Cross-Sectional Analysis of Gender and Region Differentiation amongst a Scientific Review Committee

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Throughout the global-scientific network, equality and diversity should be upheld to the highest degree. However, evidence over our history has shown that wide disparities between demographics exist, particularly within scientific research. For example, Junming Huang, et al. (2020) uncovered the facts that women of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field show a much shorter scientific publishing career length and have higher drop-out rates compared to men, even with female and male publishers being comparable and nearly equal in number. We feel that the scientific research community should work diligently to establish a sense of inclusion in all aspects of the field, including those applying for federal funding for his or her respective research. Therefore, the purpose of our study was to investigate gender and geographic disparities for panel members that assess grant candidates in the Biomedical Informatics, Library and Data Sciences Review Committee (BLR) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Our team collected the rosters for the BLR study section panel for all meetings held in March, June, and November of 2011, 2016, and 2021. The study section member names, affiliations, academic degrees, and city and state data were extracted through a pilot-tested Google form by the study authors. Gender difference was recorded through an internet-based profile finding of the member’s affiliated institution, and if not found, through the website— needing a probability greater than 0.6 before gender could be documented. All data were then transmitted onto a Google Excel sheet for categorization amongst the panels for each year. Within the 2011 BLR roster, there were 20 males (54%) and 17 females (46%). For 2016, there were 20 males (61%) and 13 females (39%). Lastly, for 2021, there were 31 males (59%) and 22 females (41%). There appeared to be a trend shown of males being the predominant gender within all three years, but no pattern in terms of continuous increase or decrease. In regard to geographical disparities, the majority of members in 2011 were of the South region (n=9, 31%), while the Midwest was least represented (n=6, 21%). For 2016, the Northeast and South held the most representation (n=7, 29%), while the West had the least number of members (n=4, 17%). In 2021, most members were from the South (n=16, 36%), with the West and Midwest representing the lowest number (n=7, 16%). Within all three years, our findings showed that the South was emphasized in having the most representation of BLR panel members. These results expressed that there still continues to be a gap in equal representation of both gender and regional background amongst the BLR-NIH study section. Overall, this data suggests that the NIH continues to appoint a greater ratio of males than females, along with a larger representation of those from the South, as Scientific Review Committee members for proper allocation of federal funding.
Original languageAmerican English
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


ConferenceOklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Research Week 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • funding
  • gender bias
  • regional background


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