Sex and Gender Analysis Policies of Major Granting Agencies

International, national, and private granting organizations require sex and gender analysis. Grantees may be required to address how their projects will promote:

  • • Equal representation of men and women in employment, decision-making, and as clinical research subjects (fixing the numbers).  
  • • Removing institutional barriers to gender equality (fixing the institutions)
  • • Integrating sex and gender analysis as a resource to create new knowledge and technologies (fixing the knowledge). The funding agencies listed below require that sex and gender analysis be integrated into the design of research, where relevant. Applicants are asked to explain how sex and gender analysis will be incorporated into all phases of basic and applied research, where applicable. Such policies ensure that researchers consider sex and gender analysis as they conceptualize research.
  •  

     

     

    Organization

    Policy to:

    fix the numbers

    Policy to:

    Fix the institutions

    Policy to:

    fix the knowledge

     

     

    Policy to Integrate
    Gender Analysis into Research

     

     

    Date

    Austrian Research
    Promotion Agency
    (FFG)

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    FFG (Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft) manages specific funding programmes, financed by its owner ministries, considering gender aspects on different levels. Since 2009, the FFG has funded RTI projects that are required to integrate gender aspects in research content.

    FEMtech Research Projects (part of the "Talents" initiative) started 2011 as a direct continuation of the "FEMtech RTI Projects" and initiate and support projects with an emphasis on gender-specific needs and demands. Men and women are taken into consideration throughout the development of technologies and products. FEMtech Research Projects aim to increase the level of interest among scientists related to "gender" issues when developing and carrying out research projects, with a view to improving the quality and capability of solutions, products, and technologies to meet the need of all customers.

    As a measure of gender mainstreaming FFG's evaluation criteria (p. 12) include three elements related to gender for all proposals: gender analysis in the research (has gender been taken into consideration?), gender equality in team participation (are teams gender balanced?), and gender-equal benefits to users (do products work equally well for women, men, and gender-diverse individuals?). This requires including gender analyses in proposals submitted for funding with reference to these three criteria.

           2009

    Austrian Science Fund
    (FWF: Fonds zur
    Förderung
    der wissenschaftlichen
    Forschung)

     

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    "In the context of research design, gender-sensitive research examines how gender is integrated into scholarly/scientific knowledge and whether gender is systematically taken into account in the development of knowledge. This gives rise to higher-quality research results which systematically account for specific differences and needs. At the same time, gender-sensitive research also supports the development and more precise definition of scholarly questions and, thanks to its differentiated approach, serves a larger group of people in the development of their own scholarly agendas" Fix the knowledge with regard to gender in scientific research (includes checklist and resources for creating gender-sensitive research).

    Beginning 1 January 2019, every programme across all of FWF will integrate the guidelines below in their call for proposals: "All potential sex- and gender-related aspects in the planned project as well as the planned implementation of these research questions must be described in a separate section. This aspect should be addressed briefly in the text even if the applicant believes the project does not raise any sex- or gender-related issues."  

       2019

    Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

     

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    CIHR expects grant applicants will integrate sex and gender analysis into their research when appropriate.

    Mandatory requirement for applicants to report how sex and/or gender will be accounted for in the research protocol for all investigator-initiated and strategic programs. Applicants must justify excluding sex and/or gender. See: Sex, Gender and Health Research;

    Mandatory requirement to include a Sex and Gender Champion on select strategic initiatives. See: Sex and Gender Champions

    Release of 3 online training modules for integrating sex and gender in biomedical research; primary data collection with humans; and the analysis of data from human participants. Completion of the training modules becomes mandatory for select strategic funding competitions.

    CIHR launches its Sex and Gender-based Analysis in Research Action Plan. Structural changes are made to CIHR's peer review assessment forms to rate applicants' integration of sex and gender as a strength or weakness of the proposal, and to provide recommendations for improvement. See Key considerations for the appropriate integration of sex and gender in research; Criteria for Integration of Sex & Gender— Biomedical Research; See a 4.5 minute video on peer review: Assessing Sex and Gender Integration in Peer Review.  

       2006


     

      2010

     
     


     

      2014

     
     
     

      2015

     
     


     

      2018

    Dutch Ministry of Health, Wellbeing, and Sports

     

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    The Dutch Ministry of Health, Wellbeing, and Sports has financed a Gender & Health program (2016-2020) with a budget of 12 million euros, implemented by ZonMw (The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development) to foster a sex- and gender-sensitive approach to health and disease in research, education, and care practices. Applicants are asked to:

    • 1. describe a research objective, research aim, and research question explicitly linked to sex and gender analysis.
    • 2. justify how you define and operationalize sex and/or gender within your research project and your theoretical framework.
    • 3. describe the expected outcomes of your research disaggregated by sex and/or related to gender.
    • 4. indicate how much and in what way previous research has taken sex and/or gender aspects into account with respect to your research topic. Please show what clues or evidence towards sex- and/or gender-related factors this suggests for your proposed research.
    This program stretches across twelve health themes - general care, participation, diabetes, medicines, cardiovascular diseases, physical and family violence, migraine, psychological and psychiatric disorders, rheumatic diseases, unexplained somatic complaints, aging, and women-specific and sexual disorders.

