NAS report: grants to women

S L Forsburg forsburg at nospamsalk.edu
Wed Aug 6 14:47:38 EST 1997


I recently found on the web a copy of the NAS report on
The Funding of Young Investigators in the Biological and 
Biomedical Sciences (a 1994 NAS report).  You can see it at:
http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/ynginv/contents.html

There are a lot of useful comments in it, especially towards the
 funding of R29 and related applications.  It's been 3 years, and
clearly no one paid attention, becasue (with a few exceptions)
things are pretty much as they were, the R29 is still not 
what it could be, and the situation is not much improved
for those starting out.  A pity no one listened!

Anyway, from the conclusions, here are some depressingly familiar
statistics:

> The committee could identify no difference in the likelihood of 
> funding between women and men in the life sciences, once they had 
> assumed faculty positions. The disparity identified was the 
> decreased likelihood that a woman would achieve a position in
> which 
> she would be eligible to apply for a grant. Although almost 40%
> of 
> all newly trained biologists are women, they made up just 19% of 
> NIH grant applicants in 1990. In addition, only 31% of
> postdoctral 
> fellowship dollars at NIH were directed to women scientists. 
> 
> A detailed analysis of this issue is outside the purview of this 
> report. However, the committee believes that the continued
> failure 
> of women to gain access to positions of authority in the life 
> sciences is a serious issue with direct implications for the long 
> term vitality of the enterprise. 
> 
> ... 
>
> Attention should be given to the promotion of women to department 
> chairs, deanships, and other executive positions to achieve a sex 
> balance and reflect the increase in the number of women entering 
> the scientific workforce. The lack of senior role models, limited 
> access for women to the research network, and excessive 
> institutional committee assignments, teaching responsibilities,
> and 
> mundane administrative duties are impediments to the advancement
> of 
> women that require institutional attention.

Comments, anyone?
-- 
-susan
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S L Forsburg, PhD  forsburg at salk.edu
Molecular Biology and Virology Lab          
The Salk Institute, La Jolla CA 
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