Gender equity changes to NHMRC Investigator Grants are ‘game-changing’

Academy Chief Executive Anna-Maria Arabia speaks at the announcement of the 2022 NHMRC Investigator Grants, joined by (L-R) Dr Anne Kelso FAA, CEO of the NHMRC; Senator the Hon Katy Gallagher, Minister for Women; Alicia Payne MP, federal Member for Canberra; and the Hon Mark Butler MP, Minister for Health and Aged Care.

The Academy welcomes the introduction of measures to address systemic disadvantage faced by female and non-binary senior researchers via the Investigator Grant scheme of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

It was a pleasure to host @Mark_Butler_MP, @SenKatyG, @AliciaPayneMP, and @CEO_NHMRC Anne Kelso AO FAA FAHMS at the @ShineDome to announce the recipients of the Investigator Grants and their strong action to improve diversity amongst grant recipients.

From the 2023 Investigator Grant round, the NHMRC will set targets and interventions in the scheme to fund an equal number of Leadership grants for women and men. Emerging Leadership grants will continue to use existing gender equity targets.

Non-binary researchers will also now be included alongside women, in both the new measures and the existing measures for Emerging Leadership grants.

Academy Chief Executive Anna-Maria Arabia said, “The intervention to support women at the senior levels is game-changing as it directly removes a barrier that has historically led to their attrition from the research workforce.

“Importantly, this intervention sends a strong message to both women and girls that they can pursue a successful and fulfilling career in research.

“The NHMRC has heard the calls and have acted, and we strongly applaud them for it, and we commend them for including non-binary researchers.”

The NHMRC intervention is expected to lead to changes in practices within research organisations to enable greater collaboration between researchers, stronger practices to support all genders during career breaks, and better decision-making and research design – all of which will improve research outcomes for all Australians.

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