7.4.1.3Research projects

Research projects constitute the largest funding scheme at FWO. Research projects are initiated by the researchers with the aim to advance fundamental scientific research in all scientific disciplines. Since 2019 two types can be awarded: junior and senior research projects. Similar to the postdoctoral fellowships, both categories were combined and analysed together.

Looking at the gender of the promotor-spokesperson (i.e. the main applicant), we see a slow, steady increase in the number of applications by a female promotor-spokesperson, both in absolute numbers (from 379 in 2016 to 417 in 2020) and in the proportion of the applications (from 26,39% to 31,40%).

Table 4. Number and percentage of applications for a research project 2016-2020

20162017201820192020
Gender promoter-spokesperson#%#%#%#%#%
M105773,61%92971,13%93170,53%96470,26%91168,60%
F37926,39%37728,87%38929,47%40829,74%41731,40%
X00,00%00,00%00,00%00,00%00,00%
TOTAL14361306132013721328
20162017201820192020
Gender promoter-spokesperson#%#%#%#%#%
M105773,61%92971,13%93170,53%96470,26%91168,60%
F37926,39%37728,87%38929,47%40829,74%41731,40%
X00,00%00,00%00,00%00,00%00,00%
TOTAL14361306132013721328
20162017201820192020
Gender promoter-spokesperson#%#%#%#%#%
M105773,61%92971,13%93170,53%96470,26%91168,60%
F37926,39%37728,87%38929,47%40829,74%41731,40%
X00,00%00,00%00,00%00,00%00,00%
TOTAL14361306132013721328

If we dig deeper into the composition of the applicant teams, it should be noted that only the gender of the first three applicants was analysed. For teams consisting of more than three applicants, the gender of the fourth, fifth, etc. applicant was not analysed, as only a very limited number of applications are submitted by a team of more than three applicants.

For research project applications submitted by a team of two applicants, exclusively male teams are predominant (on average 59%), followed by exclusively female teams (24%) and mixed teams (17%). In consortia of three or more applicants, exclusively male teams occur almost as often as mixed teams (42% vs. 45%). Here, exclusively female teams only appear in 13% of the applications. It seems that when researchers apply as a team, they tend to collaborate mostly with peers of the same gender (>50% for projects submitted by two or three or more applicants).

Figure 3. Proportion of applications for a research project analysed by gender of the applicant(s).

The gender of the promotor-spokesperson and 2nd and 3rd applicant were analysed. Mixed teams of 2 or 3 applicants were pooled. The 5-year average proportion is shown.

Share applicants0%5%10%15%20%25%Share of applicationsMFMMFFMixed duoMMMFFFMixed trioGender of applicants0510152025MFMMFFMixed duoMMMFFFMixed trio Share applicants0%5%10%15%20%25%Share of applicationsMFMMFFMixed duoMMMFFFMixed trioGender of applicants0510152025MFMMFFMixed duoMMMFFFMixed trio Share applicants0%5%10%15%20%25%Share of applicationsMFMMFFMixed duoMMMFFFMixed trioGender of applicants0510152025MFMMFFMixed duoMMMFFFMixed trio