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Expanding the Female Talent Pipeline in Europe—Call for Proposals 2019


The Open Society Initiative for Europe is issuing a call for proposals to expand the female talent pipeline at high-level conferences, where men continue to take precedent.

As we found in our publication An End to Manels II, roughly three out of four speaking roles at high-level conferences across Europe are held by men. While increasing the engagement of women in these debates is one way to make these symposiums more diverse, figuring how to bring more women into these discussions remains challenging. We are requesting proposals from those with new ideas about how to do just that.

All responses to this call for proposals should aim to increase the number of female experts who speak at these conferences. Such conferences concern issues such as foreign policy; the European Union; crime, terrorism, and security; economics; the environment, climate, and energy; and technology.

Specific funding priorities include developing actionable ideas on how to connect existing female talent to conference circuits in Europe; how to bring new female speakers into the pool of experts from which conference planners draw; and how to more effectively mentor women in think tanks and other research institutions—with the specific goal of promoting their presence on high-level conference panels.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligible countries: Member States of the European Union (including the United Kingdom).

Eligible organizations: We explicitly invite think tanks, and organizations that host high-level conferences to submit proposals. Consortia of women’s rights organizations and the private sector are also encouraged to apply. Academic, government, and international institutions are equally eligible to apply.

Ineligibility Criteria

The program will not support:

  • partisan organizations; political rallies, campaigns to influence elections, or other partisan activities;
  • general civic activism; or
  • general or flexible organizational requests to provide financial sustainability to current work.


Applicants should submit a proposal (three pages, maximum) via the Open Society Foundations Grant Portal. Please make sure to use the narrative template available in the Download Files section.

If the proposed project fits our funding priorities, applicants may be invited to submit a full proposal. Those invited to submit a full proposal will also receive a full budget template to populate.

For further information, please contact Christal Morehouse or Alla Garcia at or

Important Dates

  • Concept forms must be received by March 1, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. (CET). Late submissions will not be accepted.
  • All applicants who are not invited to submit a full application, or who are invited to submit a full application but are not funded, may request a brief written rationale to clarify the decision.
  • All grants will be awarded in 2019.

Download Files

Download the narrative template.

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