The National Health and Medical Research Council’s adoption of a new target for 50% of its top-tier Leadership grants in the flagship Investigator scheme to go to women and non-binary people from 2023 is powerful global leadership to shift the dial on gender equity.
The NHMRC announcement is a major milestone in pursuit of gender equity in medical science.
It includes a change-making commitment that the funding agency will give the same dollar amount of research support funds to all the researchers awarded its Leadership grants.
It commits the grant funding agency to a target of equal number of grants for men and women in the Leadership category of its Investigator grants program – its largest funding round.
This demonstrates the grant funding agency’s commitment to improving gender equity in the Investigator grants scheme.
Science & Technology Australia President Mark Hutchinson said it was an announcement that would be noticed around the world, helping to spur global efforts on gender equity.
“This is the NHMRC showing global leadership in proactively tackling a persistent problem. It’s a trailblazing target, and will be noticed by grants funding agencies around the world,” he said.
“Committing to equal the grant numbers so that half go to women and non-binary people, and the other half go to men, will powerfully propel gender equity in STEM.”
“We need more women working in senior positions right across medical research to drive long-term structural and cultural change towards equity.
“It also sets a benchmark for other funding agencies and research organisations around the world to follow suit.”
“The Investigator grants program awards around $370 million in grants each year, and does so through a five‑year fellowship. That funding length, and this new commitment, create a strong platform for both increasing the percentage of women and non-binary people undertaking crucial medical research, and giving them certainty of funding over a stronger timeframe.”
“It’s an exciting development, and one warmly welcomed by the science and technology community.”
Media contact: Martyn Pearce, STA: 0432 606 828