The Ministry of Education and Research in Norway has established a yearly Gender Equality Award of two million Norwegian kroner (about 224 300 euro) to reward the research communities' gender equality efforts.
The award was established in 2007 and has been given out seven times, in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. The prize money is intended to serve as a supplement to the resources that the institutions themselves set aside for their gender equality activities.
The Ministry of Education and Research launches the Gender Equality Award, which goes to the institution(s) or research institute(s) with the best measures for improving the gender balance in the university, university college and research institute sector in Norway. The Committee for Gender Balance in Research (KIF) is responsible for announcing the award, evaluating the nominees and making a recommendation to the ministry.
In 2014, the Solberg Government decided to discuntinue the Gender Equality Award.
Read also: Over and out for the Gender Equality Award
The Gender Equality Act § 1a states that the employer is responsible for set down goals and plans to achieve gender equality for all employees. The Ministry of Education and Research requires universities and university colleges to establish an action plan for gender equality along with the appropriate measures. On this basis the Ministry sets the goals for the gender equality work through the letters of allocation that go out to the institutions.
The establishment of the Gender Equality Award is a concrete and visible ministerial measure to encourage institutions within higher education and research, and to give the gender equality work an extra boost. The award aims to increase the proportion of women in academic positions and thereby promote a better gender balance in academia, and is an addition to the resources that the institutions themselves have reserved for gender equality work.
Applying for the Gender Equality Award
Universities, university colleges and research institutes are invited to submit their existing action plans and gender equality measures to the Kif Committee. The institutions must also document the level of financial resources that they have set aside for implementation.
The Kif Committee recommends the candidates
The Kif Committee assesses the submitted action plans and gender equality measures and gives its recommendation to the Ministry of Education and Research. The committee also considers whether the award will go to one or more institutions.
Criteria and guidelines
The Ministry of Education and Research has settled on the following criteria and guidelines:
- The award will go to institutions that have worked to promote women in science by implementing action plans for gender equality.
- The institutions can submit both their general action plans and plans implemented by one of their subdivisions.
- The award shall support an institution’s action plans and must be used for specific gender equality measures.
- It will be taken into consideration whether the institution can show that it has implemented specific measures and carried out its action plan.
- 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.
- The submitted action plans must be approved and made public in order to compete for the award. If the institution has established 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.
- The Kif Committee will consider whether the award will go to one or more recipients after assessing the range and quality of the applications.
- Both universities, university colleges and institutes may apply.
The Ministry and the Office of the Auditor General may perform controls to ensure that the prize money is used as intended, cf. allocation rules § 10, subsection 2 and the Auditor General Act § 12. Furthermore, the Ministry may reclaim all or part of the prize money if it is not used as intended.
The Gender Equality Award for 2013 went to Simula Research Laboratory.
The Gender Equality Award for 2012 went to the Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
The Gender Equality Award 2011 went to the University of Tromsø.
The Gender Equality Award 2010 went to Bergen University College.
The Gender Equality Award 2009 went to the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences.
The Gender Equality Award 2008 went to the University of Bergen and the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration.
The Gender Equality Award 2007 went to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and the University of Tromsø.