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Welcoming Dr. María López Belloso, Visiting Fellow

Dr. María López Belloso is a visiting fellow with the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and genderED. Her in-person fellowship during the month of July was moved online because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but she is nevertheless embracing a different kind of fellowship and we are so happy to welcome her to the team!

Dr. López Belloso leads the coordination of the GEARING-Roles project, funded by Horizon 2020. This ambitious project is aimed at designing, implementing, and evaluating gender equality plans at six different European institutions: Maria’s home institution, University of Deusto, as well as University of Lisboa, Oxford Brookes University, University of Ljubljana, Sabanci University, and the Estonian Research Council. These six implementing partners are joined in a Consortium by 4 experienced partners who provide additional support: Yellow Window, Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT), Trilateral Research, and Radbound University.

The GEARING-Roles project has two main aims. More generally, it aims to implement, design, and evaluate gender equality plans at these six institutions. The underlying goal of the project, however, is to delve deeply into how gender roles and gender bias operate for female researchers in different career paths and at different stages of their careers. This not only applies to STEM careers, where there are a low number of female researchers, but also in more care-related fields – although there may be a higher number of female scholars in these disciplines, there is also low access to leadership positions. GEARING-Roles aims to analyze why these stratifications happen and implement measures to reverse these effects, working towards sustainable changes in institutional mechanisms, policies, practices, and procedures. Their innovative methodology includes an algorithm-based dissemination strategy and a series of pairing events where institutions can visit and learn from one other. More information about the project can be found here.

Dr. López Belloso’s own research interests span the Western Sahara conflict, transitional justice, and the intersection of human rights and ICTs. She has been engaged with gender from the beginning of her research, even where it was not the focus, mainstreaming gender in the different topics she approached. These topics include the role of women in the Western Sahara conflict, as they fight for self-determination and build resilience in refugee camps, and enforced disappearances. Her PhD thesis on enforced disappearances in Western Sahara was awarded the Brunet Award for theses on Human Rights. As a human rights scholar, gender equality is a basic foundation and starting point for all her research.

Dr. López Belloso is eager to learn from the work being done at the University of Edinburgh, both within IASH and genderED and beyond. She is part of the Gender Interdisciplinary Platform at Deusto, which shares a similar mission and approach to genderED – bringing together researchers from different disciplines who work around issues of gender and fostering the development of research projects and publications. Nevertheless, she feels that her home university is a relative newcomer in terms of mainstreaming gender in teaching and curricula and that she has much to learn. We no doubt have much to learn from María as well.

Please join everyone at IASH and genderED in welcoming Dr. María López Belloso.