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									NHMRC - working to help address the under-representation of women at senior
                   levels in health and medical research

Who is NHMRC?
                                                                          Our Research Committee and Council are concerned that
NHMRC is the Australian Government’s funder of                            while there are a great number of women at the early
health and medical research in Australia.                                 stages of their careers, it appears that many leave
                                                                          before they can reach their full potential and certainly
We support a wide range of disciplines through our                        before they can reach more senior positions.
funding schemes ranging from laboratory work
through to clinical, public health and health services                    This is evidenced through NHMRC funding schemes as
research.                                                                 depicted in the figure below.

We also develop and support evidence-based clinical                                                         1800
and public health guidelines and public statements and                        # of applications (2002-09)   1600
guidelines on ethics and research governance.                                                               1400
NHMRC funding of health and medical                                                                         1000
research                                                                                                     800                                       women
                                                                                                             600                                       men
NHMRC research support schemes can be divided                                                                400

into research support schemes in which peer review is                                                        200

primarily focused on the research or schemes to                                                                0

support researchers through fellowships in which peer                                                               Pre-     Early    Mid-    Senior
                                                                                                                   Career   Career   Career   Career
review is primarily focused on the person.
                                                                                                                     NHMRC Fellowship Scheme

In 2011, NHMRC supports:
                                                                          NHMRC recognises this problem of retention of
      2131 Research Project Grants                                       women in senior positions. We have introduced a
                                                                          number of polices/changes to help to reduce this loss:
      61 Research Program Grants
                                                                                            ensure that all applicants’ track record is assessed
      405 NHMRC Fellowships:                                                                with an understanding of productivity versus
           69 Senior Principal Research Fellows                                             opportunity to ensure that researchers
                                                                                            ensure that clear instructions (and training) are
           88 Principal Research Fellows
                                                                                             provided to reviewers on how to assess
           247 Senior Research Fellows                                                      productivity versus opportunity
      276 Career Development Award Fellowships:                                            allow track records to be assessed (normally 5
                                                                                             years) with consideration of time taken for career
           170 Biomedical                                                                   disruption(s), for example maternity leave, and
           43 Clinical                                                                     create opportunities for part-time funding
                                                                                             allowances in some schemes.
           9 Industry
           54 Population health                                          However, to adequately address the issues of women
      355 Early Career Fellowships in Australia                          in health and medical research more work needs to be
                                                                          done and a whole of sector approach needs to be
      212 Early Career Fellowships overseas                              adopted.

What is NHMRC doing to address the issue of
under-representation of women at senior levels
in health and medical research?

    National Health and Medical Research Council - working to help address the under-representation of women at senior levels in health
                                                         and medical research

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