Longitudinal Analysis of Gender and Geographical Representation for Environmental HealthSciences Study Section of the National Institute of Health

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Data collected over a period of three different years indicates the National Institute of Health (NIH) has not demonstrated gender bias in selecting Environmental Health Science study section members, but has in regard to geographic location. There were multiple states given no representation while other states were represented by multiple committee members. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the relative biases placed on study section members of the NIH in regards to the Environmental Health Sciences.

The rosters for the Environmental Health Sciences NIH study section were collected by our team for each meeting held in 2016, 2011, and 2021. Our team compared the following from each section member: name, affiliation, degree, city, and state. University websites were our primary source for identifying the gender of each member. If gender was unable to be determined based on the institute's page, genderized.io was utilized for verification based on a probability of 0.6 or greater in order to assign a particular gender to a study member. A pilot-tested Google form was the platform of choice for collecting data while Google Sheets was our source for organizing and analyzing the data. If members served at more than one meeting per year, duplicates were eradicated to ensure our data represented the committee based on the year overall. We first analyzed the number of males and next the number of females. We then broke down geography by region and again by state.

For the EHS study section, women were represented in greater proportions to men. In 2011, 41 participants were female (56%) and 32 participants were male (44%). In 2016, 34 participants were female (55%) and 28 participants were male (45%). In 2021, 34 participants were female(54%) and 29 participants were male (46%). Geographically, the majority of the members were from the South in 2011 and 2016 (30% and 34%, respectively), and from the Midwest in 2021 (32%). Over time, the Northeast was represented the least with 22% member representation in 2011, 20% in 2016, and 17% in 2021. The highest number of members from a single state in 2011 was California (7). In 2016 and 2021, New York had the highest number of members(6 and 7, respectively). In 2011, 18 states had no representation, in 2016, 22 states had no representation, and in 2021, 16 states had no representation.

Our results suggest that the NIH has done a good job at selecting females to serve on the EHS study section over time. Our results also suggest that the NIH has not significantly improved their selection of members geographically, as the Northeast was underrepresented each year. Additionally, while the South or Midwest represented the majority of members, the states with the single highest representation were in the West or Northeast. Within all regions, some states were not represented, while other states were overrepresented.
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


  • environmental
  • gender
  • geography
  • bias


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