A Longitudinal Analysis of Gender and Geographical Bias in NIH Research from the Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation Study Section

Shaelyn Ward, Katherine Cox, Matt Vassar

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review

Abstract

Scientific research studies and funding should promote diversity, equity, and inclusion to represent those who contribute to scientific advancement. However, those who identify as a woman, and those who reside in certain geographical areas influence underrepresentation in the scientific community. A review of medical literature found that only one-third of all first authors were female (Hsiehchen, 2019). It has also been reported that fifteen states receive twenty-nine percent more funding than any other (Wahls, 2016). Therefore, a longitudinal study was conducted to investigate these discrepancies, with a focus on NIH study panel members in the Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation study section. Member rosters were retrieved from the NIH study section Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation for all meetings held in 2011, 2016, & 2021. Study authors used a pilot tested google form for data collection of each section member’s name, affiliation, academic degree & geographic location. Gender was determined through website searches of the associated institution, and if it could not be determined this way, the browser genderize.io was used to determine gender identity. A probability of 0.6 or higher was required to confidently assign gender to a study section member. Women were less represented in study sections in the past compared to more recent years. In 2011, there were 29 (74%) males, but 10 (26%) females. The2016 study included 27 (60%) males and 18 (40%) females. A higher proportion of females were involved in 2021, with 19 (46%) males to 22 (54%) females. There was an observable increase over time for women's participation. Regarding geography, the majority of 2011 study section members were from the South (n=17, 44%) followed by the Northeast (n=8, 20%) and the Midwest (n=9, 23%), while the least represented region was the West (n=5, 12%). In 2016, all four regions had equal representation. In 2021, all regions were equally represented, except the West which had the lowest (n=7, 17%). Overall, sex bias in the scientific community has declined over time as women gain more representation and inclusion within scientific studies. It seems that geographic representation has become more equally distributed over time, however, more data is needed to make this conclusion. Results may vary among different study sections, therefore we can only be confident in our findings regarding the allergy, immunology, and transplantation study section.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages116
StatePublished - 18 Feb 2022
EventOklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Research Week 2022 : Poster Presentation - Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, Tulsa, United States
Duration: 14 Feb 202218 Feb 2022

Conference

ConferenceOklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Research Week 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityTulsa
Period14/02/2218/02/22

Keywords

  • gender
  • geography
  • NIH
  • allergy
  • bias

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