Retaining women in health and medical research is a key issue internationally and is a strategic priority for NHMRC. Our vision is that all researchers have equal opportunity to participate in NHMRC funding schemes and are supported to reach their full potential. This requires environments which are free from bias, discrimination and sexual or and all other forms of harassment.

Latest news from NHMRC on gender equality

In 2018, NHMRC has again funded additional Project Grants led by Australia's most talented female researchers, to reduce the difference in funded rates between male and female Chief Investigators. Further information. 

Also, NHMRC has reappointed the Women in Health Science Committee for the 2018 - 2021 triennium (link below). 

NHMRC has released its Gender Equality Strategy 2018-2021

NHMRC is proud to present its inaugural Gender Equality Strategy 2018–2021 (the Strategy), which has been developed with advice from NHMRC’s Women in Health Science Working Committee. Action plans will outline activities that NHMRC will undertake to implement the Strategy.  A summary of the 2018–2019 Action Plan is available with the Strategy.

NHMRC's CEO is advised by the Women in Health Science Committee

The NHMRC Women in Health Science Working Committee was established to gain a better understanding of the issues that women researchers face in health and medical research and barriers to career progression … Further information

NHMRC is building on existing gender equality initiatives

NHMRC has a suite of strategies aimed at improving the retention and progression of women in health and medical research which include:

  • gender equity policy requirements for all NHMRC Administering Institutions
  • using strategic funding to support 34 additional female Chief Investigators through Project Grants in 2017
  • the Elizabeth Blackburn Fellowship, awarded to outstanding female Research Fellows
  • policies to take career disruption and ‘relative to opportunity’ considerations into account during peer review
  • part-time opportunities across all NHMRC schemes
  • operational improvements to support those with carer responsibilities, e.g. not sending out emails with deadlines attached on Friday afternoons or after 2pm
  • videoconferencing, which facilitates the participation of people with carer responsibilities on NHMRC peer review panels

Want to see the data?

NHMRC is tracking application rates, funded rates and peer review panel participation by gender:

  • NHMRC publishes all scheme outcome data by gender
  • NATSEM data - see attachments
  • Archived data (2013-2015) - See attachments

Additional resources

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