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Completed international projects

European commission's framework programme projects

Knowledge, Institutions and Gender: An East-West Comparative Study

(KNOWING, European Commission, Framework Programme 6, 2006–2008)

From 2006-2008 NKC coordinated the Framework Programme 6 international research project Knowledge, Institutions and Gender: an East-West Comparative Study (KNOWING, http://knowing.soc.cas.cz) which was funded by the European Commission. The project involved five European countries: Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Slovakia and the United Kingdom. One of the outputs of this project, was the publication Knowing and Living in Academic Research: Convergence and Heterogeneity in the European Context, from 2009 (the publication is available for download on the project website). This book explores the multiple articulations of knowledge, institutions and researchers in changing academic research environments. How researchers encounter, transform and oppose these changes and how they create epistemic living spaces sufficiently attractive and spacious is the focus of analysis. Developing and using the concept of epistemic living spaces makes readers alert to the social, material and symbolic dimensions of living in research. Selecting three perspectives which addressed the issue of implicit and explicit orders at work in research (Chapter II of this volume), of the multiple ways in which researchers work together while always having to be apart simultaneously (Chapter III of this volume) and of the multilayered time logics which governed researchers’ lives (Chapter IV of this volume) makes it possible to tackle many of the burning issues facing researchers today. The analysis takes readers through different national contexts, research fields, places, institutional structures, social interactions, time regimes, and value systems. It makes us aware of the omnipresent, in part contradictory imaginaries about research and the role it should play in contemporary (knowledge) societies.

The Czech team also published a monograph edited by Tereza Stöckelová titled Akademické poznávání, vykazování a podnikání: Etnografie měnící se české vědy [Making, administering and enterprising knowledge in the academy: An ethnography of Czech science in flux] exploring the shifts in the organization of Czech research landscape in terms of funding, research assessment and gender. This was followed by a discussion seminar “Science and Science Policies in Action” organized under the auspices of Senator Alena Gajdůšková in the Senate of the Czech Parliament to discuss the implications of the newly implemented research assessment in country. If you are interested you can look at our website to get the whole scoop.

Stimulating Policy Debate on Women and Science Issues in Central Europe

(WS Debate, European Commission, Framework Programme 7, 2006–2008)  

The WS DEBATE project was a Specific Support Action in the EU 7th Framework Programme. Its overall objective was to stimulate policy and public debate on the situation and perspectives of women in science, in order to bridge the gap between policy developments and public understanding of the related issues, and to raise gender awareness among policy makers, scientists, as well as among the lay public interested in scientific developments. This objective was realised by encouraging a broad public debate based on the dissemination of the knowledge gathered by the Enwise report (Waste of talents: turning private struggles into a public issue – Women and Science in the Enwise countries; European Commission, EUR 20955 EN) in the countries of Central Europe (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia). The project contributed to the implementation of the Enwise recommendations and to the promotion of a dialogue on best gender equality practice in research and development by the publication of national reports on the situation of women in science and the organisation of conferences in each partner country.

Download the final publication Reclaiming a Political Voice: Women in Science in Central Europe.

Central European Centre for Women and Youth in Science

(CEC-WYS, European Commission, Framework Programme 6, 2004–2006)

The goal of the Central European Centre for Women and Youth in Science project was to support gender equality in science in the Central European region, to increase the visibility of women researchers, to create tools for increasing the competences and self-confidence of women researchers and to contribute to the development of science policy. Institutions from the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia participated in the project.


Research on Social Sciences and Humanities: Sharing Experience and Discussing Methodological Approaches

Science and Technology Studies (STS) have a long tradition of research on scientific cultures and practices. Social sciences and humanities (SS&H) have been largely left out even if these scientific fields contribute equally to co-producing relevant knowledge about the world and may diffuse into society even faster. Therefore, one aim of two workshops (Prague, Vienna) was to bring together scholars to share experiences and discuss methodological approaches in researching SS&H. We were interested in sociological, anthropological, historical, political science and other perspectives on SS&H. The objective of the project was to start building a network of (STS) researchers inquiring into SS&H knowledge production and its linkages to society. This helps to develop more sustained academic debates of the SS&H research and also forming a base for potential direct research collaborations.

