Women will receive the same number of senior-level research Investigator Grants as men, under new targets set by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
The changes will begin in 2023, when a 50:50 funding target will be introduced to give more women in STEM the opportunity to undertake health and medical research at the senior level.
Between 2019 and 2021, male applicants to the Investigator Scheme received about 35 per cent more grants and 67 per cent more funding than female applicants, equating to a gap of about $95 million per year.
“We’ve known for a very long time that female researchers predominate at the earlier career levels of health and medical research, whether that’s the PhD, Post-Doc and early career levels, you will see in most institutes and universities, a majority of women undertaking that important research,” Health Minister Mark Butler said at a press conference on Wednesday.
“But for years and years now, from the mid-career level onwards, you see the presence of women start to steadily decline to the point where, at the very senior leadership level, women are vastly underrepresented and have been for many years, vastly underrepresented at the senior leadership levels.”