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Health Res Policy Syst. 2016 Jul 19;14(1):50. doi: 10.1186/s12961-016-0126-z.

A global call for action to include gender in research impact assessment.

Author information

1
Medical Sciences Division, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, OX3 9DU, United Kingdom. pavel.ovseiko@medsci.ox.ac.uk.
2
Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Radcliffe Primary Care Building, Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6GG, United Kingdom.
3
Agency for Health Quality and Assessment of Catalonia (AQuAS), Carrer de Roc Boronat, 81, ES-08005, Barcelona, Spain.
4
The Policy Institute, King's College London, Strand Campus, London, WC2R 2LS, United Kingdom.
5
Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions, 10104-103 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB, T5J 4A7, Canada.
6
Fundación Huésped, Pasaje A. Peluffo 3932 (C1202ABB), Buenos Aires, Argentina.
7
Qatar National Research Fund, P.O. Box 5825, Doha, Qatar.
8
Qatar Foundation, P.O. Box 5825, Doha, Qatar.
9
Department of Studies and Planning, The Research Council, P.O. Box 1422, Al Azaiba, 130, Oman.
10
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, P.O. Box 883, Kenmore, Brisbane, 4069, Australia.
11
Melbourne School of Government, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, 3010, Australia.
12
School of Population Health, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, 6009, Australia.
13
Knowledge Translation Australia Pty Ltd., Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
14
Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Melbourne, 198 Berkeley Street, Parkville, Victoria, 3010, Australia.
15
Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, Park End Street, Oxford, OX1 1HR, United Kingdom.
16
The George Institute for Global Health, University of Oxford, 34 Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BD, United Kingdom.
17
The George Institute for Global Health, University of Sydney, P.O. Box M201, Missenden Road, Sydney, NSW 2050, Australia.
18
RAND Europe, Westbrook Centre, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 1YG, United Kingdom.
19
Novo Nordisk Foundation, Tuborg Havnevej 19, DK-2900, Hellerup, Denmark.
20
Lundbeck Foundation, Scherfigsvej 7, DK-2100, Copenhagen, Denmark.
21
Institute for Economics, Labour and Culture, Goethe-University Frankfurt, Senckenberganlage 31, 60325, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
22
Medical Management Centre, Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics (LIME), Karolinska Institutet, Tomtebodavaegen 18a, 171 77, Stockholm, Sweden.
23
Horizon 2020 Advisory Group for Gender, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium.
24
National Initiative on Gender, Culture and Leadership in Medicine: C-Change, Brandeis University Women's Studies Research Center, 415 South Street, MS 079, Waltham, MA, 02454, United States of America.
25
Department of Radiation Oncology, Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, United States of America.
26
Department of Management, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HX, United Kingdom.
27
International Triple Helix Institute, 1520 Sand Hill Road, A210, Palo Alto, CA, 94304, United States of America.
28
Gendered Innovations, History Department, Stanford University, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA, 94305, United States of America.
29
Health Sciences Department, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Av. Tibidabo 39-43, ES-08035, Barcelona, Spain.
30
PAPRSB Institute of Health Sciences, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Jalan Tungku Link, Gadong, BE1410, Brunei Darussalam.
31
Faculty of Integrated Technologies, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Jalan Tungku Link, Gadong, BE1410, Brunei Darussalam.
32
QS Intelligence Unit, Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd, 4 Heathgate, Agincourt Rd, London, NW3 2NT, United Kingdom.
33
Department of Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Zambia, Nationalist Rd, Lusaka, Zambia.
34
Research Support Centre, College of Medicine, University of Malawi, P.O. Box 360, Chichiri, Blantyre 3, Malawi.
35
Assembly of Women for Development and the Struggle against Social Exclusion (ASDO), via Guido Reni 56, 00196, Rome, Italy.
36
Medical Sciences Division, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, OX3 9DU, United Kingdom.
37
NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Joint Research Office, Churchill Hospital, Oxford, OX3 7LE, United Kingdom.
38
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, OX3 9DU, United Kingdom.
39
Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, 1 King's College Circle, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1A8, Canada.
40
Women's Health Academic Centre, King's College London, Guy's Hospital, London, SE1 1UL, United Kingdom.
41
NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London, Guy's Hospital, London, SE1 9RT, United Kingdom.
42
Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, Guy's Hospital, London, SE1 9RT, United Kingdom.
43
MRC Centre for Transplantation, King's College London, Guys' Hospital, London, SE1 9RT, United Kingdom.
44
Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford, Barnett House, 32-37 Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2ER, United Kingdom.
45
Institute of Social and Economic Research, Rhodes University, P.O. Box 94, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa.

Abstract

Global investment in biomedical research has grown significantly over the last decades, reaching approximately a quarter of a trillion US dollars in 2010. However, not all of this investment is distributed evenly by gender. It follows, arguably, that scarce research resources may not be optimally invested (by either not supporting the best science or by failing to investigate topics that benefit women and men equitably). Women across the world tend to be significantly underrepresented in research both as researchers and research participants, receive less research funding, and appear less frequently than men as authors on research publications. There is also some evidence that women are relatively disadvantaged as the beneficiaries of research, in terms of its health, societal and economic impacts. Historical gender biases may have created a path dependency that means that the research system and the impacts of research are biased towards male researchers and male beneficiaries, making it inherently difficult (though not impossible) to eliminate gender bias. In this commentary, we - a group of scholars and practitioners from Africa, America, Asia and Europe - argue that gender-sensitive research impact assessment could become a force for good in moving science policy and practice towards gender equity. Research impact assessment is the multidisciplinary field of scientific inquiry that examines the research process to maximise scientific, societal and economic returns on investment in research. It encompasses many theoretical and methodological approaches that can be used to investigate gender bias and recommend actions for change to maximise research impact. We offer a set of recommendations to research funders, research institutions and research evaluators who conduct impact assessment on how to include and strengthen analysis of gender equity in research impact assessment and issue a global call for action.

KEYWORDS:

Athena SWAN; Call for action; Gender; Health research; Path dependency; Research impact assessment; Science policy

PMID:
27432056
PMCID:
PMC4950803
DOI:
10.1186/s12961-016-0126-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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