Women are underrepresented in National Institutes of Health (NIH) study sections, a discrepancy that could have repercussions across public health, according to research published in JAMA Network Open.
ITM-UChicago researchers Anna Volerman, MD, Vineet Arora, MD, MAPPP, and Valerie Press, MD, MPH, found that women aren’t equally represented in the rooms where decisions about funding are made. Their research also found that women are less likely than men to chair these NIH study sections. And more equal gender representation in these settings is critical to diversifying research across the board.
“Because NIH study section reviewers make decisions that affect the entire country’s health, they should reflect the U.S. population – both in terms of gender and race/ethnicity,” wrote the trio in an opinion piece for STAT News.
The figure got the attention of American singer Barbra Streisand, who took to Twitter to share the news.