J Clin Neurosci. 2020 Oct;80:43-49. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2020.07.052. Epub 2020 Aug 17.
Research productivity is a vital component to an academic neurosurgeon’s career. We sought to evaluate gender differences in NIH funding among faculty in neurological surgery departments. NIH funding awarded to PIs of neurological surgery departments from 2014 to 2019 were obtained and analyzed for gender differences in funding trends, with attention to terminal degree and academic rank, as well as publication range in length of years and h-index. 79.4% of all NIH grants were awarded to male PIs, with the remaining 20.5% given to their female counterparts. Mean of the total NIH grants awarded to men was significantly higher at $1,796,684 (± Standard Error of Mean (SEM) $155,849, IQR: $1,759,250) compared to women at $1,151,968 (± SEM $137,914, IQR: $1,388,538) (P = 0.022). Mean NIH funding per grant for men was $365,760 (± SEM: $39,592, IQR: $189,692) and for women was $292,912 (± SEM: 28,239, IQR: $283,177). Differences in mean NIH funding per grant approached but did not reach statistical significance between men and women (P = 0.122). When stratified for academic rank, there was a significant difference in mean NIH funding per grant between men and women on the associate professor level (p < 0.005), with women exceeding men in funding at this academic level, with other academic ranks remaining non-significant. Overall, male neurosurgeons receive significantly more total NIH grant funding than their female counterparts, except at the level of associate professor where women were found to surpass men.