Science Foundation Ireland has today published a report analysing data on application submission and success rates by gender since 2011.  

Commenting on the publication of the data Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government, said “I am pleased to publish this review of our gender data and highlight some of the initiatives we have been leading on to redress gender imbalance. This report clearly indicates that success rates for male and female applicants across SFI’s portfolio of programmes are similar, however application rates from females are substantially lower, reflecting employment rates across the Higher Education Institutions. We have a  comprehensive Gender Strategy which we are committed to implementing.  We will continue to take a two pronged approach; the first from the bottom up to support researchers at the most critical junctures in their careers and the second from the top-down, whereby the institutional culture can be made more aware of gender issues and become proactive in redressing gender imbalance, through such initiatives as Athena SWAN Charter in Ireland.”

The key findings are:

  • The success rate for both male and female applicants across SFI’s portfolio of awards since 2011 is 30%
  • 75% of all applications received by SFI for funding are from male researchers in Irish Higher Education Institutions
  • Successful female applicants, on average, receive smaller awards, compared to male applicants, however, female applicants, on average, request less funding
  • The success rate for female applicants to SFI Research Centres is 33% compared to 25% for male applicants
  • 5 out of 12 SFI Research Centres (2012 and 2013 cohort) have reached or are within 2% of SFI’s target of 40% gender balance within their team members
  • There is significant gender imbalance amongst the Principal or Lead Investigator positions within SFI Research Centres. Towards redressing this, success in Phase 2 funding requires the Research Centres to develop a Gender Action Plan that will be assessed during progress reviews. Furthermore, Phase 2 awardees will be required to set targets against a gender key performance indicator, which will be assessed on a 6-monthly basis.

Click here to view the full report: Analysis of gender success rates in the SFI review process and overview of SFI’s gender redressing initiatives November 2018