Science Foundation Ireland is pleased to announce the expansion of the available gender identifiers on its Grants and Awards Management System, SESAME. SFI applicants, grant holders, and reviewers will be empowered to indicate which gender they most identify with from four options as part of creating or updating their SESAME profile:

  • Man
  • Woman
  • Non-Binary
  • Prefer to Self-Describe*

*When the option, ‘Prefer to Self-Describe’ is selected, a non-mandatory free text box will become available, enabling the user to provide more accurate terminology should they wish.

These expanded gender identifiers are the product of extensive consultation with the research community and relevant stakeholders, and a review of international best practice, undertaken as part of SFI’s External Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy 2023-2028.

SFI’s EDI Strategy aims to be a key driver of an inclusive research culture, leading in minimising barriers to participation in the research endeavour, and ensuring that its investment reflects the input of researchers that are representative of society, and thus the outputs are relevant to society. This update to the gender identifiers on SESAME is the first in a series of actions and initiatives that will support a more diverse and inclusive Research and Innovation ecosystem.

The gender data gathered on SESAME, in aggregate, will inform the diversity of SFI’s research community by enabling the community to more accurately represent themselves. This data will also inform SFI on how best to improve the representation of Historically Underserved Communities, including individuals from underrepresented genders, in SFI’s portfolio of grant recipients, team members, and community of reviewers.

SFI invites all applicants, grant holders, and reviewers to log into their SESAME profile and review their gender categorisation considering these newly available identifiers.**

**Please note, the functionality to select from the expanded gender identifiers is not currently available for Team Members on SFI-funded grants as Team Members do not have their own profiles on SESAME.