View the Photo Gallery

Please enjoy all the amazing photographs from this years ARMA conference. View Gallery.


Mind the gap: driving gender inclusivity in Oxford bioscience grant applications

Lead Authors

Dr Victoria Cabrera-Sharp (Research Funding and Development Manager, University of Oxford)


Ms Trudy Coe (Head of Equality and Diversity, University of Oxford); Dr Brid Cronin (Athena Swan Advisor and Facilitator, University of Oxford); Ms. Adrienne Hopkins (Equality Advisor (Athena SWAN & Gender), University of Oxford); Dr Glenn Swafford (Director of Research Services, University of Oxford)

Women are awarded, on average (2011-14), 18.2% of BBSRC research grants. In contrast, BBSRC reports that in 2014 women won 42% of fellowship awards. Despite promising early careers, fewer women than men progress to senior levels, and those that do are less successful in grant applications. In 2015 BBSRC conducted focus groups at 7 of their top 30 funded institutions to explore why this should be the case.     We present data from the Oxford focus group and an internal review of data from our main funders. We discuss how we have disseminated our findings and the actions we have put in place to address them. A key finding is that women and men experience similar challenges to maintaining a research career, but women tend to respond by leaving academia. Therefore, the research office has an important role to play in retaining female researchers beyond the ECR stage.

Key Messages

How the research office has worked with the BBSRC to examine trends in bioscience applications and the factors behind these.
The key findings of the BBSRC report and Oxford’s own internal review.
How this collaboration has informed and shaped the University’s practice in terms of supporting bioscience applications at different career stages to address gender inequalities in grant applications.