GENOVATE, an action-research project involving seven European universities was based on the implementation of Gender Equality Action Plans (GEAPs) in six universities supported by on-going participatory evaluation undertaken by one university. It brought together a consortium with diverse experience with gender equality mainstreaming approaches, varying institutional and disciplinary backgrounds and located in different national contexts.

Implemented in

  • Europe and Central Asia

Sectors of activity
Education, Scientific Research, Development and Innovation

Type of initiative
Capacity Building & Implementation, Education & Awareness Raising, Policy Frameworks & Tools

Type of lead actor
Scientific and Technical

600000 US$

Start date

End date

Shared by

Crina Oltean-Dumbrava

Professor of Sustainable Built Environment

University of Bradford

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GENOVATE covered three common areas for intervention: i) recruitment, progression, and research support; ii) Working environment, work-life balance, and institutional culture; and iii) Standards and diversity in research excellence and innovation. Each partner addressed these areas through their individually tailored GEAPs that built on existing structures and policies where relevant, or developed new systems and practices where appropriate. This contextualised approach was supported by an on-going knowledge-exchange system and shared learning for all partners.
Despite the general advancement of equality principles and policies in Europe, an examination of the career paths of academic researchers highlights a persistence of career patterns and outcomes that differ for men and women. Attention to the issue in Europe has been given a new impetus since the Lisbon Agenda in 2000. The creation of the European Research Area and the recognition of the contribution it can make to Europe’s knowledge economy has encouraged a new awareness of the strategic value of gender equality. When looking at the area of research and innovation gender equality is strategically valuable because it is now recognised that research excellence requires accessibility, resources and advancement opportunities for the best researchers, irrespective of gender; and innovation demands the diversity of perspective and input that is possible from a truly diverse research resulting in a sustainable society.
Greater diversity and equality of opportunity are crucial to enhancing excellence in research and innovation. The higher education sector is a key axis of the European research sector: universities are the foundation of researcher development and a focal point for original research and innovation. The project’s emphasis on research in the academic sector is a strategy that targets the heart of the research and innovation enterprise as a whole. Policies for gender equality have had limited success, and there is a need to address the policy-outcome gap through more contextualised approaches. The importance of addressing the policy/outcome gap is reflected in recent calls for strategies that can actually be implemented, that will be implemented and that will achieve real outcomes to promote gender equality in the research and innovation sector. GENOVATE sought to bridge the gaps between policies and outcomes through the production of an accessible body of knowledge.


As collected through the One Planet Reporting

No activities have yet been reported under this initiative

Impact and Results

GENOVATE project involved the development of two overlapping processes - at the micro/institutional level linked to the implementation of Gender Equality Action Plans (GEAPs) in the six implementing partner institutions with the exception of UCM which led WP7 and supported the GEAPs’ evaluation, and at the macro/Consortium level linked to the development of eight different Work Packages. Both were conceived of as crucial processes for developing the GENOVATE model of gender equality in research and innovation.
GEAP Implementation at institutional level
- Reviewing and refining institutional Gender Equality Action Plans
- Mapping actions
- Evaluating and reflecting on actions
- Specifying learning
- Summary of institutional GEAP implementation

Next steps and how to get involved

Contact Professor Crina Oltean-Dumbrava