What is the KIF Committee?

The KIF Committee gathered in Kautokeino 19 July 2023 in front of Juhl silver gallery..

The KIF Committee gathered in Kautokeino 19 July 2023 during their first visit to Sámi University of Applied Sciences. (Photo: Karina Lystad)

The Committee for Gender Balance and Diversity in Research (the KIF Committee) is appointed by the Ministry of Education and Research, normally every four years.

The KIF Committee aims to increase knowledge about how gender, social and ethnic background affect critical transitions in research careers; from the path into research to senior-level and leadership positions.

The KIF Committee supports and provides recommendations about measures that can help to improve the integration of the work for gender balance and diversity at universities, university colleges and research institutes.

According to the mandate, the Committee shall see the situation in Norway in an international context and be a driving force in international efforts to promote gender balance and diversity.

Read the KIF Committee's mandate from the Ministry of Education and Research

Who are the members of the KIF Committee?

The members of the Committee represent universities, university colleges and research institutes in Norway.

The KIF Committee also has members from the National Union of Students in Norway, the Young Academy of Norway, Association of Doctoral Organizations in Norway and the Research Council of Norway.

In the Committee's mandate, the Ministry of Education and Research also states that a representative from the Ministry must be an observer and that they may have an observer from the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills.

See the members of the KIF Committee 2022–2025

What are the KIF Committee's tasks?

The KIF Committee works in a variety of ways. The members are expected to participate in some activities in addition to the Committee meetings. The KIF Committee's secretariat works with gender equality and diversity as senior advisers at Universities Norway.

The work of the KIF Committee:

If you want to learn more about why equality and diversity in research is important, see here: Arguments for gender balance and diversity

Meeting between the Minister of Research and Higher Education Sandra Borch and the KIF Committee 20 November 2023. From the left: Ella Ghosh, Nicolas Gibney, Ragnhild Hennum, Sandra Borch, Heidi Holt Zachariassen and Tove Håpnes. (Photo: Elise Naumann, the Ministry of Education and Research)

The KIF Committee is highlighted abroad

The KIF Committee is regarded as an interesting way of organising national equality and diversity work in other countries. Several countries have different initiatives for gender equality in research, nevertheless the KIF Committee is quite unique.

Finnish report:
The Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture published a report on gender equality and diversity in academia: Report on the state of equality and diversity in Finnish higher education institutions (2022)

One of the recommendations in the report is to establish a similar committee as the Norwegian KIF Committee in Finland:

“Recommendation 1: The Ministry of Education and Culture will convene and fund an independent, cross-sectoral cooperation group to support equality work in higher education institutions.

“The group could be modelled on the Norwegian KIF Committee …

In this report, the KIF Committee is highlighted as an example of good practice at the national level, together with Athena SWAN from Ireland, the Women, Science and Innovation Observatory from Spain and the Research Council of Norway's Gender Balance Programme (Balanse).

British report:
In the report “Equality, diversity and inclusion in research and innovation: international review”, under the heading “Wider impact”, the KIF Committee is highlighted as one of five examples of:
“… organisations that have created wider impact on EDI in research and innovation through work at a national or regional level.” (UK Research and Innovation, 2019)

Read also the KIF Committee's recommendations for gender balance

The website Kifinfo

The website www.kifinfo.no disseminates news, research and tools for equality, gender balance and diversity in research. Kilden genderresearch.no hosts the website on behalf of the KIF Committee.

Read more & contact Kifinfo