This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 788204.

Promoting Communities of Practice to advance knowledge, collaborative learning and institutional change on gender equality in the European Research Area


ACT is a Horizon 2020 project that seeks to advance gender equality at universities, research centres and research funding organisations by facilitating collaboration between experienced institutions in the implementation of gender equality plans with less experienced ones. It aims at addressing common needs and improving assessment on gender equality in HE & R&I regarding three fields: gender balance in career progression, gender balance in decision-making positions, and integrating the gender dimension into research content and teaching.

The ACT project will set-up and support an international network of Communities of Practice (CoPs) as agents to develop gender equality actions at research performing and research funding organizations in the European Research Area. For this purpose, ACT will:

•    Establish the first European network of Communities of Practice by supporting 8 new or consolidated CoPs working on gender equality in HE & R&I, assess their needs, and offer opportunities to foster synergies and innovation in this field.

•    Consolidate and strengthen existing infrastructure for knowledge sharing and mutual learning in the field of institutional change and gender equality across Europe (Knowledge Sharing Hub, online survey tool for gender equality audit and monitoring, and an evaluation framework for CoPs’ collaborations and activities).

•    Develop an adaptable support toolkit, training materials and audio-visual resources for adopting best practices on gender equality by R&I organisations.

Building upon GenPORT

ACT offers an online hub for Communities of Practice (CoPs) in connection with the GenPORT portal. GenPORT is a community-based internet portal for sharing resources on gender and science. The ACT Knowledge Sharing Hub comprises the main project website and individual content management systems for each Community of Practice, providing the underlying infrastructure for each CoP to setup their personalized workspace. ACT activities will contribute to consolidate the multistakeholder engagement of the GenPORT portal while centralizing access to resources across individual Communities of Practice.


Expected impacts

The ACT project lasts for 3 years (from May 2018 to April 2021). Its expected impacts include:

•    Improved transnational learning on gender equality knowledge and practices in HE & R&I, ensuring that the research community is better equipped to prevent gender bias.

•    Better understanding of how gender issues influence the quality of R&I processes and science knowledge-making.

•    Enhanced standards for the assessment of institutional excellence that incorporate gender equality as a criterion of success.

•    More systematic and systemic adoption of best tools and practices for the implementation of gender equality plans at research performing and research funding organisations.