Submission to National Health and Medical Research Council

ATSE Submission to NHMRC Consultation on options to reach gender equity in the Investigator Grants Scheme

ATSE is committed to gender equity in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Our Women in STEM Decadal Plan – developed together with the Australian Academy of Science – outlines a vision for achieving gender equity in STEM, this includes improving retention of women in STEM through their career progression. ATSE supports active inclusion of women and other underrepresented groups in the STEM sector through the Elevate: Boosting Women in STEM program and Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit pilot program. Elevate addresses gender inequities in STEM by providing scholarships for women in STEM, fostering more women-led industry-academia collaborations in applied research and business, growing professional skills of women in STEM and by propelling women into leadership. The Toolkit, developed in response to the Women in STEM Decadal Plan findings, provides reference guides for STEM-focused businesses to embed diversity and inclusion in their recruitment, retention, and reach. 

ATSE welcomes the opportunity to respond to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)’s consultation on Options to Reach Gender Equity in the Investigator Grant Scheme. ATSE has previously contributed to this consultation through attendance at a peak body roundtable in July 2022. This submission engages with consultation survey questions 3, 4, 5, 8, and 11, concerning non-binary inclusion, gender disparities in the investigator grant scheme, and selection of the proposed options.

ATSE makes the following recommendations to improve gender equity in NHMRC grant allocation: 

Recommendation 1: Reserve at least 40% of Investigator Grants at each grant level for female researchers, 40% for male researchers, and 20% unspecified. 

Recommendation 2: Require institutions applying for NHMRC funding to ensure a 40:40:20 ratio for gender of Chief Investigators, at each level, by 2030.