Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in CIHR Funding Programs

In May 2018, CIHR, along with the other federal funding agencies, launched a Tri-Agency self-identification Equity and Diversity Questionnaire for applicants to all funding competitions. The collection of this data marked an important first step in enabling CIHR to identify and understand potential inequities, underrepresentation or exclusions within our funding system.

Currently, the questionnaire collects data on age, gender, and whether applicants identify as Indigenous, a visible minority or a person with a disability. We are pleased to share summary findings from an analysis of self-identification data across CIHR’s COVID-19 funding competitions launched from February to November 2020.

The data presented below are from a subset of targeted funding opportunities only and do not include data from directed funding opportunities. CIHR will continue to closely monitor new data moving forward and are committed to working with the community to find solutions to address identified inequities.

2020 COVID-19 Competitions

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing inequities in the research system.Footnote 1 The results of CIHR’s first rapid response COVID-19 competition, launched in February 2020, pointed to inequities between male and female applicants. Application rates were disproportionately low for female applicants relative to male applicants, compared to application rates for the Spring 2019 Project Grant competition. Given this context, the analysis below examined if differences between groups of applicants could be determined across COVID-19 competitions. The analysis also examined how groups of applicants across all COVID-19 competitions compared to CIHR’s 2019 Spring Project competition, which is considered a more consistent competitionFootnote 2 that also took place prior to the pandemic.

Methods

The data in this section represent the self-identification questionnaire responses submitted by Nominated Principal Investigators who applied to CIHR’s COVID-19 competitions launched between February and November 2020. If the total number of applicants who identified as being in a group was less than 5, the data for that group is not published. A mix of statistical analyses and visual interpretation of the data was conducted.Footnote 3

Subset of Funding Competitions included in Analysis

  • 202002COV – Operating Grant: Canadian 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID‐19)
  • 202004FRC – Operating Grant: Frailty and COVID‐19
  • 202004SBC – Op Grant: Sex as a biological Variable Supplement: COVID-19 Rapid Research FO
  • 202005CMS – Operating Grant: Knowledge Synthesis: COVID-19 in Mental Health & Substance Use
  • 202005CVR – Operating Grant: COVID‐19 May 2020 Rapid Research Funding Opportunity
  • 202007MSU – Operating Grant: COVID‐19 Mental Health & Substance Use Service Needs/Delivery
  • 202009SPP – Operating Grant: Strengthening Pandemic Preparedness in Long-Term Care (COVID-19)
  • 202011EVO – Op. Grant: Evaluation of Harm Reduction Approaches to Address the Opioid Crisis
  • 202011NCN – Op Gr: Network of Clinical Trials Networks: COVID-19 and Intervention Strategies

Overall Conclusions

Limitations

Visible Minority

Do you self-identify as a visible minority?

Figure A - Proportion of applicants

Figure A: Long description
  • Yes: 28.2%
  • No: 65.7%
  • I prefer not to answer: 4.4%

Figure B - Proportion of successful applicants

Figure B: Long description
  • Yes: 25.0%
  • No: 67.1%
  • I prefer not to answer: 5.1%

Figure C - Amount requested (in thousand $)

Figure C: Long description
  • Yes: $474,732 ± $22,804
  • No: $495,090 ± $18,665
  • I prefer not to answer: $507,700 ± $53,800

Figure D - Amount awarded (in thousand $)

Figure D: Long description
  • Yes: $461,657 ± $59,238
  • No: $466,465 ± $44,139
  • I prefer not to answer: $378,534 ± $117,211

Figure E - Success rate

Figure E: Long description
  • Yes: 15.4%
  • No: 17.7%
  • I prefer not to answer: 20.2%

For those who identified as a visible minority, there were no observed differences across A) Proportion of applicants; B) Proportion of successful applicants; C) Amount requested; and D) Amount awarded). E) Visual interpretation of the graph suggests that the success rate for visible minorities is lower than other groups. Dotted lines represent the proportion of applicants, proportion of successful applicants and success rate for visible minorities in the Spring 2019 Project competition.

Table 1: Across self-identified visible minorities

Do you self-identify as a visible minority? Proportion of applicants Proportion of successful applicants Amount requested Amount awarded Success rate
Yes 28.2% 25.0% $474,732 ± $22,804 $461,657 ± $59,238 15.4%
No 65.7% 67.1% $495,090 ± $18,665 $466,465 ± $44,139 17.7%
I prefer not to answer 4.4% 5.1% $507,700 ± $53,800 $378,534 ± $117,211 20.2%

Note that not all proportions add up to 100% due to missing data.
Amounts requested and decided include the mean ± standard error of the mean.

Indigenous Peoples

Do you self-identify as a an Indigenous person?

