Gender differences in NSF ocean sciences awards
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KeywordOcean acidification; Gulf of Maine; Projection; Regional simulations; Species sensitivity; Warming
In this study, we examine how women’s representation in National Science Foundation Ocean Sciences (NSF-OCE) awards changed between 1987 and 2019 and how it varied across different programs, research topics, and award types. Women’s participation in NSF-OCE awards increased at a rate of approximately 0.6% per year from about 10% in 1987 to 30% in 2019, and the strong similarity between the temporal trends in the NSF-OCE awards and the academic workforce suggests that there was no gender bias in NSF funding throughout the 33-year study period. The programs, topics, and award types related to education showed the strongest growth, achieving and surpassing parity with men, while those related to the acquisition of shared instrumentation and equipment for research vessels had the lowest women’s representation and showed relatively little change over time. Despite being vastly outnumbered by men, women principal investigators (PIs) tended to do more collaborative work and had a more diversified “portfolio” of research and research-related activities than men. We also found no evidence of gender bias in the amount awarded to men and women PIs during the study period. These results show that, despite significant increases in women’s participation in oceanography over the past three decades, women have still not reached parity with men. Although there appears to be no gender bias in funding decisions or amount awarded, there are significant differences between women’s participation in specific research subject areas that may reflect overall systemic biases in oceanography and academia more broadly. These results highlight areas where further investment is needed to improve women’s representation.
© The Author(s), 2021. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Lima, I.D., Rheuban, J.E. Gender differences in NSF ocean sciences awards. Oceanography 34(4), (2021), https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2021.401.
Suggested CitationLima, I.D., Rheuban, J.E. (2021). Gender differences in NSF ocean sciences awards. Oceanography 34(4).
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