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Skidmore reveals gaping gender divide in research-council funding

Applications led by men accounted for more than 70 per cent of the funding awarded by the seven UK research councils in the financial year that closed in April.

According to official figures disclosed by the science and universities minister Chris Skidmore, 71 per cent of the research funds the councils awarded in 2018-19 through their grants and fellowships supported applications led by men. Bids led by women received 27 per cent of the funds, whereas applications where gender was undisclosed or unknown account for the remaining 2 per cent of the cash.

Skidmore released the data on 13 June in response to a parliamentary written question submitted by Chi Onwurah, the shadow science minister. He said that the figures came from an initial analysis of data held by the umbrella funding agency UK Research and Innovation. The more recent set of gender data for research council funding that is publicly available is from 2016-17.

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