Balancing recruitment, retention & career progression


More and more women are taking on research careers. But despite increasing numbers of women getting their PhD’s, they are still underrepresented at the highest academic positions, as authors of peer-review papers and as leaders of research teams. We work to change this pattern through skills development, awareness-raising, and advocating for policy change.

Science is not value-neutral. Conscious and unconscious bias influences our ideas of who is the best candidate for a position, who will be of more value of the organisation in the long-term, and who should be promoted. Gender bias is part of the reason for the underrepresentation of women in senior research positions. We will work to support scientific research excellence in partner organisations by creating preconditions for locating and hiring the best candidates, without the effect of unconscious gender bias. And implement policies that raise awareness and fostering dialogue of gendered practices among those who take decisions about who to tecruit and promote at the top and bottom of research organisations, inside and outside the MINDtheGEPs project. 

Work-family measures

The research system tends to favour those who take it on unconditionally. But conference participation, networking, and strict submission deadlines do not always combine well with the unpredictable nature and great responsibilities of caregiving. We work to create the preconditions for moving away from the unconditional worker model, where researchers are expected to value work over family. Supporting both men and women in this transition. 

We will raise awareness among researchers at partner organisations of what their rights are in terms of combining their research careers with caring for their families. And we will negotiate solutions to the most pressing issues with local management.

Contact person

Paulina Sekuła

Paulina Sekuła

Paulina Sekuła, PhD, is assistant professor at the Institute of Sociology of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. Her research interests cover gender equality, particularly in the realm of gender and research and academia, political culture and theories of democracy. For a few years she has been involved as a researcher in projects focusing on structural change in higher education institutions, including H2020 projects GENERA (Gender Equality in European Research Area, 2015-2018), ACT (Communities of Practice for Accelerating Gender Equality and Institutional Change in Research and Innovation across Europe, 2018-2021) and MINDtheGEPs (Modifying Institution by Developing Gender Equality Plans, 2021-2025) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation project Study of the potential of international mobile women scientists (2020-2021). Currently she is also a co-facilitator of the ACT Community of Practice for Gender Equality in Central and Eastern Europe. 

Contact: paulina.sekula[at]

Last modified: 2021-10-04