Gender bias in grants and awards

The gender gap in highly prestigious international research awards

2021 9 Gender gap in research awards Athenas wisdom

This study examines gender disparities in the world’s 141 most prestigious international research awards from 2001 to 2020. The analyses show that the proportion of female professors has increased in recent decades, however, the proportion of female winners of international prizes still lags behind. The author concludes that the gender gap is largely a result of demographic inertia and other factors that deserve further investigation.
Read the full article here.

Meho, L. I. (2021). The gender gap in highly prestigious international research awards, 2001–2020. Quantitative Science Studies2(3), 976-989.


Veni-grants: the leaking pipeline

Veni beurzen

At the request of NWO, nearly 3000 assessment files of VENI candidates were analysed. The results showed that in each step of the assessment process (pre-selection, interviews, awards), more women were dropped out compared to men. The evaluators did not see any difference in the quality of the research proposals submitted by men and women, nor in the knowledge utilization of their research, but assessed the qualities as a researcher lower among female applicants.

Van der Lee, R. & Ellemers, N. (2015). Gender contributes to personal research funding success in the Netherlands. PNAS112(40), 12349-12353.

Men are 4 percentage points more likely to be awarded a grant than women when they are judged on the quality of the researcher

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Raymond, J. L. & Goodman, M. B. (2019). Funder should evaluate projects, not people. The Lancet, 393, 494-495.

Differences in start-up grants

Verschillen in startsubsidies

Male researchers at the start of their careers received more than twice as much (median: $889,000) from their employer to set up their research programme compared to female applicants (median: $350,000). These differences could not be explained by differences in education, years of experience, or characteristics of the institution where they worked.


Sege, R., Nykiel-Bub, L., & Selk, S. (2015). Sex differences in institutional support for junior biomedical researchers. JAMA314(11), 1175-1177.