Sex and Gender In Research

A patient’s biological sex and/or gender is often a neglected factor in biomedical research. Yet in order to understand differences in the emergence and progression of diseases and to develop suitable treatments, it is important for such research to take sex and gender differences into account. Considering sex and gender aspects adds a valuable dimension to research and makes sure that everyone gets the best medical treatment. 

Several funding agencies, such as the European Union or the DFG and also some bio/medical journals are required to integrate sex and gender aspects into research projects.

BIH Excellence Award for Sex and Gender Aspects in Health Research

With the aim to bring more visibility to sex and gender issues in translational research BIH announced the BIH Excellence Award for Sex and Gender Aspects in Health Research for the first time in 2017. It recognizes research excellence among renowned scientists working in the field of basic and/or clinical biomedical research with a focus on sex and gender aspects.


Below you can find links to initiatives and organizations dedicated to sex and gender in research.

Charité - Institute of Gender in Medicine

Gender Differences in Research and Education

The aim of the Institute for Gender in Medicine is the systematic investigation of gender differences in health and disease, its introduction into the study and the development and implementation of gender-sensitive strategies in health care.

Canadian Institute of Health

Here you can find tools from the Canadian Institute of Gender and Health to better integrate sex and gender into research by their Sex and Gender-Based Analysis (SGBA). Take a look at their action plan and learn how CIHR is meeting its commitments to SGBA.



Check out their new video:  Assessing Sex and Gender in Peer Review


the first European Research Area Network (ERA-NET) to be dedicated to the promotion of gender equality

A pilot transnational research policy initiative funded by the European Commission under the Science in Society work program of the seventh Framework Program (FP7), developed an Online IGAR Tool: Recommendations for Integrating Gender Analysis into Research: 


Gender Diversity Impact- GEDII

Improving research and innovation through gender diversity

Funded by the European Union under the program Horizon 2020, GEDII looks to study the impact of gender diversity on research productivity, quality and innovation which is very unevenly evidenced.



Gendered Innovations

A program which aims to harness the creative power of sex and gender analysis for innovation and discovery. Read more here.


National Institutes of Health

Sex and Gender Research

By instructing researchers to take sex and gender into account as they develop their research questions, design experiments, analyze data, and report results, NIH continues to deliver the kind of rigorous science that drives the medical advances we need. Take a look at their online course series on “The Science of Sex & Gender in Human Health” and learn more about method and techniques. 


The SAGER Guidelines: Sex and Gender Matter

BIH endorses the Sex And Gender Equity in Research (SAGER) guidelines written by the Gender Policy Committee of the European Association of Science Editors. See the below infographic available for download.

See here for an article outlining the rationale for the SAGER guidelines and recommended use, published in Research Integrity and Peer Review, an international, open access, peer reviewed journal.

Heidari, S., Babor, T. F., De Castro, P., Tort, S., & Curno, M. (2016). Sex and gender equity in research: rationale for the SAGER guidelines and recommended use. Research Integrity and Peer Review, 1(1), 2.

More information...

Here you can find a selection of useful links about Sex and Gender in Research from the BIH, at other institutions in Berlin, and around the world.


05.28.2019  Shansky, RM. paper on: "Are hormones a" female problem "for animal research?." Science ,  364 (6443), 825-826.

13.05.2019 Pawlowski, A. The invisible woman? The challenge at the doctor's office every woman needs to know about. Today. 

"A pervasive gender bias in medicine leads female patients to be misdiagnosed or dismissed as complainers. Meet the doctors fighting for change."

09.02.2019 Edition on "Advancing Women in Science, Medicine", and Public Health. The Lancet. Volume 393, number 10171, p493-610, e6-e28

Science Open specific search engine for articles relating to sex and gender in medicine. Access here (EN).


Korsvik, T. R. & Rustad, L. M. (2018) What is the gender dimension in research: case studies in interdisciplinary research. Kilden, Lysaker, Norway. Accesible online as PDF.

GenderMed-Wiki: GenderMed-Wiki serves as an educational exchange platform on topics relating to sex and gender aspects in medicine. Access here (EN).