Horizon Europe gender equality plan eligibility criterion

With the launch of Horizon Europe – the key funding programme for research and innovation (R & I) – in 2021, a new eligibility criterion was introduced to strengthen gender equality as a cross-cutting priority: organisations applying for Horizon Europe funds are required to have a gender equality plan (GEP) in place. For the calls with submission deadlines in 2022 and beyond, the GEP eligibility criterion will apply to all parts of Horizon Europe.

The following categories of legal entities established in EU Member States or associated countries need to comply with this criterion:

  • public bodies, such as research funding bodies, national ministries and other public authorities, including public for-profit organisations,
  • higher education institutions, both public and private,
  • research organisations, both public and private.

In the understanding of the Horizon Europe work programme, a GEP should consist of the following.

  • Four minimum mandatory process-related requirements.
    • Public document. A GEP is a formal document published on the organisation’s website, signed by the top management and actively communicated within your organisation.
    • Dedicated resources. A GEP must include a commitment to provide sufficient resources and expertise in gender equality for implementation.
    • Data collection and monitoring. A GEP should be informed by collecting and analysing sex-disaggregated data on personnel (and students, for the relevant organisations). Organisations should report progress annually based on specific indicators.
    • Training. A GEP must include awareness-raising and training activities on gender equality for the whole organisation and training on unconscious gender biases for staff and decision-makers.

See the gender equality in academia and research (GEAR) action toolbox for more details on the content-related requirements.

See the frequently asked questions (FAQs) on GEPs in Horizon Europe and the guidance on GEPs for more details on the eligibility criterion.

In order to view videos and webinars or further tools and resources on the topics in this section, switch between the respective tabs. Otherwise, click below to continue to the next section on EU objectives on gender equality in R & I.

The videos by the EU-funded project ACT on GEPs as an eligibility criterion in Horizon Europe provide a short introduction to this topic. Watch the short or the extended version here:


  • Horizon Europe Guidance on Gender Equality Plans, published by the European Commission in October 2021, provides explanations for and examples of developing and implementing GEPs in compliance with the Horizon Europe eligibility criterion.
  • The FAQs on GEPs provide a short overview of the most important practical questions concerning GEPs in Horizon Europe.
  • In the general annexes of the Horizon Europe work programme for 2021–2022, the GEP eligibility criterion is set out. Note that this document does not provide further guidance on what a GEP is or how it should be developed and implemented.