Mind the Research Gap
Gender bias has been an ongoing issue in scientific research and healthcare, examples being underrepresentation of female individuals in early-stage research and clinical studies, failure to consider gender- and sex-disaggregated data, trivialization of female physical complaints, and discrimination in the awarding of research grants. This complex array of issues is often defined as the health gap or research gap.
In order to raise awareness on the research gap and plant the seed for future innovation and ideas into university students all around the UK, we created the Mind the Research Gap (MRG) project and sought the partnership of Women's Health Access Matter's (WHAM). With a diverse range of voices, areas of expertise, and perspectives, this project will explore the challenges around the research gap. It will look at the topic of funding, at the data and research aspects, and at the importance of communication in raising awareness and in closing the gap!
Awareness - we aim to raise awareness on the unmet needs.
Innovation - we aim to promote innovative thinking by featuring key opinion leaders and speakers that are working to address the research gap.
Mobilisation - we aim to mobilise students to think critically about the research gap challenges (lack of funding, lack of data, lack of research) and suggest creative ways of communicating and addressing these challenges.
Science - we aim to showcase the scientific research that is being conducted to bridge the gap in female health research.
Nine different UK student societies will be attending and are helping us reach as many students as possible!
We are extremely honoured to partner with WHAM, a nonprofit organisation that works to increase awareness of and funding for women's health issues and improve the inequities and bias in research by accelerating scientific discovery in women's health in four primary verticals – brain health, heart health, autoimmune/immune disease and cancer. The WHAM Report is a series of studies that quantify the costs and economic benefits of increasing investments in women’s health research and examine the impact of accelerating sex and gender–based health research on women, their families, and the economy.
WHAM commissioned The RAND Corporation to study the potential impact of funding aimed at closing the research gap for: rheumatoid arthritis (autoimmune), coronary artery disease (heart), and Alzheimer’s disease (brain).
The WHAM Report shows that small increases in funding for women’s health produce outsized returns. Doubling the existing NIH budget from $150 million to $300 million in health research across these diseases focused on women will generate over $13 billion in economic returns. Every $1 invested gives back $44 – a higher return than you get for general research.
With this incredible work, WHAM is building a data-driven case for accelerating women’s health research. To learn more about WHAM and The WHAM Report, please visit thewhamreport.org.