Offers big award for gender equality

The Ministry of Education and Research has established a new gender equality award worth two million Norwegian kroner. The award will go to the institution that has done the most to promote women in science.

Tora Aasland, new Minister of Research in Norway. She replaced the former Minister Øystein Djupedal in October. Photo: Arild Hjelm

All universities and university colleges in Norway must create an action plan to promote gender equality. After Christmas those who have worked the hardest may get a nice January present: The ministry will then announce which institution that has taken the best measures to improve the gender balance in academia. The award is worth two million Norwegian kroner, about 260 000 euro.

"To improve the gender equality in universities and university colleges is still a challenge. This award aims to encourage this sector in its gender equality work. We wish to increase the number of women in academic positions," said the then Minister of Education and Research Øystein Djupedal in a press release.

The Committee for Mainstreaming – Women in Science will administer the new gender equality award on behalf of the Ministry of Education and Research. All universities, university colleges and research institutes can send in their action plans and gender equality measures to the committee before November 23, 2007.

The recipient will be chosen based on the following criteria:

  1. The award will go to institutions that have worked to promote women in science by implementing action plans for gender equality.
  2. The institutions can submit both their general action plans and plans implemented by one of their subdivisions.
  3. The award is to support an institution’s action plans and should be used for gender equality work.
  4. It will be taken into consideration whether the institution can show that it has implemented specific measures and carried out its action plan.
  5. The award is a supplement to the resources the institution itself will spend on its action plan and gender equality measures. The application must state how much the institution has earmarked for these purposes.
  6. The submitted action plans must be approved and made public in order to compete for the award. If the institution has taken significant measures not listed in the action plan, these can also be included. Action plans in the making (not completed) that are not approved by the institution, that are expired or too old will not be considered for the award.
  7. The Committee for Mainstreaming will decide whether the award will go to one or more recipients after assessing the range and quality of the applications.
  8. Both universities, university colleges and institutions can apply.

The award ceremony will take place at Kontaktkonferansen, a governmental conference held on January 22 2008.

The article was first published 15.10.2007. Updated 30.10.2007.
Translated by Vigdis Isachsen.