In DepthBehind the Numbers

DATA CHECK: For female scientists, mixed funding results at U.S. agencies

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Science  08 Jan 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6269, pp. 115
DOI: 10.1126/science.351.6269.115

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A new study by a congressional watchdog agency finds that female scientists are less likely than men to receive research grants from the U.S. government. But the analysis by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) comes with several caveats. Some agencies don't collect the data needed to reveal gender disparities in funding, which forced GAO to a find a novel way to address the concerns of the three Democratic congresswomen who requested the study. In addition, discrimination may not be the reason for the disparity. Finally, some agencies aren't doing what the law requires to track the impact of their investments on gender equity at U.S. universities.