Supporting and implementing Plans for Gender Equality in Academia and Research – SPEAR


The EU project SPEAR provided RWTH Aachen University during the project period 2019 to 2023 with the opportunity to exchange experiences and support cooperation between gender equality actors across European universities and research performing institutions.

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Project duration and partners

SPEAR was running from January 2019 until April 2023 and was funded by the European Commission's framework program for research and innovation Horizon 2020. The project was coordinated by Syddanske University in Odense, Denmark. Other project partners, apart from RWTH Aachen University, were:

  SPEAR project partners © Europa Media, SPEAR













This project received funding from the European Union's H2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 824544.


Conclusion and results of the project

After more than four years of intensive work, the SPEAR project came to a close in April 2023. SPEAR promoted gender equality in European academia by implementing innovative and sustainable Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) in nine Research Performing Organisations (RPOs) across Europe.

The project partners have developed useful resources and virtual learning materials based on the extensive practical experience and collective knowledge to support gender equality practitioners, European and national policy makers and other stakeholders in implementing cultural and structural change. The aim is to further strengthen equality, diversity and inclusivity in European academia and to promote a broader democratic agenda.

SPEAR's Cycle of Policy Reflections is an important component of the project's results. Four documents bring together voices, experiences and expertise of experts and practitioners from different national and organisational contexts on related areas of gender equality work. The aim is to strengthen ongoing policy developments towards sustainable and inclusive gender equality in academia.

  Graphic with 4 Policy Recommendations © Europa Media, SPEAR

The four areas are:

  1. Careers in Academia: Recruitment, promotion, career development
  2. Work- and study environment and sexism in Academia
  3. Gender mainstreaming and Gender Equality Plans
  4. Integration of the Gender+ Dimension in research, innovation and teaching

The four policy documents are available for download at this website and at

Moreover, the project has developed numerous resources and virtual learning materials to support gender equality practitioners in the effective and sustainable implementation of gender equality objectives and measures. SPEAR's COMPASS is a specific methodology developed to promote Creative, Open, Mitigating, Processual, Accountable, SMART and Sustainable change processes.

The results of the SPEAR project are publicly available and summarised in a press release.


Nathalie Wolf M. Sc.

SPEAR Project coordination