Gender differences in funding among grant recipients in emergency medicine: A multicenter analysis

Am J Emerg Med. 2020 Jul;38(7):1357-1361. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2019.11.006. Epub 2019 Nov 18.


Objective: To describe differences in funded grants between male and female faculty in two academic emergency departments.

Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of grant funding at two academic emergency departments from January 2012-September 2018. We queried the grants department databases at each institution and obtained records of all funded grants for emergency medicine (EM) faculty. We extracted the following information for each award: gender of the principal investigator (PI), PI academic rank, grant mechanism (government, institutional, industry, organizational), and percent effort. Differences by gender were compared using Chi-square or Fisher's exact test and Wilcoxon-rank sum.

Results: One-hundred and thirty grants were awarded to EM faculty at the two institutions during the study period. Of the funded grants, 35 (27%) of recipients were female. Among grant recipients, females held lower academic ranking than males (p-value < 0.001): Instructor (49% vs 51%), Assistant Professor (36% vs 64%), Associate Professor (9% vs 91%), and Professor (0% vs 100%), respectively. Organizational grants were dispersed equally between funded faculty, but females received a fewer government, industry, and institutional grants (p-value = 0.007). Female grant recipients were awarded a higher median percent of effort compared to males (14% [IQR: 3-51] vs 8% [IQR: 1-15], respectively, p-value = 0.023).

Conclusion: In this multicenter analysis, gender discrepancies exist among funded grants of EM faculty. Male recipients had higher academic ranking than their female counterparts. Female recipients were less likely to have government, institutional, and industry grants but received a greater percent effort on funding that was awarded.

Keywords: Faculty; Gender differences; Grant funding.

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Academies and Institutes
  • Biomedical Research
  • Emergency Medicine*
  • Faculty, Medical*
  • Female
  • Financing, Government / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
  • Research Support as Topic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Trauma Centers
  • United States