CALIPER project concludes: Four years advancing gender equality in STEM

CALIPER project concludes: Four years advancing gender equality in STEM

As CALIPER draws to a close, we reflect on the project’s significant milestones and achievements, including the role model interview series and the final conference.


The CALIPER project, spanning four years from 2020 to 2023, has officially concluded. The project marks a significant milestone in the pursuit of gender equality within STEM research and higher education institutions. This collaborative project, funded under the European Union’s Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020, exemplifies a dedicated effort towards fostering structural change through the development and implementation of tailored Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) across nine distinct STEM-focused institutions.

As a Coordination and Support Action (CSA) project, CALIPER aimed to bolster gender equality within seven Research Performing Organizations (RPOs) and two Research Funding Organizations (RFOs) across Europe. The project’s primary objective was to enhance the representation of female researchers in STEM fields, augmenting their career prospects, and integrating a gender dimension into research.

Gender Equality Plans

Throughout the duration of the CALIPER project, RPOs and RFOs undertook the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of tailored Gender Equality Plans (GEPs). These plans addressed existing disparities and gender balance within their respective institutions. Guided by comprehensive internal and external assessments, partners identified areas for improvement and crafted strategies to effect meaningful change.

The execution of GEPs was underpinned by concrete methodologies and change management strategies, complemented by capacity-building sessions provided within the project’s framework. This holistic approach ensured that GEPs were not only implemented effectively, but subjected to rigorous monitoring and evaluation, fostering a culture of accountability and continuous improvement in the pursuit of gender equality within institutions.

Role model videos

Throughout its duration, CALIPER conducted role model interviews with prominent women from academia and industry. These one-on-one sessions provided a platform for accomplished individuals to share their experiences, shedding light on their personal journeys and strategies for overcoming gender-based obstacles. Discussions within these interviews ranged from reflections on career progression and decision-making processes, to balancing entrepreneurship with research, and the advocacy for institutional changes promoting gender equality in STEM.

Role model interviewee Prof. Dr. Özgen Özer, pictured with her team

The CALIPER Charter

The project’s completion also marked the launch of the CALIPER Charter, a transformative initiative designed to create lasting change in organisations and ecosystems. The Charter’s goal is to consolidate and strengthen the current intersectional and intersectoral approach to gender equality in research and innovation, in view of the ERA Policy Agenda from 2025 and the forthcoming Horizon Europe Work Programmes.

The summative view of the overall impact of the CALIPER’s two rounds of GEPs iteration has been illustrated in several infographics: the First Round Flyer and the Second Round Flyer.

Final conference

As part of their commitment to advancing inclusive gender equality in research and innovation (R&I), CALIPER and LeTSGEPs organised the Final Conference at Université Libre de Bruxelles, Campus du Solbosch, on 23rd November, 2023. Themed Inclusive Research and Innovation Ecosystems: A Sustainable Way Forward for Gender Equality, the conference hosted over a hundred stakeholders, including researchers, innovation leaders, decision-makers, gender experts, and project managers, both in person and virtually. This event, held in collaboration with the Sister Project LeTSGEPs, served as a platform to reflect on achievements, exchange knowledge, and chart a path towards sustained gender equality in research and innovation.

The final session of the conference, Be Inspired! Women from Academia Tell Their Stories, saw Moniek Tromp, Chair of the Young Academy of Europe (YAE), presenting highlights from the CALIPER Role Model interview series. This segment featured interviews with accomplished women in STEM, shedding light on their experiences and insights.

The culmination of the CALIPER project underscores the collective efforts and commitment towards fostering a more inclusive and equitable environment within STEM fields. As its legacy endures, the project’s initiatives and insights will continue to inform and inspire activities aimed at advancing gender equality in research and innovation on a global scale.

The CALIPER project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program under Grant Agreement 873134

Posted 8th February 2024. For further information please contact
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