Center of Excellence Women and Science


Gender-based violence and institutional responses: Building a knowledge base and operational tools to make universities and research organizations safe 


Project duration: 01.02.2021 - 31.01.2024

Project lead: Dr. Anke Lipinsky

Project team: Dr. Vera Lomazzi, Claudia Schredl M.Sc., Horst Baumann M.A. (from July 2021)

Project description:

UniSAFE is a nine-partner EU funded research project that aims to produce better knowledge on gender-based violence (GBV) in research performing and funding organizations, and to translate this knowledge into operational tools for higher education, research organizations and policymakers. It examines the mechanisms of GBV, its social determinants, antecedents, and consequences, by developing and applying an ambitious multi-level research design and holistic 7P conceptual model, covering Prevalence, Prevention, Protection, Prosecution, Provision of services, Partnerships and Policy. The state-of-the-art 7P model will be used to collect comprehensive data, analyze their relations, synthesize and compare qualitative and quantitative evidence gathered.

Research and outreach activities targeting researchers, stakeholders and policymakers will be led across Europe for three years, starting in February 2021. The project includes research at three different levels:

  • Prevalence and impacts of gender-based violence are analyzed via data gathered by a survey sampling 45 universities and research organizations and by a Europe-wide survey of geographically mobile researchers (micro level).
  • Organizational responses and infrastructure are analyzed via data gathered by in-depth case studies, interviews, and a strategic mapping of interventions in universities and research organizations in 15 member states (meso level).
  • Legal and policy frameworks are analyzed via an extensive mapping in EU27 and 3 Associated States (macro level).

UniSAFE is designed to achieve its aims through research, education and outreach activities between researchers, stakeholders and policymakers across Europe. As a result of the multi-field design, the project aims to provide in-depth knowledge of existing problems on the one hand, and current and future priorities on the other.

In particular, the outcomes include:

  • A better understanding of gender-based violence in universities and research organizations in Europe and its impact on people, organizations and society.
  • Effective policies and measures implemented at universities and research organizations.
  • Increased capacity of students and staff to address gender-based violence.
  • Tools and recommendations to reduce gender-based violence in academic environments and research workplaces in Europe.

UniSAFE relies on a strong multi-disciplinary consortium of nine European partners. The strength of the consortium is based on the partners’ in-depth knowledge and extensive collaborative track record on researching gender-based violence, transforming academic insights into operational tools, including the lead on the GEAR-tool, and knowledge dissemination, including a direct link to the Gender Equality Academy.

The 3-year project supports the European Commission’s objective of ending gender-based violence in Europe by contributing to the reduction of gender-based violence in European higher education.

The project’s main website is

Materials / Activities:

At the end of September, UniSAFE held an online event to launch its Community of universities and research organizations participating in the project. 45 European institutions are working towards producing better knowledge on gender-based violence in universities and research organizations by conducting the UniSAFE survey – the largest of its kind in Europe in the research sector – from January to April 2022.

Project partners: 

  • European Science Foundation, France
  • Örebro Universitet, Sweden
  • GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Germany
  • Yellow Window, Belgium
  • Institute of Sociology, Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic
  • Universidad Computense Madrid, Spain
  • Lithuanian Social Research Centre, Lithuania
  • Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland
  • Oxford Brookes University, UK

Funded by: Horizon 2020

Grant agreement: No 101006261