In DepthScientific Community

NIH ‘high risk, high reward’ awardees skew male—again

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  18 Oct 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6463, pp. 290
DOI: 10.1126/science.366.6463.290

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Summary

The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) early this month announced the winners of an annual crop of prestigious "high risk, high reward" awards. The sought-after grants provide generous, multiyear funding allowing scientists to undertake risky, innovative research. But they have attracted scrutiny in the past because of the paucity of female winners. For women, this year's harvest was a mixed bag. Although men won 69 of this year's 101 awards, it's also the case that for three of the four types of award, women won in numbers that met or exceeded their representation in the applicant pool. However, that representation was meager: Eighteen percent to 38% of the applicants for the four awards were women, although women have earned more than 50% of U.S. Ph.D.s in biological sciences in every year since 2008. Attracting more female applicants is crucial going forward, says James Anderson, the NIH deputy director with responsibility for the program. "We gotta change these numbers."

View Full Text