Diving into the EPSRC diversity data looking at gender in grant applications as PI

Fig. 1: Annual average of grant value (in £) awarded by EPSRC to PIs for women and men
Fig. 2: Annual average of grant value awarded to female PIs expressed as percentage of the equivalent value for male PIs
Fig. 3: Annual average of grant value requested by female PIs expressed as percentage of the equivalent value for male PIs
Fig. 4: Annual average of the grant value (in £) requested from EPSRC by PIs for women and men
Fig. 5: The distribution of 5 yearly averages are shown here for women and men indicating the average (x) and the median which divides the box. The box is bounded on the top by the third quartile, and on the bottom by the first quartile with the whiskers indicating the maximum and minimum
Fig. 6: Yearly mean and median of the grant value (in £) requested by women as PI to EPSRC
Fig. 7: “Skewedness”, here calculated as the difference between the mean and median of grant values applied for by women and men
Fig. 8: Proportion of PI grants awarded by EPSRC to women and men
Fig. 9: Proportion of PI grants submitted to EPSRc by women and men
Fig. 10: Power of representation calculated as the number of female awardees multiplied by the average grant value in this year compared to the corresponding value for men
  1. Women PIs request on average only 69.9% of the grant value of their male counterparts (average of £514.2k vs £747.8k) with a range of requesting only 48.0% to 88.6% of what men have requested. However, this statistic is really not as straightforward as it appears and we need to find out *why* this is the case. Is our research culture discouraging women from asking for more money? Are the differences due to requested salaries and reflect the known gender pay gap? In future analyses, it would be interesting to take grant duration into account and compare average values for money/month between women and men. Are grants awarded to menPIs higher value because their projects are longer? What other extra costs do men ask for? Maybe it is more highly qualified PDRAs, or more generous consumables and travel? What effects would these potential differences have on women’s scientific work? A future blog post will delve into the issue of gender disparity in requested grant costs. It is also worth pointing out that , while the success rate appears similar between men and women when looking at applications by numbers, this is not necessarily the case when looking at applications by value. A future blog post will analyse how award rates differ for women men PI when we look at grants by value.
  2. A smaller fraction of women are awarded grants than what is expected from looking at the percentage of women working in research & teaching employment falling under the EPSRC remit. Women PIs are under-represented in applications across the EPSRC portfolio.
  3. The power of representation is heavily skewed towards men by a factor of 8.5 (£2.2 billion for male-led research vs. £260 million for female-led research).

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The Inclusion Group for Equity in Research in STEMM

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