       2016

    European Commission Directorate-General for Research and Innovation

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Since 2003, the European Commission has supported "questioning systematically whether, and in what sense, sex and gender are relevant in the objectives and in the methodology of projects." These policies have been reaffirmed and expanded in Horizon 2020 in 2014, the Commission's current funding framework. The Commission states, "Integrating gender/sex analysis in research and innovation (R&I) content… helps improve the scientific quality and societal relevance of the produced knowledge, technology and/or innovation." In the proposal template, under "concept and approach," applicants are asked "Where relevant, describe how sex and/or gender analysis is taken into account in the project's content."

    December 2016, the EC Advisory Group on Gender published its second advice paper on preparing grants that integrate the gender dimension into research.

    2003;
    2014

    French National Research Agency
    (Agence nationale de la recherche)

    Yes

    Yes

    Initiatives

    As described in the 2019 work programme, ANR will progressively require all applicants to indicate whether there is a sex and/or gender dimension to their research, and, if so, to outline how sex/gender analysis will be integrated in the design, implementation, evaluation, interpretation and dissemination of the results.

    Since 2018, ANR provides guidance and training for peer-review assessors for evaluation in this area.

    2019

    Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: Agricultural Development Grants

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    "[…] representation by sex alone does not ensure that women's or men's priorities will be taken into account. We are also willing to provide the needed support, tools and resources to appropriately inform, shape, train, and support the inclusion of gender in our work (Gates Foundation, 2008). The Gates Foundation does not support grant proposals for agricultural development that do not account for gender differences and do not consider how agricultural initiatives may benefit or hinder women or men (Gates Foundation, 2013). See also Melinda French Gates, “Putting Women and Girls at the Center of Development,” Science 345 no. 6202 (2014): 1273-1275.

    2012

    German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)

    Yes

    Yes

    No

    DFG Proposal Preparation Instructions. Relevance of sex, gender and diversity: Where applicable, please describe whether and to what extent sex and/or gender

    • • of researchers
    • • of persons under study
    • • of individuals affected by the implementation of research results
    • • of animals under study
    • • with regard to samples taken from humans or animals
    • • in other respects
    is relevant to the research project (methods, work programme, objectives, etc.). Where applicable, please also describe whether and to what extent diversity in terms of, for example, the state of health, ethnic background or culture of
    • • researchers
    • • persons under study
    • • individuals affected by the implementation of research results
    • • or diversity in other respects
    may be significant for the research project (methods, work programme, objectives, etc.). Please explain to what extent these or similar considerations may also be relevant to animals under study or samples taken from humans or animals.

    The new guidelines and a website will be launched in 2019.

    2019

    Irish Research Council

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    The Irish Research Council 2013-2020 Gender Strategy & Action Plan:

    • 1. requires all applicants to indicate whether there is a sex and/or gender dimension to their research, and, if so, to outline how sex/gender analysis will be integrated in the design, implementation, evaluation, interpretation and dissemination of the results.
    • 2. facilitates researchers to correctly identify and recognise a potential gender dimension in their proposed research through the provision of reference materials and training sessions.
    • 3. provides guidance and training for Irish-based researchers in this area.
    • 4. provides guidance and training for Council peer-review assessors for evaluation in this area.
    • 5. reviews and monitors funded proposals

    2013

    Research Council of Norway (Norges forskningsråd)

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    "Good research must take into account biological and social differences between women and men, and the gender dimension should be one of the main pillars of the development of new knowledge. In research projects this dimension may be manifested through the research questions addressed, the theoretical approaches chosen, the methodology applied, and in the efforts to assess whether the research results will have different implications for women and men." "The Research Council will strengthen the knowledge base on gender perspectives for use in research and innovation policy" and "assess the relevance of gender perspectives in all application assessment." Gender Balance and Gender Perspectives in Research and Innovation

    2013

    Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation and Universities
    (Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación y Universidades)

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    "The Spanish Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation (EESTI) (2013-2020) … includes the mainstreaming of gender among its basic principles, pointing at the participation of women in all scientific fields and the incorporation of gender issues in research content and methodology." More on the policy can be found here.

    Science,
    Technology
    and Innovation
    Law 2011;
    EESTI 2013

    U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH)

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    NIH expects that sex as a biological variable will be factored into research designs, analyses, and reporting in vertebrate animal and human studies. Strong justification from the scientific literature, preliminary data, or other relevant considerations must be provided for applications proposing to study only one sex. Investigators are strongly encouraged to discuss these issues with NIH program staff prior to submission of applications. See: Consideration of Sex as a Biological Variable in NIH-funded Research; Enhancing Reproducibility through Rigor and Transparency. Guidance is provided in: Clayton, J. A. (2015). Studying both sexes: a guiding principle for biomedicine. The FASEB Journal, 30(2), 519-524.

    NIH Guidelines and training

    NIH does not have guidelines for considering gender as a cultural variable in research design.

    2016

    U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF)

    Yes

    Yes

    No

    NSF's proposal and award policies do not request integrating sex/gender analysis into the design of research.

    World Health Organization (WHO)

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    "[…] in line with its long-standing concern with health equity WHO will, as a matter of policy and good public health practice, integrate gender considerations in all facets of its work. It will be the Organization's policy to ensure that all research, policies, programmes, projects, and initiatives with WHO involvement address gender issues" WHO Gender Policy, 2002.

    In 2007, the World Health Assembly endorsed WHO's gender policy and urged member states to formulate national policies for address gender in health research.

    2002

 

 

 

 

 

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