Providing training and advice to women in STEMM to apply and write funding aplications

Problem (evidence)

Fewer women than men apply for EU projects funds in our organization. According to the quantitative assessment undertaken in 2015, funded research project coordinators were 18 in total, of which 27% females. Additionally, the total amount of female researchers’ grants was on average 144,670 EUR while male researcher’s grants was 613,171 EUR respectively indicating a lower success rate for the women that did apply compared with their male colleagues. In the National Funding programs, the gap was significantly smaller: 110,000 EUR for female researchers while 136,800 EUR for males.

In 2017, the gender gap in the Project coordination became wider: among 29 project coordinators, only 3 were females. This represents a 10 – 90% distribution compared to 28 – 72 distribution in 2015. However, in the average amount of funding, the gap has diminished – 200,000 EUR was the average amount received by females, while the males received on average 376,000 EUR.  This is 35 – 65% distribution.


To encourage, empower and support women to apply for funding and lead projects.


People trained in the field of project applications (project office, experts)

Support from the department leaders to young female researchers including giving them time to attend training, write project applications and support them with necessary means.

Brief outcomes

Female staff of the institution attended workshops about finding relevant sources of funding and writing funding applications.

Key area

Recruitment, career progression and retention

Type of action



Kemijski Inštitut, National Institute of Chemistry
Research institute

Action level of implementation

Researchers and professors


For this action, we organised workshops (May, June, and September 2018) with the support of the Project Office about finding relevant sources of funding and writing an application for funding. The Project Office also searched for all the open calls that were relevant to the department and recommended/encourage staff members, especially women, to apply. They also supported the application writing and submission.


A challenge related to this action is that different departments in the university have different ways of encouraging their researchers with regards to writing project applications. In NIC’s case, some departments are more industry oriented and did not recognise the relevance/importance of acquiring external project funding and thus did not encourage their female staff members enough.

Coping strategies

Supporting female researchers who are more research oriented.

Providing individual consulting if needed.

Reflection: what we would do differently

It would be useful to have a career development plan for early career researchers focusing on grant applications.

Providing information is not enough to persuade/encourage female researchers to apply for funding. Training should be combined with specific actions that allow young researchers to focus on research (research time allocation).