Birkbeck Uni in €3m research project to boost women in science

Staff at Birkbeck, University of London, are taking part in a €3,284,000 European project to raise the status of women in scientific and technical organisations, with a focus on encouraging more women during the early stages of their scientific careers.


The European wide TRIGGER project includes institutions in Italy, France, Spain and the Czech Republic.


Birkbeck have received a Transforming Institutions by Gendering contents and Gaining Equality in Research (TRIGGER) grant of €400,000.


The European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme funds €2,179,000 of the project, the Italian government €700,000 and rest comes from other partners involved.


During the four year research project Birkbeck will take nine actions, some of which include:


  • Systematic observation of potentially discriminating formal/informal behaviours and recommendations for action
  • Promoting the inclusion of women scientists in external collaborative arrangements
  • Developing a permanent mentoring programme and handbook of best practice
  • Mainstream teaching module on gender for PhD courses
  • Creation of structural opportunities for the commercialisation of women’s work in research and innovation


The TRIGGER project, at Birkbeck, is managed by a board of 14 staff, including academics and employees from the School of Science, School of BEI and Human Resources, a research assistant and PhD student.


Helen Lawton Smith, professor of entrepreneurship in Birkbeck’s Department of Management, said: “Women remain underrepresented in scientific and technological fields. It is important to take action to address this inequality.


“As well as supporting women’s careers, this project will study the impact of our actions. It will also be fascinating to compare our experiences with institutions elsewhere in Europe.”

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