Careers, Dissemination

Exploring gender composition of dementia researchers at different stages

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gender disparitiesA new analysis driven by Alzheimer’s Research UK and published in AMRC Open Research titled “The dementia research career pipeline: Gender disparities in publication authorships and grant funding outcomes at different career stages”. 

Using various data sources the authors analysis gains insights about the gender ratio across career stages:

  • Conference attendance data as a proxy for the field as a whole
  • Bibliometric data to know who publishes, and who occupies positions of seniority among the listed authors
  • Alzheimer’s Research UK’s (ARUK) internal grant funding data to understand who obtains funding
  • Analysis of ARUK grant scoring of applications based on the gender of the reviewers.

Their results confirm that female researchers leave dementia academic research at higher rates than men, before transitioning into senior positions. In 2020, women made up over 60% of the field, produced 54% of first authorships, but only accounted for 38% of last authorships. Overall, women received 37% of ARUK’s competitive grants, with significant differences between grant schemes awarded for early career researchers (64% female awardees) compared to grant schemes aimed at senior researchers (33% female awardees). Men and women applied for and obtained grants at significantly different rates depending on the career stage at which the grant was aimed. Finally, the authors also observed that male and female reviewers apply evaluation criteria differently, with men giving better scores than women on average.

In conclusion the study adds to the evidence that shows that women get published less, receive less funding, and transition into senior academic positions at disproportionally lower rates than men do. The authors briefly discuss potential reasons why gender disparities arise as researchers progress into senior positions, and offer interventions ARUK (and other funders) can implement in its application and evaluation process to address those disparities.

Read in full

Andreou M, Choi N, Magenti JG et al. The dementia research career pipeline: Gender disparities in publication authorships and grant funding outcomes at different career stages [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]AMRC Open Res 2022, 4:18 (https://doi.org/10.12688/amrcopenres.13072.1)

 

View more reports and careers support from Alzheimer’s Research UK

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