Gender Mainstreaming and Diversity Tools

Problematic expressions in medical research: “race”, “ethnicity”
Guidelines for Scientific Work
Gender-correct Language
Gender Monitoring Tool

Problematic expressions in medical research: “race”, “ethnicity”

Even if the expressions “race” and “ethnicity” represent social categories, they are also used in biomedical research. An imprecise and fallacious use of theses notions may lead to false causal conclusions, scientifically wrong disease attribution and to discrimination of social groups. Please follow the link to find the statement of Innsbruck Medical University for a sensitive use of language to avoid discrimination in research and training.

Guidelines for Scientific Work

The standard for international research requires a portrayal of the differences and non-differences between women and men and illustration of the resulting consequences for medical research and teaching. For this reason, the Office for Gender Research and Teaching (Referat für Geschlechterforschung und Lehre) makes available methodological know-how on integrating gender medicine perspectives in the form of a guideline for elaborating scientific work and applications for research grants.

Advice and support can be received for the following aspects:
• What are the gender-specific aspects of the subject or the application for a research grant?
• What options and possibilities for equality and promotion of equal opportunity are possible with regard to the members of the team and team management on research projects sponsored by a grant?

Gender Medicine and Research:
Equal Opportunity as Quality Characteristic of Excellent Research



Gender Medizin und Lehre:

Gender Medizin und Diversity - eine Querschnittsmaterie, Leitfaden für eine gender- und diversitybewusste Methodik und Didaktik




Gender-correct Language

Gender-correct language ensures that women and men are equally visible in written texts. This is a must for scientific papers, as well as for applications for and reports on research grants. Instructions and tips are offered by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy for the German language and by United Nations for the English language.

Bundesministerium für Wissenschaft und Forschung (2018)

Leitfaden Geschlechtergerechtes Formulieren Donau-Universität Krems

Leitfaden Geschlechtersensible Sprache Universität Freiburg

Leitfaden für einen nicht diskriminierenden Sprachgebrauch


United Nations: Guidelines for gender-inclusive language in English

US National Library of Medicine Guidelines


Gender Monitoring Tool

Gender Medicine and Equality-relevant Contents in Grant Applications

What is the gender monitoring tool (GMT)?

  • The gender monitoring tool (GMT) is an instrument that permits the compulsory gender-specific and equality-relevant standards to be incorporated into grant applications quickly, in a structured manner and in agreement with the European quality criteria.
  • The GMT is structured as a building block and is based on the legal regulations, current research on equality and the guidelines of the European Commission; it is to be supplemented with or adapted for the specific research content of your project.

Why is it necessary?

  • The European funding environment is very competitive. By integrating this cross-cutting topic, you will improve your project’s chances of obtaining funding.
  • The GMT covers all necessary Gender Medicine and equality-relevant aspects and gives a clear structure. It thus stands for professionalism and quality.
  • For medical scientists the gender monitoring tool provides know-how from outside the discipline that is necessary for obtaining grants. This know-how covers equality, personnel development, team and organization structure as well as methodology. The next step is to tailor the building blocks for your specific project. This will help you in your work on the particular chapters of the grant application.

GMT – Science Funding Organizations

Horizon 2020/Background  

“In all its activities, the Union shall aim to eliminate inequalities, and to promote equality, between men and women.” (Article 8 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union)

“In health, women and men experience gender-specific health risks. A gender dimension will be integrated into the EU Beating Cancer Plan to be launched in 2020. Regular exchanges of good practices between Member States and stakeholders on the gender aspects of health will be facilitated, including on sexual and reproductive health and rights.”

“In the field of research and innovation, the Commission will introduce new measures to strengthen gender equality in Horizon Europe, such as the possibility to require a gender equality plan from applicants and an initiative to increase the number of women-led technology start-ups. Funding for gender and intersectional research will also be made available.” (COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS, A Union of Equality: Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025, COM(2020) 152 final)

The goal, on the one hand, is to include women and men (female/male cell cultures/knock-out mice, etc.) in the research content throughout the project and, on the other hand, to achieve equality of women and men as scientists. Equal opportunity currently means the specific promotion of women until equality is achieved. Both on the level of project personnel (team composition, management, capacity, working conditions) and on the level of the project content, measures and strategies for promoting equality and including both sexes are to be demonstrated.

In all international, European and national research promotion agencies it is a compulsory standard to promote gender equality for teams and team leaders as well as to give consideration to an increasing differentiation in the research content itself.The GMT is a preparatory step toward these challenges and thus gives a head start to young scientists at the Medical University of Innsbruck.


GMT Make-up
1 Project-specific Building Blocks
a. Building Block 1a: Equality and equal opportunity on the project team [ pdf]
b. Building Block 1b: Including the category sex/gender in the project content [ pdf]
c. Building Block 1c: Evaluation of results [ pdf]

2 University-specific Building Blocks
a. Building Block 2a: Equality and equal opportunity at the Medical University of Innsbruck – Measures for all Personnel [ pdf]
b. Building Block 2b: Gender Medicine research and teaching at the Medical University of Innsbruck [ pdf]

3 Illustrative Example [ pdf]

Gender Mainstreaming in research content: The gender-sensitive research cycle

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Gender Mainstreaming at the personnel level

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Examples from medicine, natural sciences and engineering

  • The project Gendered Innovations provides practical methods for analyzing gender in science and engineering. These methods were developed in international cooperation.

Toolkit. Gender in EU-funded research and innovation (EUR 23857 EN), Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, 2014

GMT Literature

  • Heidari S, Babor TF, De Castro P, Tort S, Curno M. Sex and Gender Equity in Research: rationale for the SAGER guidelines and recommended use. Research Integrity and Peer Review. 2016;1(1):2. In:
  • EIGE (2015): Tender Specifications: Integrating Gender Equality into Research Performing Organisations RPO and university. Research, Practices and setting of on-line Tool on Gender Equality Plans¸ EIGE/2015/OPER/07
  • European Union, Verordnung (EU) Nr. 282/2014 des Europäischen Parlaments und des Rates vom 11. März 2014 über das dritte Aktionsprogramm der Union im Bereich der Gesundheit (2014-2020); Amtsblatt der Europäischen Union, L86/1
  • Krizsan, A.; Lombardo, E. (2013): the quality of gender equality policies: A discursive approach. European Journal of Women’s Studies 20(1), 77-92
  • Mühlenbruck, B.; Jochimsen, M.A. (2013): Only wholsale reform will bring equality. Nature, Vol 495, 7 March 2013, 40-42
  • Nature, Ediorials (2012): Nature’s sexism. The editors of this publication need to improve how we reflect women’s contributions to science. For this, we must inject an extra loop into our thinking. Nature, Vol 491, 22 November 2012, 495
  • The Lancet, Editorial (2011): Taking sex into account in medicine., vol 378, November 26, 1826

Further information:

What is Gender Medicine?

Compulsory Courses in Gender Medicine

Optional Courses in Gender Medicine and Diversity

Gender Mainstreaming Tools