GEXcel news

The Swedish Research Council’s investment in gender research

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A comment to evalatuion of the three Swedish Centres of Gender Excellence

A Success
The Swedish Research Council’s evaluation of the three excellent gender research milieux in Linköping/Örebro, Umeå, and Uppsala shows that the investment has produced very positive results. The scientific quality is ranked as ‘good to outstanding’ and the milieux are given credit for establishing new and internationally recognized gender research.
- It has been the case that these kinds of investments not necessarily always result in excellent research. But we have succeeded in doing this; our research is both internationally important and at the forefront in many areas, says Margareta Fahlgren, research leader of Uppsala University’s excellence program GenNa.

The Research Council’s evaluative panel emphasizes the investment’s added value of enabling more resources for doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers and also that all the milieux have established organizations which enable junior researchers to develop as leaders and researchers.
- The most important is, that we have secured a new generation of gender researchers who are able to continue the work we have started, says Nina Lykke, research leader for Linköping/Örebro Universities excellence programme GEXcel.

The productivity within  the milieux is mirrored in the many international conferences that have been organized, the networks and strong research groups that has been established, the increased international publication, the book series with the Routledge publishing house in New York, and the many international guest researchers that the centres have attracted. The research performed has shown societal relevance and concerns fields such as democratic development, health, science education and practice, love, sexuality and violence, and cultural systems of norms, among other things.
- Strategic leadership with different models has been the foundation that has led to this fantastic result. Even though we have been organized differently, we have all focused on continuity and sustainability when building our research programs, says Britta Lundgren, research leader of Umeå University’s program ‘Challenging Gender’.

The economic support from the Research Council will end at the end of year 2011.
- We hope for a continued investment in our research milieux, from the Research Council, this has been the case in other excellence investments, say the three research leaders.

Background
The Research Council Vetenskapsrådet appointed, in 2006 , three Swedish milieux of gender research as Centres of Gender Excellence: the research programs of GEXcel at Linköping/Örebro Universities, GenNa at Uppsala University and Challenging Gender at Umeå University/Mitt University. The final evaluation that has now been conducted has focused on evaluating the funding model, the quality of the research and the development within the research milieux and it will among other things work as a ground for future funding models.