Integration of the sex/gender dimension into research and teaching content

The inclusion of the sex/gender dimension means that differences, whether biological or social, are taken into account in research and teaching. Our knowledge is the basis on which future generations will build their societies. It is therefore crucial that the knowledge that is created through research and transferred through education is free of gender bias.

Looking at potential sex and/or gender differences and at issues related to gender equality generates added value in terms of research excellence, rigour, reproducibility and creativity; brings in-depth understanding of all people’s needs, behaviours and attitudes; and enhances the societal relevance of research and innovation (R & I). Integrating the gender dimension into educational activities, including teaching curricula and public engagement, is also essential for the proper training of the next generations of researchers and innovators.

The integration of the gender dimension addresses the incorporation of sex and/or gender analysis through the entire R & I cycle. This includes setting research priorities through defining concepts, formulating research questions, developing methodologies, gathering and analysing sex-disaggregated data, evaluating and reporting results, and transferring them to markets as innovations and products. The integration of the gender dimension is relevant in various R & I fields.


  • This short video by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research shows the relevance of sex and gender in health research.
  • This video by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture shows three reasons why agricultural research should be gender-inclusive and three ways to do it.
  • Videos by L. Schiebinger on the gender dimension in research content.
  • Watch the integrating gender analysis into research (IGAR) video to learn why the integration of gender analysis into research is important and how the IGAR tool can support you in doing so.
  • The EU-funded project ACT produced a number of great videos discussing various gender equality topics. Watch this video on the gender dimension.


The information provided in the GEAR action toolbox is strongly oriented towards the Horizon Europe Guidance on Gender Equality Plans. Consult the document directly for additional information and to access links to further good-practice examples.

Research and innovation

The Toolkit – Gender in EU-funded research clearly explains and provides guidance on how to integrate gender in research. It addresses both the gender dimension of research content (with case examples from nine different scientific fields) and women’s participation in research activities. One-day training sessions, based on the toolkit, can be organised.

‘Gendered innovations’ is a website providing recommendations, examples, case studies and tools related to sex and gender analysis in research content for various scientific fields.

The report Gendered Innovations 2: How inclusive analysis contributes to research and innovation and addressing areas such as health, artificial intelligence and robotics, energy, transport, marine science and climate change, urban planning, agriculture, fair taxation and venture funding, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

An article by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation entitled ‘Man flu, headaches and heart attacks: health issues affect men and women differently’ informs readers of the sex differences in health.

The EU-funded GENDER-NET project developed the IGAR tool. The aim of the tool is to provide organisations, researchers and peer reviewers / evaluators with the know-how to integrate sex and gender considerations into policies, programmes and projects, and to raise awareness of the importance of sex and gender in R & I. Guidelines and checklists for IGAR were developed for research funding organisations, grant applicants and peer reviewers / evaluators. Useful references and examples are also available, along with the IGAR indicators. See also the recommendations and models for integrating gender analysis into university curricula.

Journals have adopted the sex and gender equity in research (SAGER) guidelines, which aim to guide authors on how to report sex and gender information in study design, data analyses, results and the interpretation of findings.

The SAGE project compiled a report entitled Embedding Gender Knowledge that provides guidelines for integrating sex and gender into scientific research throughout the whole research process.

Discipline-specific resources

The purpose of the literature review on gender research in human–computer interaction (HCI), compiled in the course of the EU-funded project GEECCO, is to provide readers with a basic understanding of gender and HCI, present an overview of how gender research in various HCI contexts has been conducted and documented, and provide recommendations for making HCI research gender-aware and more inclusive.

Research funding

The report Best practice examples of gender mainstreaming in research funding organisations was released as part of the EU-funded GEECCO project in 2018 and provides the state of the art of the recent developments in research funding organisations at the level of the European research area (ERA), including Switzerland and Norway, and in Canada.

Research and teaching

The Toolkit for integrating gender-sensitive approach into research and teaching, produced as part of the EU-funded project ‘Gendering the academy and research: combating career instability and asymmetries’ (GARCIA), helps researchers to integrate the gender dimension into their ongoing research and teaching, and to apply it when designing new projects and curricula for students.

Manuals with guidelines on the integration of sex and gender analysis into research contents, recommendations for curricula development and indicators is a report by the EU-funded research policy initiative GENDER-NET. The aim of the report is to provide national/regional research funding and research-performing organisations with the know-how to integrate sex and gender considerations into policies, programmes, plans and strategies, and to raise awareness of the importance of sex and gender in R & I.

The GEECCO report Analysis of current data on gender in research and teaching analyses the main research fields and recent Horizon 2020 projects of four research-performing organisations and points out the (possible) gender dimensions. Similarly, selected curricula and corresponding courses were analysed to identify existing gender content and opportunities for the inclusion of gender perspectives in the current curricula.


The guidelines Gender-sensitive Teaching – An introduction for teaching staff in STEM, developed as part of the EU-funded Baltic Gender project in 2020, provide a framework for eliminating gender stereotypes and creating a positive and encouraging working environment. Examples and recommendations focus on marine science, which is the realm of the Baltic Gender project, but have a broader validity for STEM.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) publication A Guide for Gender Equality in Teacher Education Policy and Practiceswas conceived in 2015 as a practical tool for promoting a gender-responsive institutional culture. It seeks to strengthen the capacity of teacher educators, managers and student teachers to transform their practices effectively through innovative participatory approaches to teaching and learning.

Guidelines on Gender Fair Curriculum Development (2010) present a diagnosis tool and a catalogue of aspects to be considered in developing a gender-fair curriculum to improve equality of access and success for both women and men students in higher education.

Since 2007, the Women’s and Gender Research Network NRW has connected professors and scientists located in academic institutions in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. In the context of the research project ‘Gender in bachelor and master courses’, it developed and published an online model database including 55 subjects/disciplines across the main fields of science and engineering, with a gender-sensitive curricula proposed for each. The database contents are updated regularly.

The gender in the curriculum self-assessment and diagnostic checklist from the GEARING ROLES project outlines some key ideas that need to be considered to ensure that gender is mainstreamed in the curriculum. It is provided as a checklist that allows institutional actors to self-assess the extent to which they already mainstream gender in their curriculum. It also provides some possible avenues of action where necessary.

The gender and diversity in teaching toolbox can assist you with planning and designing classes and expanding your own gender and diversity competences. No background knowledge is required to use the toolbox. The toolbox includes a starter kit with material on gender- and diversity-conscious language, guidelines and handouts on developing gender and diversity skills, recommendations for didactics, and cross-disciplinary and discipline-specific suggestions for integrating gender and diversity research in teaching.

The EU-funded project EGERA collected good practices on introducing gender into curricula.