Longitudinal Analysis of Gender and Geographic Representation Among National Cancer Institute Study Section Members

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Background: The scientific enterprise should be at the forefront of incorporating diversity, inclusion, and equity — to leverage the heterogeneity of ideas. The National Institutes of Health(NIH) study sections review grant proposals and determine funding and without appropriate representation, we are narrowing our cognitive bandwidth within the scientific literature. Race and gender have been at the forefront of diversity discussions; however, geographic representation has been underappreciated. Therefore, the objective of this study is to investigate gender and geographic representation among National Cancer Institute study section members over time.

Methods: In this longitudinal analysis, we retrieved the meeting rosters for the National Cancer Institute career development study section panel (NCI J) for all meetings held in 2011, 2016, 2021. We collected member name, member degree, member academic rank, membership type, member institution, membership state, members gender and compiled this data into a google form for pilot testing and data extraction. We determined the gender presentation of the study section members by confirming their academic affiliated profile picture. If unidentified, we used the genderized.io software with a probability of .60 or higher for gender verification.

Results: Our data showed that, in general, women were represented in equal proportions to men. In 2011, there were 46 (52%) women and 42 (48%) men. In 2016, there were 28 (48%) women and 30 (52%) men. In 2021, men and women were represented equally at 35 (50%) each. Regarding geographic representation in 2011, the South and West were equally represented (n=17, 25%), the Northeast had the highest representation (n=19, 28%) and the Midwest had the lowest representation (n=15, 22%). In 2016, the Northeast again had the highest representation (n=18, 33%), followed by the South (n=16, 30%), the Midwest (n=12,22%) and West (n=8, 15%). In 2021, the South had the highest representation (n=27, 38%), followed by the West (n=18, 25%), Midwest (n=14, 19%), and Northeast (n=13, 18%).

Conclusion: These findings indicate that the National Cancer Institute has had nearly equal representation of gender but has lacked in geographic representation. We want equity in research, and we should be leading this effort. More focus on geographic representation is needed to ensure our brightest minds are being represented across the country.
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


  • diversity
  • Study Sections
  • funding


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