In the 21st century, the financial space for independent research has significantly shrunk. Particularly suffering serious cuts, social sciences and the humanities are among the disciplines whose future is most under threat – gender studies being a specifically targeted field of study. Moreover, changes in the financing and management of universities and research institutions have led to a decrease of funding for independent research and to increased competition over research resources. Even though researchers spend months of their (often unpaid) time on their research proposals, it is very common now for these to have only a 5% chance of success.
Simultaneously, inequality in Europe and beyond is rising substantially, leading to serious negative consequences at the macro, micro, and meso level.
But while there is an urgent need to increase our knowledge about these inequalities, there are currently scant opportunities to generate much-needed research and knowledge that could help us address these injustices.
Aiming to contribute to better knowledge about inequalities and injustice in our societies, the FLAX Foundation is starting from the adage that ‘good research is what good researchers do.’ The Foundation will carefully select excellent researchers, and fund and support their work on inequalities and injustice. The Foundation will also generate and support networks of such excellent researchers, including through mentorships, and promote the funded research through highly visible public events or through special professorships.
Therefore, the FLAX Foundation will generate and support innovative research and knowledge on feminist and inequality issues in Europe in order to contribute to a society with greater social justice, equality, and solidarity. By providing researchers with the space and time for their work, and by helping to showcase that work, the FLAX Foundation seeks to especially stimulate the development of social sciences and the humanities when it comes to inequalities and social justice.
Organisation and Board
The Foundation is based in the Netherlands. Its Executive Board is composed of three people in its first two years, and five people from then on. In year one and two, the board consists of prof. dr. Mieke Verloo (Chair of the Board), Prof. dr. Petra Meier, and Jacqueline van de Pol. In year three, two more board members will be selected to join the Board.
In the years 2020–2025, the Board will set up additional organizational structures such as a Board of Trustees, a nomination and selection committee, accountability measures, and memoranda of understanding with collaborators.