… whoever gets to define what counts as a scientific problem also gets a powerful role in shaping the picture of the world that results from scientific research. (Harding 1991:40)
The project finished in February 2007 but we have many useful resources for scientists available online. Please read more below about our activities and materials.
Raising visibility and the inclusion of women scientists in the scientific community
We have created an interdisciplinary database of women scientists from Central Europe. We promoted awareness of this database among national and international organisations, industrial bodies and R&D employment sites.
We developed an information flyer and held a workshop for women to inform and mobilise them to register in the European Commission database of expert evaluators.
Empowering scientists and reaching for scientific excellence by building capacity and skills
We have developed a Project Sourcebook which introduces the European Commission research funding tools and offers experience-based tips and suggestions on proposal writing and project coordination and management.
CEC-WYS partners have fostered reflective practices among scientists by developing a manual on the inclusion of the gender dimension in research questions and methodology and organised workshops to introduce the concept and look at concrete examples of how this can be done.
CEC-WYS partners held seminars for young men and women scientists, aiming to prepare you researchers to take ownership of their research projects, and to develop skills in communication and responsible conduct of science, and provide them with skills to enable them to develop into effective supervisors and mentors, based on the Reflexives programme.
We have developed a career resource website to orientate and guide researchers beginning their research careers, and those scientists who feel like they would like to expand their research horizons beyond their national funding opportunities.
Contributing to policy development
Based on the Enwise expert group recommendations concerning the position of women in science in Central and Eastern Europe, CEC-WYS partners monitored policy developments by conducting a mapping exercise and writing national reports and a comparative international report with which to lobby at national level.
CEC-WYS conducted the Enwise Workshop on Young Scientists, wrote a workshop report, Nurturing or Frustrating Ambition? and analysed a follow-up online questionnaire on early career stage researchers' perceptions of the issues they face. Results have been made publicly available and we aim to synergise with the activities of other organisations concerned with young scientists as a tool to lobby for policy development.
Our message to the scientific community
Women and young scientists: your personal experiences such as the difficult demands of balancing family and professional spheres, and impact on your career development are not only the consequence of your personal choices, but also structurally embedded at institutional level.
Young Scientists: be confident, communicative, original and ethical. Make the most of potential funding/career development opportunities...but don't forget that it’s good to have a life outside work!
Scientific community and decision makers: the scientific community and science will benefit from equality of participation and elimination of gender bias in science
Science media: if science does not pay attention to equality and address science’s hidden discrimination and potential for discrimination, the scientific community and society at large will suffer as a consequence.
Why did we do this project?
Because we wanted to tackle these questions:
- Why are women represented in higher education in large numbers, but are not quite making it to the top?
- How can research be excellent or responsible if the research community does not acknowledge and work to eliminate sex/gender bias in research?
- What impact did state socialism in Central Europe have on the position of women in science?
- Why and how do young scientists decide to go or not to abroad for fellowships and what are the gains and costs of their decisions?
The Central European Centre for Women and Youth in Science was funded for the period 2004-2007 by the European Commission under Framework Programme 6. Partners from Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, France, Romania and Italy contributed to the project’s diverse activities.