher education and research landscape is the new public management (Musselin 2017). In an operational perspective, the implementation will be closest to the laboratories and involving its members and directions. It relies on interviews, which approach is twofold: practice- and research-oriented.

Data Management Plans