Statement from Dr. Anne Martin-Matthews: New gender equity data now available from CIHR

August 15, 2017

Several months ago, CIHR released its first set of data related to gender equity in our funding programs. This analysis stemmed from CIHR's Equity Strategy, designed with the vision of creating an equitable funding system by:

  • Identifying and eliminating systemic biases against any individual or group that would hinder access to CIHR funds; and
  • Influencing the larger health research enterprise to adopt more equitable practices.

While the scope of CIHR's Equity Strategy extends beyond gender, we began this large undertaking with a focus on gender equity and a commitment to share data on this issue with the larger health research community.

The first data set focused on the success rates by gender for CIHR funding, as well as for certain tri-agency funding programs. We also considered gender representation in the broader research enterprise. The second data set, which is now available on our website, focuses on approved amounts of funding by gender in CIHR programs.

Our approach to the data is deliberate. First, we are identifying what gender inequities or differences exist and where they exist (i.e., which programs). Our next steps will be to conduct deeper dives into the data to determine why the inequities or differences exist. These data will also be published on our website when they become available, and should shed light on the root causes of any equity issue and inform appropriate solutions.

We know that equity is an integral part of a sustainable research ecosystem, and thus we are working closely with other funding agencies to share our findings and coordinate our efforts. We will continue our data analysis efforts to support evidence-based approaches to fostering equity in all of our programs and policies. CIHR will keep you informed of our progress.

Anne Martin-Matthews, Ph.D., FCAHS
Acting Vice-President, Research, Knowledge Translation and Ethics
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

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