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.
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.
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:
- Gives advice about gender balance and diversity: Contact the KIF secretariat
- Visits research institutions: The KIF Committee combines their meetings with institutional visits. Please take contact if your institution would like a visit
- Organises seminars, communication activities and dissemination of research: The KIF Committee arranges various events
- Develops guidelines and tools: See an overview of the KIF Committee's film series, policy briefs, reports, etc.
- Gives policy advice to national authorities: The KIF Committee has annual meetings with the Ministry and the Research Council of Norway and writes consultations on government policy proposals
- Gives advice on an international level: The KIF Committee is asked for advice on input to European research politics and is leading a work package in the project GENDERACTIONplus funded by Horizon Europe
If you want to learn more about why equality and diversity in research is important, see here: Arguments for gender balance and diversity
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.
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).
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)