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To reach the goal of local ownership and lasting change towards gender balance in senior positions, the project employ a process-oriented methodological approach in the form of action-oriented research that uses experiential learning as the basis for local change. The project will be organized in three parts which partially overlap in time.

Implementation - 3 main parts

Part 1 - Mapping the actual situation and problem definitions

Part 1 will consist of mapping the actual situation and problem definitions. First, we analyze available statistics from DBH and NTNU. Second, there will be an online research survey among all heads of departments at NTNU (including new partners). Third, we will conduct focus group interviews with PhD candidates and postdoctoral fellows to study their perceptions and experiences of the quality of research and teaching environment at the department where they work, and their career plans. The results of this study will be used as input in subproject 2. Fourth, based on a literature review and input from relevant specialists elsewhere we will produce a database of gender equality measures. It should result in a "toolbox" that participants in subproject 2 (and others) will have access to.

Part 2 - A seminar program that combines workshop methodology with the development and implementation of local measures, carried out by the participants

The main element of part 2 is a seminar program that combines workshop methodology with the development and implementation of local measures, carried out by the participants. The seminar program will have three sessions with participation from 12 selected departments. The departments will be selected in collaboration with the project's steering committee. It is important to have departments with variation in terms of current gender balance and understanding (local theories), to create a good basis for the exchange of experience.

The seminar program will be as follows: The first gathering will focus on problem definitions (local theories) and be organized as a two days search workshop, alternating between group work and plenary summaries. On day 2, participants will be made familiar with the results of the mapping work in Part 1 of the project. In the period between the first and second gathering, the participants will conduct conversations with colleagues at the departments where they come from, focusing on problem understanding and possible measures. Gathering 2 will also last two days and consist of summary and discussion of experiences from work in the intervening period. In addition, participants will be introduced to the "toolbox" of possible measures. This should lead to revised problem understanding and new and/or revised proposals for measures that participants will try to implement in the period between gatherings 2 and 3.

The project has financial means to support local measures at the participating departments. Gathering 3, which will last one day, will summarize and discuss experiences with measures implemented in the second interim period. Between the second and third gathering, the project will provide advice and other relevant support to the participants. There will be six months between each of the gatherings, to give participants sufficient opportunity to gain experience in preparing and implementing measures.

Part 3 - a follow-up investigation to map and analyze activities and experiences of Part 2

Part 3 will be a follow-up investigation to map and analyze activities and experiences of Part 2 of the project. This includes monitoring and collecting information about activities taking place in the in-between periods, including development of local problem understanding and implementation of measures. The purpose is, in addition to allow for research into the processes of the seminars, to facilitate the sharing of the produced knowledge internally at NTNU and with other academic institutions. One outcome will be a handbook for how to conduct this kind of action for "gender balance from below”. The project will also present results at manager forums, etc.

The results will be used in the ongoing initiatives of NTNU's leadership regarding recruitment and career development. The project and its results will be presented in news media and trade press.