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EU to fund research on gender-based violence in universities

Image: Orakunya, via Shutterstock

European Commission promotes call on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

The European Commission has used the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women to promote a Horizon 2020 call offering up to €3.2 million for projects investigating gender-based violence in higher education and research institutions.

“Gender-based violence in universities and research organisations tends to be underestimated and there is little knowledge about it,” the research commissioner Carlos Moedas tweeted, adding that the aim of the call is to better understand the issue.

Jean-Eric Paquet, the Commission’s top R&D official, stressed: “There’s no excellent research if your working place is not safe.”

The call, which opens on 10 December and closes on 15 April 2020, is intended to not only increase understanding but also make recommendations to institutions and funders on how they can prevent and combat gender-based violence. It suggests that €2.8m-3.2m for a project lasting 36 months would enable the challenge to be addressed appropriately. 

“There exist numerous reports of women and men within European universities and research institutions, who have experienced sexual harassment and who report its detrimental effects on their personal wellbeing as well as their scientific career,” the call topic says. Certain groups, such as exchange students, are particularly at risk, it says.

Gender-based violence is defined as “violence directed against a person because of that person’s gender or as violence that affects persons of a particular gender disproportionately”. Projects should develop evidence-based case studies as well as toolkits and training materials.

Twenty two organisations are looking for partners for collaborating on an application.