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ERIC Number: ED562001
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Mar-17
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Women in STEM Research: Federal Agencies Differ in the Data They Collect on Grant Applicants. GAO-15-291R STEM Research
US Government Accountability Office
Since the enactment of Title IX in 1972--which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities receiving any federal financial assistance--women have made significant gains in many academic fields. However, recent research shows that women continue to lag behind men in academic and professional advancement in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. This report provides the results of the first part of an ongoing review related to the representation of women in federal STEM research programs. Specifically, this report focuses on the extent to which federal agencies collect data that could be used to analyze differences, if any, in federal grants to women and men in STEM fields. Six federal agencies that together funded approximately 90 percent of the federal government's investment in basic and applied research in fiscal year 2010 through 2012 were selected for review: (1) the Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA); (2) the Department of Defense (DOD); (3) the Department of Energy (DOE); (4) the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); (5) the National Institutes of Health4 (NIH); and (6) the National Science Foundation (NSF). At these six agencies, data were collected from 16 different entities that administer grant programs for research in STEM fields. Three of the six federal grant-making agencies reviewed--the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture--routinely collect demographic information about the individual researchers who apply for and receive federal grants. Further, these agencies have data systems that could facilitate analysis of differences, if any, in grants made to women and men. The three agencies stated they use this demographic information for research and internal analysis of their applicant pool. The other three agencies in the review--the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and NASA--do not routinely collect demographic information about researchers who submit grant proposals and receive awards. [Major contributors to this report were Erin M. Godtland (Assistant Director), Nora Boretti (Analyst in Charge), and Jessica K. Rider. Also contributing to this report were James Bennett, Deborah Bland, David Chrisinger, William Egar, Ashley McCall, Amy Moran Lowe, Lindsay Read, James Rebbe, Douglas Sloane, Walter Vance, and David Watsula.]
US Government Accountability Office. 441 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20548. Tel: 202-512-6000; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: US Government Accountability Office