What is the Gender Equality College?

The purpose of the Gender Equality College is to highlight gender equality challenges across the world and provide academic teams with access to both expertise and tools to empower positive change within their own research areas.

The college was co-founded by Claire Pickerden, Mel Knight and Patricia Cowell in consultation with college members. The college is made up of members from the White Rose Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York with a variety of backgrounds and profiles.

Why is the college required?

A Gender Equality Statement is required for all applications to UKRI GCRF and Newton Fund calls/competitions. The statement must outline how applicants have taken meaningful yet proportionate consideration of how the project will contribute to reducing gender inequalities, as required under the International Development (Gender Equality) Act. Further information and guidance about Gender Equality in international development can be found here

The college is not only for those working on social/community projects but for all researchers working across all disciplines from engineering to the humanities, from health to the physical and social sciences.  The college will form a strong peer group, sharing good practice with each other and the wider international development research community.

The aim of the Gender Equality College is to meet …the desirability of providing development assistance that is likely to contribute to reducing poverty and inequality between persons of different gender.

picture of a man and woman chatting

Once you have an idea for a research project, you are welcome to contact us and we can support your choice of who to engage with from the college. This will be based on people’s availability, geographical focus of research and project objectives among other criteria. You will then be asked to adhere to our terms of reference to ensure everyone gets the best from the college set up. Please note this is in the 12 month pilot phase.

How does the college work?

image of man and woman working at a desk

Anyone working in the Official Development Assistance (ODA) space will be able to request a meeting with a college member to explore what role they could play within their research project.

The intention is to integrate and embed expertise during the whole project life cycle to ensure our research recognises UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 – gender equality and broader equity issues.

3 Reasons to engage with the college

  1. Input and advice from experts – no research group wants to intentionally or unintentionally undermine gender equality efforts, therefore this support mechanism provides input and advice from those familiar with gender equality issues.
  2. Funders – the funders of ODA research have to ensure their investments consider gender equality and therefore they request evidence during the application stage that this is being done as well as during project reporting phases.
  3. Synergy – three collective minds are better than one, and expertise can be found across all three White Rose Universities giving opportunity for collaboration and wider learning.

Meet the College members

The college members (all from the White Rose Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York) have a wide variety of backgrounds and academic experience, to see who the current college members are and if they can be of help with your project click on one of the links below:

How do I become a member of the college?

Please contact Mel Knight  or Claire Pickerden  for further information.

Coffee Topics

Coffee Topics are a monthly get together by zoom to share a discussion about a gender topic of interest. Find out more.

Upcoming Projects

Building understanding of gender equality challenges within research

Terms of reference and operating framework

White Rose Gender College Terms of Reference, v1.1

White Rose Gender College Operational Framework v2.docx


The gender college has different resources which you may find useful, from open access books to the Harvard Implicit Bias test, find out more.