Following the great results and collaborations in a previous EU-financed project, FESTA, three former project partners got together in 2017 to compose a new project application. The goal: developing and implementing plans for gender equality inspired by EIGE’s framework for Gender Equality Plans.
The application was submitted to Horizon2020’s Science with and for Society programme, and received a positive evaluation in the summer 2018. The project SPEAR – Supporting and Implementing Plans for Gender Equality in Academia and Research – consequently launched in 2019 and runs until the end of 2022. The project’s 11 partners convened for the project initiation at SDU in January 2019; see also the official press release.
The three former FESTA project partners, i.e. SDU, Uppsala University in Sweden and RWTH Aachen in Germany, will be simultaneously implementing as well as supporting six other European universities in their individual implementation of gender equality plans: South-West University (Bulgaria) (also a former FESTA participant), University of Plovdiv (Bulgaria), Vilnius University (Lithuania), Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania), Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal) and University of Rijeka (Croatia).
At the core of SPEAR is its establishment of communities of learning and of practice, and in order to strengthen these, two additional partners will be in charge of communication and dissemination (Europa Media Non-profit in Hungary) as well as ongoing qualifying evaluation (Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft in Austria).
The SPEAR project and the coordinative role provides a significant and international boost to SDU’s existing work with gender equality, and it will generate imperative new knowledge and experiences about gender equality endeavors across academic fields, cultures and institutions.