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Sex differences in application, success, and funding rates for NIH extramural programs (Pohlhaus et al. 2011)

  • Findings

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    Evidence Rating

    Not Rated


Pohlhaus, J.R., Jiang, H., Wagner, R.M., Schaffer, W.T., & Pinn, V.W. (2011). Sex differences in application, success, and funding rates for NIH extramural programs. Academic Medicine, 86(6), 759-767.


  • The study's objective was to analyze gender differences in the award of National Institutes of Health (NIH) extramural grants in the 2008 fiscal year. This research was intended to inform efforts to improve diversity in award funding.
  • Using data from the NIH Information for Management, Planning, Analysis, and Coordination electronic Research Administration database, the authors conducted cross-sectional analyses of funding rates (the percentage of applicants who received funding) and success rates (the percentage of reviewed grant applications that received funding), by career stage (early, mid, and senior) and by gender. The authors also conducted analyses specific to the prestigious R01 award—the only award not intended for a specific career stage—including a longitudinal analysis of researchers transitioning to R01 awards or applying for renewal of R01 awards.
  • Overall, women tended to be as likely as men to receive NIH research and training awards in 2008, and applied for and received similar award amounts. In the R01 program, women had a similar success rate as men but a lower funding rate, which seemed to be caused by a lower rate of award among experienced applicants submitting proposals for award renewal. The longitudinal analysis confirmed that women were less likely than men to apply and receive funding for new or renewal R01 awards. Finally, fewer older women applied for and received funding, and recipients of multiple awards were more likely to be men. The authors suggest that these findings are consistent with national data showing fewer older women work in the field and are employed in senior positions.

Reviewed by CLEAR

May 2016