Responses from grant bodies

Received 19.12.2018

Dear Promote Me,

Thank you for contacting Independent Research Fund Denmark with your concerns regarding gender equality in Science.

Independent Research Fund Denmark (IRFD) is committed to contribute to solving the gender challenges that exist in the research community. In June 2018, the board of directors implemented a new gender policy with a range of initiatives aimed at obtaining gender balance. 

It is important for IRFD that funding decisions are made based on the criteria of excellence and originality, notwithstanding the gender of applicants. Success rates for IRFD funding instruments (published on the website) show that the overall success rate for male and female applicants is almost equal in 2017.

IRFD aims to have at least 40 percent of the under-represented gender on its board of directors and in the five councils. Independent Research Fund Denmark (IRFD) monitors the ratio between genders on its board of directors and in the five research councils and IRFD acknowledges that there is an imbalance in certain areas. Furthermore, IRFD urges the universities to include both male and female candidates in their recommendation of new council and board members to the Fund.

IRFD acknowledges that success rates distributed on individual councils are not included in the latest annual report. However, IRFD will consider making gender issues more visible in its next annual report.

IRFD consider testing anonymization in the review process, but because of the small research environment in Denmark, it will be difficult to make a full anonymization of the grant reviews. However, the board of directors is still debating the possibility of testing anonymization in the grant review. In that connection IRFD is a consortium partner applying for a Horizon 2020 project, focusing on gender equality. This project can potentially give IRDF knowledge about anonymization in the grant review as well as other aspects of gender equality.

IRFD acknowledges Promote Me’s contribution to bridging the gender gap and focusing on a common challenge. IRFD hopes that the increasing focus on the gender gap in research from many actors will make a change in the future. 

Attached is IRFD success rate and gender balance.

Kind regards,

Peter Munk Christiansen

Chairman of the board of Independent Research Fund Denmark