Figure A - Proportion of applicants

Figure A: Long description
  • Yes: 1.3%
  • No: 93.6%
  • I prefer not to answer: 3.3%

Figure B - Proportion of successful applicants

Figure B: Long description
  • Yes: 1.3%
  • No: 92.3%
  • I prefer not to answer: 3.6%

Figure C - Amount requested (in thousand $)

Figure C: Long description
  • Yes: $346,484 ± $81,834
  • No: $493,920 ± $14,791
  • I prefer not to answer: $431,063 ± $60,112

Figure D - Amount awarded (in thousand $)

Figure D: Long description
  • Yes: $327,181 ± $189,842
  • No: $464,494 ± $35,834
  • I prefer not to answer: $406,037 ± $153,773

Figure E - Success rate

Figure E: Long description
  • Yes: 16.7%
  • No: 17.1%
  • I prefer not to answer: 18.7%

For those who identified as Indigenous, there were no observed differences across A) Proportion of applicants; B) Proportion of successful applicants; C) Amount requested; and D) Amount awarded). E) Visual interpretation of the graph suggests that the success rate for Indigenous Peoples is comparable to applicants that did not identify as Indigenous. Dotted lines represent the proportion of applicants, proportion of successful applicants and success rate for Indigenous Peoples in the Spring 2019 Project competition.

Table 2: Across self-identified Indigenous Peoples

Do you self-identify as an Indigenous person? Proportion of applicants Proportion of successful applicants Amount requested Amount awarded Success rate
Yes 1.3% 1.3% $346,484 ± $81,834 $327,181 ± $189,842 16.7%
No 93.6% 92.3% $493,920 ± $14,791 $464,494 ± $35,834 17.1%
I prefer not to answer 3.3% 3.6% $431,063 ± $60,112 $406,037 ± $153,773 18.7%

Note that not all proportions add up to 100% due to missing data.
Amounts requested and decided include the mean ± standard error of the mean.

Persons with a Disability

Do you self-identify as a person with disabilities?

Figure A - Proportion of applicants

Figure A: Long description
  • Yes: 3.2%
  • No: 90.1%
  • I prefer not to answer: 4.9%

Figure B - Proportion of successful applicants

Figure B: Long description
  • Yes: 2.0%
  • No: 90.3%
  • I prefer not to answer: 4.9%

Figure C - Amount requested (in thousand $)

Figure C: Long description
  • Yes: $528,257 ± $98,803
  • No: $492,165 ± $14,950
  • I prefer not to answer: $421,261 ± $47,067

Figure D - Amount awarded (in thousand $)

Figure D: Long description
  • Yes: $317,976 ± $62,270
  • No: $470,458 ± $36,609
  • I prefer not to answer: $335,853 ± $118,180

Figure E - Success rate

Figure E: Long description
  • Yes: 11.0%
  • No: 17.4%
  • I prefer not to answer: 17.1%

For those who identified as persons with a disability, there were no observed differences across (A) Proportion of applicants; B) Proportion of successful applicants; C) Amount requested; and D) Amount awarded). E) Visual interpretation of the graph suggests that the success rate for persons with a disability is lower than other groups. Dotted lines represent the proportion of applicants, proportion of successful applicants and success rate for persons with a disability in the Spring 2019 Project competition.

Table 3: Across self-identified Persons with a Disability

Do you self-identify as a person with disabilities? Proportion of applicants Proportion of successful applicants Amount requested Amount awarded Success rate
Yes 3.2% 2.0% $528,257 ± $98,803 $317,976 ± $62,270 11.0%
No 90.1% 90.3% $492,165 ± $14,950 $470,458 ± $36,609 17.4%
I prefer not to answer 4.9% 4.9% $421,261 ± $47,067 $335,853 ± $118,180 17.1%

Note that not all proportions add up to 100% due to missing data.
Amounts requested and decided include the mean ± standard error of the mean.

Gender

What is your gender?

Figure A - Proportion of applicants

Figure A: Long description
  • Woman: 42.6%
  • Man: 52.6%
  • I prefer not to answer: 2.7%

Figure B - Proportion of successful applicants

Figure B: Long description
  • Woman:: 42.9%
  • Man: 51.0%
  • I prefer not to answer: 3.1%

Figure C - Amount requested (in thousand $)

Figure C: Long description
  • Woman: $383,418 ± $16,542
  • Man: $569,415 ± $22,165
  • I prefer not to answer: $553,641 ± $82,686

**p < 0.01

Figure D - Amount awarded (in thousand $)

Figure D: Long description
  • Woman: $343,816 ± $39,516
  • Man: $559,502 ± $55,074
  • I prefer not to answer: $442,142 ± $178,080

**p < 0.01

Figure E - Success rate

Figure E: Long description
  • Woman: 17.4%
  • Man: 16.8%
  • I prefer not to answer: 20.0%

For those who identified as women or men, there were no observed differences across A) Proportion of applicants and B) Proportion of successful applicants. C) Amount requested and D) Amount awarded were significantly different for women as compared to men. E) Visual interpretation of the graph suggests that success rates for women and men are comparable. Dotted lines represent the proportion of applicants, proportion of successful applicants and success rate for women in the Spring 2019 Project competition.

Table 4: Across self-identified Gender

What is your gender? Proportion of applicants Proportion of successful applicants Amount requested Amount awarded Success rate
Woman 42.6% 42.9% $383,418 ± $16,532 $343,816 ± $39,516 17.4%
Man 52.6% 51.0% $569,415 ± $22,165 $559,502 ± $55,074 16.8%
I prefer not to answer 2.7% 3.1% $553,641 ± $82,686 $442,142 ± $178,080 20.0%

Note that not all proportions add up to 100% due to missing data.
Amounts requested and decided include the mean ± standard error of the mean.

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