NIH Funding to Study Intersection of Sex and Gender on Health

Human behavior a priority in new opportunity from Office of Research on Women’s Health

The Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH), in conjunction with the National Institute of Mental Health, The National Institute on Aging, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and other institutes, has announced a new funding opportunity to support study of the influence of sex and gender on health and disease.

“In the last decade, there has been growing recognition that, disease prevalence, course and outcomes in women and men are influenced by both biologic sex and gender. An increasing body of research suggests that there are diseases that are unique to women, more common in women than in men, or characterized by differences in disease course in women compared with men,” reads the funding opportunity announcement.

“Research on the sex and gender factors that drive these crucial differences however is limited,” says the announcement.

Recognizing that sex and gender are important considerations in research including psychological, social, behavioral, and basic biological studies, research funded through this funding opportunity will investigate health differences with sex and gender as a factor. Though the terms sex and gender are often used interchangeably, they refer to separate but linked influences on health.

Psychological scientists considering submitting for this funding opportunity should, in their proposals:

(1) Include one or more sex-based variables, including but not limited to: evaluation of sex as a biological variable; sex-based comparisons on conditions in females and males; or biologically based variables such as hormones, physical features, anatomy, or biomarkers.

(2) Include one or more gender-based variables, including but not limited to: assessment of psychosocial variables relevant to health conditions; measures of socially constructed roles, experiences, identities, or behaviors of girls, women, boys, men, or gender diverse people.

(3) The intersection of sex and gender.

(4) One of the five objectives from Strategic Goal 1 of the new 2019-2023 Trans-NIH Strategic Plan for Women’s Health Research, which can be viewed by clicking here.

ORWH intends to offer approximately $3 million to fund up to 7 awards. Applications are due annually, on November 25, 2019; November 25, 2020; and November 26, 2021.

To read more about NIH’s funding for the intersection of sex and gender influences on health and disease, click here.

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