RAising the Investment in Sex and gender Evidence (RAISE) is a partnership of FOCUS and Penn PROMOTES.
RAISE is a structural intervention that aims to 1) advance scientists working to close the sex and gender data gap, 2) achieve gender equity in the scientific workforce, and 3) incorporate the analysis of sex and gender differences into research programs throughout the University of Pennsylvania's biomedical schools. RAISE will award grant funding to Assistant Professor faculty to pursue new research or revisit earlier research findings, applying sex and gender disaggregated data analysis.
What is the sex and gender data gap?
The medical sex and gender data gap is well-established1. Despite this fact, and efforts by the NIH including the Sex as a Biological Variable (SABV) policy, the assertion that sex and gender do not matter or are too complex to incorporate, perpetuates the male default bias at every stage of research, from preclinical mice models to clinical trial recruitment 2-4. The lack of sex and gender disaggregated data has led to an intrinsically biased medical system that is guided by a spurious understanding of disease processes as they present in women. Sex and gender-disaggregated data is also critical to achieving gender equity in academic medicine5.
“What clinicians know about the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease originates from studies mostly done on male cells, male mice, and men”
Figure. Inter-relation between sex and gender in health, diseases, and medicine
RAISE Request for Applications - Opens October 2022
Caroline Criado Perez, Criado Perez. Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men. New York: Abrams Press, 2019.
National Institutes of Health. Consideration of Sex as a Biological Variable in NIH-funded Research <https://orwh.od.nih.gov/sites/orwh/files/docs/NOT-OD-15-102%20Guidance.pdf>. 2016.
Zucker I, Beery AK. Males still dominate animal studies. Nature (London). 2010; 465:690.
Marts SA, Keitt S. Foreword: a historical overview of advocacy for research in sex-based biology. In: Advances in Molecular and Cell Biology. Elsevier B.V, 2004:v-xiii.
Raj A, Kumra T, Darmstadt G, Freund K. Achieving gender and social equality: More than gender parity is needed. Academic medicine. 2019; 94:1658-1664.