Retaining women in health and medical research is a key issue internationally and is a strategic priority for NHMRC. Our vision is that all researchers have equal opportunity to participate in NHMRC funding schemes and are supported to reach their full potential. This requires environments which are free from bias, discrimination and sexual or and all other forms of harassment.

NHMRC has released its Gender Equality Strategy 2018-2021...

NHMRC is proud to present its inaugural Gender Equality Strategy 2018–2021 (the Strategy), which has been developed with advice from NHMRC’s Women in Health Science Working Committee. Action plans will outline activities that NHMRC will undertake to implement the Strategy.  A summary of the 2018–2019 Action Plan is available with the Strategy.

Feedback on the Strategy, and suggested actions for future Action Plans can be emailed to

Latest news from NHMRC on gender equality…

In 2017, NHMRC funded 34 more Project Grants led by Australia’s most talented female researchers through a new initiative aimed at reducing the difference in funded rates between male and female lead investigators … Further information

NHMRC's CEO is advised by the Women in Health Sciences Committee…

The NHMRC Women in Health Science Working Committee was established to gain a better understanding of the issues that women researchers face in health and medical research and barriers to career progression … Further information

NHMRC is building on existing gender equality initiatives…

NHMRC has a suite of strategies aimed at improving the retention and progression of women in health and medical research which include:

  • gender equity policy requirements for all NHMRC Administering Institutions
  • the Elizabeth Blackburn Fellowship, awarded to outstanding female Research Fellows
  • policies to take career disruption and ‘relative to opportunity’ considerations into account during peer review
  • part-time opportunities across all NHMRC schemes
  • operational improvements to support those with carer responsibilities, e.g. not sending out emails with deadlines attached on Friday afternoons or after 2pm
  • videoconferencing, which facilitates the participation of people with carer responsibilities on NHMRC peer review panels

Want to see the data?

NHMRC is tracking application rates, funded rates and peer review panel participation by gender:

  • NHMRC publishes all scheme outcome data by gender
  • NATSEM data - see attachments
  • Archived data (2013-2015) - See attachments

Additional resources

  • NHMRC endorses the Australian Academy of Science’s Athena SWAN pilot – the Athena SWAN Charter evolved from partnership between the Athena Project and the Scientific Women’s Academic Network (SWAN)...Further information
  • NHMRC’s gender equality work aligns with the Australian Research Council and other government initiatives.




File type
NATSEM data167.63 KB
167.63 KB
pdf / 167.63 KB Download
543.31 KB
pdf / 543.31 KB Download
531.48 KB
pdf / 531.48 KB Download
617.03 KB
pdf / 617.03 KB Download