Published: 11-06-2015 10:39 | Updated: 07-09-2015 15:39

NIH Mandates Researchers to Consider Sex and Gender as a Biological Variable in Grant Applications

Policy: NIH to balance sex in cell and animal studies

National Institute of Health (NIH) leadership states the clear intention to develop and implement policies requiring applicants to consider sex as a biological variable in the design and analysis of NIH-funded research involving animals and cells.

On June 9th, 2015, the NIH published guide notices "Enhancing Reproducibility through Rigor and Transparency" (NOT-OD-15-103), as well as "Considering Sex as a Biological Variable in NIH-funded Research" (NOT-OD-15-102).The KI Centre for Gender Medicine congratulates NIH in these actions and hopes this important step will be the first of many towards the full implementation of a gender dimension in research.

Key Paragraphs - Consideration of Sex as a Biological Variable in NIH-funded Research NOT-OD-15-102

"Accounting for sex as a biological variable begins with the development of research questions and study design. It also includes data collection and analysis of results, as well as reporting of findings. Consideration of sex may be critical to the interpretation, validation, and generalizability of research findings. Adequate consideration of both sexes in experiments and disaggregation of data by sex allows for sex-based comparisons and may inform clinical interventions. Appropriate analysis and transparent reporting of data by sex may therefore enhance the rigor and applicability of preclinical biomedical research".