The Gender and Excellence expert group was set up to provide recommendations on the improvement of transparency in the procedures used in selection committees for the award of grants and fellowships and in access to research funding in general. This report gives an analysis of the gender dynamics among applicants, recipients and gatekeepers of research funding, in funding processes, instruments and criteria, and the role of key funding organisations in promoting gender equality in research.

The analysis was carried out in 33 countries, an overview of which is annexed to the report. These countries could be roughly divided into two groups: proactive countries, which promote and monitor gender equality in research and research funding with active policies and measures, and countries relatively inactive in this area, with few, if any, initiatives.

The expert group has not found a large and systematic gender imbalance in terms of success rates in research funding in the funding systems studied, although a few exceptions exist. However, there is a clear difference in application behaviour: women are less likely to apply for funding than men, and this needs further study. To encourage the funding organisations and other stakeholders to take the gender challenge in research funding seriously in practice and take action, this report provides a number of recommendations, flags up some good practices, and outlines future research themes.

Upload the report (136 p. en): The gender challenge in research funding_2009