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LOWER GRANTS FOR FEMALE PI’S

Aurora Brief Reviews No. 05 March 11 2019

March 2019

In the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers from i.a. Northwestern University has analysed first-time research National Institute of Health grants awards to Principal Investigators according to their gender.
By controlling various indicators of academic quality, the study found sex differences in the size of NIH funds awarded to the comparable first-time female and male PIs, even at top research institutions.  For first-time PIs across all grant types and institutions, women received a median of $1265 vs $165 721 for men.
Although the authors did make serious controlling efforts, they also signal limitations, e.g. because they couldn’t also analyse the non-awarded proposals. As they say, further study of the institutions where inequalities were lowest may provide insight into the reasons for sex imbalances in grant amounts awarded during formative career stages.

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