Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Romy van der Lee and Naomi Ellemers Gender contributes to personal research funding success in The Netherlands PNAS 2015 ; published ahead of print September 21, 2015,

We examined the application and review materials of three calls (n = 2,823) of a prestigious grant for personal research funding in a na tional full population of early career scientists awarded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). Results showed evidence of gender bias in application evaluations and success rates, as well as in language use in instructions and evaluation sheets. Male applicants received significantly more competitive “quality of re- searcher” evaluations (but not “quality of proposal” evaluations) and had significantly higher application success rates than female ap-plicants. Gender disparities were most prevalent in scientific disciplines with the highest number of applications and with equal gender dis tribution among the applicants (i.e., life sciences and social sciences). Moreover, content analyses of the instructional and evaluation mate-rials revealed the use of gendered language favoring male applicants. Overall, our data reveal a 4% “loss” of women during the grant re-view procedure, and illustrate the perpetuation of the funding gap, which contributes to the underrepresentation of women in academia.