Gender balance in research funding

NWO constantly monitors the proportion of women and men for grant proposals and awards and reports on these figures in its annual report. The following data are from the NWO Annual Report 2014.

Almost 5000 grant proposals were submitted to NWO in 2014. About two thirds were submitted by men (3382 proposals) and one third by women (1607 proposals). A total of 1209 proposals were awarded funding. Almost three quarters of these were submitted by a man (880 proposals) and one quarter by a woman (329 proposals). This means that 20 percent all proposals submitted by women were awarded funding. For the male applicants this figure was 26 percent.

Male-female ratio in proposals and awards

This table shows the ratio between men and women for proposals and awards in 2014, distributed across the objectives of the NWO strategy.

Source: NWO Annual Report 2014

Although there is still a considerable difference in the proportion of men and women, for both the number of proposals and awards, a shift in favour of women has taken place over the past few years.

  • Talent and curiosity-driven research: the proportion of proposals and awards to male researchers decreased by 2 percent in 2014 compared to 2013, whereas the proportion of female researchers rose by 2 percent.
  • Thematic programmes and knowledge utilisation programmes: the proportion of proposals from men decreased by 3 percent and that from women rose by 3 percent compared to 2013. The award rate for men decreased by 5 percent, whereas that for women rose by 5 percent.
  • Internationalisation programmes: the proportion of proposals submitted by and awarded to men decreased by 8% compared to 2003, whereas for female researchers these figures rose by 8 percent.
  • Research infrastructure: the proportion of proposals submitted by men rose by 6 percent and the proportion of proposals from women fell by 6 percent. The award rate for men rose by 1 percent, whereas the award rate for women decreased by 1 percent.

Gender balance in the award rates

The table below shows the award rates for men and women, distributed across the objectives of the NWO strategy.

Source: NWO Annual Report 2014

The average award rate for all proposals submitted in 2014 was 24 percent. In the group of male applicants the award rate was 26 percent and for female applicants the average award rate was 20 percent. The award rates for men and women are therefore not the same. Just like in 2013 the difference between male and female researchers across the total number of proposals is 6 percent.