Report from the workshops is here.

Spring School of Science Studies

In cooperation with the British Council in Prague and the University of Lancaster, UK, the NKC – women and science organised the Spring School of Science Studies between 22 and 25 March 2005. The lecturers included John Law, Maureen McNeil and Vicky Singleton from the Centre of Science Studies at the University of Lancaster, one of the leading venues for science studies, and Zdeněk Konopásek from the Centre for Theoretical Studies at Charles University in Prague. Attention focused on the problematisation of constructing knowledge and ‘doing’ science, feminist science studies, actor network theory, postcolonial technostudies and analyses of the interactions between people and technologies. A collection titled Science Studies Opens the Black Box was published building on the Spring School.

Women Scholars and Institutions conference

Organised by the Research Centre for the History of Sciences and Humanities and Commission Women in Science of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science/Division of History of Science in cooperation with the National Contact Centre – Women in Science, The Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Centre for gender studies at Charles University, Faculty of Philosophy, and Slovak Academy of Sciences, the Women Scholars and Institutions conference took place in Prague between 8 and 11 of July 2003. A panel was organised at the conference by the NKC – women and science, focused on the gender aspects of the functioning of research institutions and feminist critiques of science. 


Equal Opportunities in Science and Research: Analysis of Gender Barriers and the Development of Talent

(Barriers, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, National Policy of Research and Development II, 2008–2009, 2E08057)
The research project Barriers (2008-2009) was focused on the barriers encountered by students and early-stage women and men researchers, aiming at making research positions more attractive for women and promoting equal opportunities in research and development. The project made use of the collected data and analyses of stereotypes observed in scientific disciplines and existing barriers to develop new processes supportive of integrating women in R&D. The project had 3 main parts: 1) developing and establishing the frame for a mentoring program for high school students interested in university studies of technical and natural sciences and engineering (the field where women are strongly underrepresented in the Czech Republic), 2) analysis of experiences and perceptions of sexual harassment at the university level and 3) analysis of barriers encountered by early-stage researchers entering the phase of postgraduate studies, with a special focus on mobility.

The project is finished and we can proudly discuss its results. The mentoring program, which was piloted in the Barriers project, developed into a full fledged program that extends beyond the frontiers of Prague. We have increased the number of mentors and mentees, improved the process as a whole, and managed to build contacts with other relevant institutions. Our vision is to stimulate and help universities to build their own mentoring programs for girls there, where it is needed most.

Research into sexual harassment at universities was one of the first Czech studies of this phenomenon in the country. Results show that sexual harassment of students from teachers is a common problem that a considerable proportion of students have to face during their studies. Our research led into several papers and a publication summarizing our findings as well as recommendations for teachers and university management for dealing with this problem in a university environment. After a successful presentation at the meeting of the Czech Government Council for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men (mentioned above) our next step is to address the Ethical Commission of the Council of Higher Education Institutions of the Czech Republic in September 2010.

The part of the project concerned with mobility issues focused on the gendered and gendering nature of academic movement. The research was based on an analysis of relevant policy documents and interviews with scientists who have spent part of their academic path abroad and returned back to the Czech academic environment or with Czech researchers who still work abroad. Mobility at the early stage of the research career has become a normal part of an academic career path especially in the highly competitive field of biosciences. This is accompanied with new challenges and re/configurations related to biographies of academics and their partners and families. It was primarily this intersection of professional and private life that constituted the main field of interest in this research.

Internships of students from the Department of Gender Studies, Faculty of Humanities, Charles University

This project of partner cooperation was part of a JPD 3 project “Institutionalization and launch of the Department of Gender Studies, Faculty of Humanities, Charles University in Prague”. The project was funded by the European Social Fund, the budget of the Czech Republic, the Capital City of Prague and the Ford Foundation. The NKC – women and science was a partner for the Department of Gender Studies, Faculty of Humanities, Charles University. Together, they ensured the programme of the internships for students enrolled in master’s programmes at the department. The other partner organizations involved in the project were Aperio and Otevřená společnost, o. p. s.