Who Gets Grant Money? The (Gendered) Words Decide

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Contact Info: christa.reynolds@nih.gov

Blinded reviews for scientific research grants — in which all identifying information on the applicant is removed — are designed to remove gendered outcomes, among other biases.

They may not be working.

Female scientists are 16% less likely than men to get a high score on their grant proposal, and new research suggests word choice might be the reason why. 

“Despite blinded review, female applicants receive significantly lower scores,” write MIT Sloan professor Fiona Murray and co-authors Julian Kolev, a Southern Methodist University assistant professor, and Yuly Fuentes-Medel, former MIT Sloan post-doctoral fellow and current project manager for Fiber Technologies. “We find strong gender differences the usage of broad and narrow words, suggesting that differing communication styles are a key driver of the gender score gap.

The findings are reported in a new working paper, “Is blinded review enough? How gender outcomes arise even under anonymous evaluation."

To read more, visit: https://mitsloan.mit.edu/ideas-made-to-matter/who-gets-grant-money-gendered-words-decide?fbclid=IwAR0pP0kBwQGN4YjLeERjqah7N4kQyPNzTRmTXmxD8hv-j2NBJZkxSgrAOnY 

The Diversity Program Consortium Coordination and Evaluation Center at UCLA is supported by Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health / National Institutes of General Medical Sciences under award number U54GM119024.
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