Major ERC investment launches frontier research into gender inequalities

Cooke has been awarded significant funding to embark on new frontier research in
Cooke has been awarded significant funding to embark on new frontier research into gender inequalities.

Lynn Prince Cooke, Professor of Social Policy at the University, has been awarded a £1.5 million European Research Council consolidator grant for NEWFAMSTRAT, an innovative 5-year comparative research project to unravel how and why gender inequalities in paid and unpaid work persist in Finland, Germany, and the UK.

The motivation for the research is that, despite the extraordinary economic gains women have made over the past half century, they remain responsible for most unpaid care work. In turn, women face employment disadvantages, persistent gender wage gaps, and greater risk of poverty.

Through thousands of studies, the social sciences have accumulated some understanding of the individual, couple, and employer processes that account for this persistent gender inequality.

NEWFAMSTRAT is the first research project to analyse the structure of inequalities among and between women and men at all three levels (individual, household, employer), and to compare these multi-level processes across countries with contrasting gender, labour market, and policy regimes.

The goal is to locate pockets of progress toward greater equality that remain hidden when analysed with standard statistical techniques, as well as better understand withinand between-gender differences in the barriers to greater equality.

To do so, researchers will use cutting-edge statistical techniques for analysing large-scale and ‘big’ data on individuals in households as well as employers, and collect primary data from field correspondence studies of employer hiring in each of the countries.

Professor Cooke said: ’We are excited to undertake a project with such potential for making significant advances in our understanding of this complex subject, a subject that affects everyone. The project will be housed within the Centre for the Analysis of Social Policy (CASP) because its findings can also inform the development of more effective and efficient equality policies at the national and EU levels.’

Recruitment has begun for the first of several senior research officers, with a UK-based PhD student for a field correspondence study to be recruited in the near future.

  • To and keep current with the project’s events and findings, visit
  • This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 680958).