Women researchers received significantly less grant funding than men — an average of about $342,000 compared to men’s $659,000, according to a large meta-analysis of studies on the topic.
Women were also less likely to receive second grants to continue their research. In first-time grant applications, proportionate numbers of women and men scientists were approved for funding, but for re-applications, 9% fewer women applicants were approved than their male counterparts.
These gaps are real barriers to women’s long-term success in research and a problem for science itself, said lead author Karen Schmaling, a professor of psychology at Washington State University in Vancouver.
“Diversity tends to be associated with creativity and scientific advancement,” Schmaling said. “If genders are not well represented—and all the intersections of race, ethnicity, and nationality along with gender—science may indeed suffer.”
for meta-analysis published in the journal Research integrity and peer reviewSchmaling and co-author Stephen Gallo of the American Institute for Biological Sciences analyzed data from 55 grant-award studies published between 2005 and 2020. This represented data on more than 1.3 million applications worldwide although the majority were in the United States. and Europe.
While more than half of the world’s population, women are still underrepresented in scientific research. This analysis found that women make up only 36% of eligible grant applicants, and only 30% actually apply.
Men also typically request more funding than women applicants. However, the authors note that in two of the studies where there was no gender difference in the amount required, female researchers still received less, demonstrating what Schmaling called a “clear women’s science discount.”
The analysis also found that Europe was friendlier to scientists, awarding about 6% more prizes to women researchers than funding agencies in the United States. This likely reflects the lower ranking of the United States in gender equality, the authors said, as it ranks 53rd out of 153 countries. , as well as many proactive gender equality policies in many European countries.
The findings indicate the need to reassess the award process itself, including the composition of review committees and the way applications are approved.
“Many funding agencies estimate what are called ‘bibliometrics’ of someone’s success, such as how many papers they have published and how many people have cited those papers,” Gallo said. “These measures are biased and deeply flawed, and do not necessarily reflect differences in scientific excellence. It may be time to move away from them.”
Previous studies have shown that men tend to cite studies authored by other male researchers more frequently than those by female researchers and that they “cite themselves” more often than women, which means that they refer to their previous work in new studies, which helps raise level of their abilities. Citation numbers.
These kinds of things help cement an already imbalanced system, and supporting women scientists throughout their careers is key to fixing this imbalance, Schmaling says.
“It starts really early with all these opportunities that are offered less often to women,” she said. “If we want real change, particularly in the United States, we need to think about being more encouraging and giving opportunities to young women scientists early in their careers — and earlier when they are students.”
Karen B. Schmaling et al, Gender differences in peer-reviewed grant applications, awards, and amounts: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Available here. Research integrity and peer review (2023). DOI: 10.1186/s41073-023-00127-3
the quote: Gender Gap Found in Research Grant Amounts, Returns of Applications (2023, May 3), Retrieved May 3, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-05-gender-gap-grant-award- amounts. html
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