Sex and Gender Analysis Policies of Major Granting Agencies

A variety of 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)
  • • Employing sex and gender analysis as a resource to create new knowledge and technologies.
  •  

     

     

    Organization

    Policy to:

    fix the numbers

    Policy to:

    Fix the institutions

    Policy to:

    fix the knowledge

     

     

    Policy to Integrate
    Gender Analysis into Research

    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"(European Commission, 2003). These policies have been reaffirmed and expanded in Horizon 2020, 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” (European Commission, 2011, 2013, 2014).

    U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH)

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    The US National Institutes of Health will gradually roll out policies beginning October, 2014, requiring that female and male cells and animals are used in pre-clinical studies. See the article in Nature by Janine Clayton and Francis Collins. Specifically, NIH will:

    • 1. “require applicants to report their plans for the balance of male and female cells and animals in preclinical studies.”
    • 2. develop and deliver training on experimental design and analysis for NIH staff, trainees, and grantees.
    • 3. work with grant reviewers to enforce requirements for applicants.
    • 4. encourage publishers to promote rigorous reporting of sex and gender analyses.
    • 5. ORWH will continue to work with the US Food and Drug Administration on the Specialized Centers of Research on Sex Differences, which support interdisciplinary collaborations on sex and gender influences in health (Nature 2014).

    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).

    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, 2002).

    Irish Research Council

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Sex-Gender Dimension: “The Council funds excellent research and excellent research fully considers the potential biological sex and social gender elements of the research content to maximise the impact and societal benefit of research. Not including the sex-gender dimension into the methodology, content and impact assessment of research can lead to poor research and missed opportunities. In order ‘that any assumptions made or issues addressed are based on the best available evidence and information’, the sex-gender dimension has to be fully considered.”

    All applicants to Council Schemes are required to submit a written statement to the Council to the effect that full consideration has been given to the sex-gender dimensions and implications of the research proposal. This statement must further demonstrate the PI’s proposed resolution of any sex-gender dimension issues arising. Please refer to Appendix I, which summarises the Toolkit Gender in EU-funded research, for assistance on how to do this. The IRC also provides “Guidance on the Sex-Gender Dimension in Research Content” (IRC, 2013a). For the application form, see (IRC, 2013b).

    Austrian Research Promotion Agency

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    FFG considers that attention to gender aspects contributes to quality assurance in research... Potential for innovation increases when gender aspects are adequately included in the design. FFG thus applies relevant gender criteria when evaluating applications for funding (ÖFFG, 2010).

    Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

     

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    "CIHR has implemented a requirement that all grant applicants respond to mandatory questions about whether their research designs include gender and sex [...] The purpose of this tool is to give health researchers a framework for thinking through how gender and/or sex might be integrated into their research designs" (CIHR, 2012).  

    German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)

    Yes

    Yes

    No

    Research Council of Norway (Norges forskningsråd)

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    "The Research Council views it as essential that gender perspectives are given adequate consideration in research projects where this is relevant. 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" (Research Council of Norway, 2010). "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" (Research Council of Norway, 2014).

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

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    "The Spanish Innovation Strategy, as well as the National Plan for Research and Technological Development, will promote gender as a category of analysis so that its relevance is considered in all aspects of the process: in defining priorities of scientific and technological research, in defining research problems, and in theoretical and explanatory frameworks, methods, collection and interpretation of data, and findings" (Gobierno de España Ministerio de la Presidencia, 2011).

    U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF)

    Yes

    Yes

    No

    No policy at this level currently.

 

 

 

Works Cited

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). (2012). Gender, Sex and Health Research Guide: A Tool for CIHR Applicants. Enacted December 2010.

Clayton, J. & F. Collins, (2014). NIH to Balance Sex in Cell and Animal Studies. Nature, 509, 282-283.

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaf. (2008). The DFG's Research-Oriented Standards on Gender Equality. Enacted August 2008.

European Commission. (2003). European Commission Deputy-General for Research, Technology, and Development Vademecum. Enacted March 2003.

European Commission. (2011). Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council: Establishing Horizon 2020‚ The Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, 2014-2020, Article 15. Brussels: European Commission.

European Commission. (2013). Fact sheet: Gender Equality in Horizon 2020. Brussels, Dec. 9.

European Commission. (2014). Vademecum on Gender Equality in Horizon 2020. Brussels: RTD-B7 Science with and for Society.

Gates Foundation. (2008). Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Gender Impact Strategy. Enacted June 2008.

Gates Foundation. (2013). Agricultural Development: Creating Gender-Responsive Agricultural Development Programs.

Gobierno de España Ministerio de la Presidencia (Trans. Sánchez de Madariaga, I.) (2011). Disposiciones Generales. Boletín Oficial del Estado, 131 (1), 54387-54455.

Irish Research Council (2013a). Research Project Grants Schemes, Terms and Conditions (search doc for "gender").

Irish Research Council (2013b). Research Project Grants Schemes, Application Form (search doc for "gender").

NIH. (2001). Amendment to NIH Policy and Guidelines on the Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research. Enacted October 2001.

Research Council of Norway, Gender Balance and Gender Perspectives in Research and Innovation: Policy for the Research Council of Norway, 2013-2017. February 2014.

WHO. (2002). WHO Gender Policy. Enacted May 2002.

 

 

 

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